What’s In My Food: Pepsi Ingredients Explained


Reading the ingredient list on your food label and knowing what they are, are two different things. For example: Do you know what the ingredients BHT, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, blue 1, and phosphoric acid are? Well you should, since you are consuming them on a daily basis. One's use is banned in restaurants. Another is mined from the earth. And the Other two are made from petroleum.

Can you imagine what these ingredients are doing to your body? Well don't imagine. Know. Educate yourself. Read on to learn exactly what your food is made of, and what it’s doing to your health.

In all products, ingredients must be listed according to their relative weight. The listing of each ingredient is in a descending order of predominance.

Pepsi’s ingredients are: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid, natural flavor.



1. Carbonated Water: Plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved.

Health effects: Linked to tooth decay. May reduce fertility. Suspected teratogen (any agent that interferes with normal embryonic development).

2. High fructose corn syrup: Corn derived sweetener. Corn starch is processed to corn syrup and then treated with enzymes to convert glucose in fructose.

Health Effects:  Excess may increase risk of tooth decay, abnormal weight gain, kidney stones, gout, kidney stones, colon cancer, and diabetes. Large amounts have caused tumors in mice. In 2005, some U.S. manufactured high fructose corn syrup was found to contain trace amounts of mercury.

3. Caramel Color: Brown food coloring and flavoring made by heating a sugar, usually corn syrup. May be processed with ammonia and sulfur to intensify color.

Health effects: May contain ammonium compounds. May affect stomach (gastrointestinal problems), liver, and cause hyperactivity. Caramel color produced with ammonia has been associated with blood toxicity in animals. Associated with reduced white cells and lymphocyte counts.

4. Sugar: A sweetening additive. Made mainly from sugar cane and sugar beet.

Health effects: Safe if eaten in small amounts. Consumption of large amounts over time has been  linked to tooth decay, periodontal disease, obesity, hyperactivity, B vitamin deficiencies, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

5. Phosphoric Acid: A colorless, odorless solution made from phosphate rock (not a food).

Health effects: May lead to calcium loss in bones and tooth erosion. Eye, skin, throat, nose, and respiratory  irritant. Can cause osteoporosis. Linked to kidney damage and kidney stones.

*A corrosive, used to remove rust.

6. Caffeine: a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant drug.

Health effects: Psychoactive, addictive. May cause headaches/migraines, heart disease, depression. Causes birth defects in rats. Can cross the placental barrier. Inhibits fetal growth. Women who consume the amount of caffeine in one and a half to three cups of coffee may nearly double their risk of miscarriage.

7. Citric acid: A weak organic acid used as a flavoring agent and a preservative. Extracted from citrus fruits or made by fermentation of yeast or mold. May contain MSG. May be genetically modified.

Health effects: If MSG sensitive, may provoke symptoms.

8. Natural flavors: Any flavor not chemically derived. Obtained by physical processes from plants or animals. Made to provide flavor to a food rather than nutritional value. May contain MSG.

Health effects:  Unknown.Different foods use different natural flavors and processes. Naturally derived ingredients may be altered, rendered unsafe. It should be noted that the use of the word “natural flavors” is often used to mask the use of harmful, albeit natural flavors.

 Now you know the facts. You know what you are consuming, and can make an informed decision.


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Comments 4 comments

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living earth 6 years ago from UK

I never realized there was phosphoric acid as well in Pepsi, wow! It seriously and rapidly demineralizes teeth.


kc 5 years ago

thank you for exposing the ingredients of random everyday junk food.


Missmeliss 4 years ago

No more a Pepsi/soda 1 a day person! So gross


jp sutcliffe 4 years ago

ammonia and aluminium in our own drinking water - how's that?????????

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