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Diet pepsi Ingredients Explained

Updated on January 2, 2011

Originally released in 1963 under the name Patio Diet Cola to compete with Royal Crown's Diet Rite Cola, the first diet cola to enter the market. Upon gaining popularity, even with little advertising, Patio Diet Cola was renamed Pepsi Diet in 1964.

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

Diet Pepsi ingredients: Carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserve freshness), caffeine, citric acid, natural flavor. Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine.

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. 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.

3. Aspartame: Artificial sweetener. Made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine. 
Health effects: Studies link it to cancer in rats. May cause neurological and behavioral issues. Reported symptoms include irritability, headaches, insomnia, hyperactivity, seizures, memory loss, migraines, depression, vision problems, memory loss. Should be avoided by those with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria.

4. 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.

5. Potassium Benzoate: A preservative. Potassium salt of benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is synthesized commercially from toluene. Toluene is produced in the gasoline making process and the making of coke (carbon fuel produced by distillation of coal) from coal. Therefore, potassium benzoate is a petroleum or coal tar derivative. 
Health effects: Asthma, hives, eczema. Caution advised if aspirin sensitive. Benzene, a known cancer-causing agent, can form in soft drinks when sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin c) are mixed.

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. Natural flavors may be acquired through any number of processes. Naturally derived ingredients may be altered, rendered unsafe.


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    • profile image

      hi 5 years ago

      thank you this really helped me with my project

    • profile image

      Anita 6 years ago

      I'd sure like to know what the 8 natural flavors are...that could be dead bodies for all we know.

    • profile image

      TN 6 years ago

      What/why do we have an FDA anyway?? If they can't protect us for whatever reason they are, get rid of them and save us some more debt!! Aspartame should not be allowed in anything at all.

    • The Smiling Man profile image

      The Smiling Man 7 years ago from USA

      Yeah it's funny, turns out the diet stuff i s the most harmful. You may not get as many calories, but you chances for cancer increase.

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 7 years ago from London UK

      Great hub! I never drink the diet stuff anyway but that is mostly down to the fact that if I want something sweet I go for sugar, at least I know what probles sugar has. Aspartame is something I deeply suspect and I don't trust it as far as I can spit. Treats really should just be treated as treats.