What’s In My Food: Dr Pepper 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.
Dr Pepper ingredients are: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine.
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. 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. 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, naturally derived flavors.
6. Artificial flavors: A synthetic mixture not found in nature, designed to mimic a natural flavor. May contain MSG. Over 1,700 artificial flavors are approved by the FDA.
Health effects: Unknown. Companies are not required to identify the various synthetic mixtures (1,700 to date) used in foods, requiring only that they be listed under the umbrella of the “artificial flavors” listing. Some individuals are sensitive to artificial flavors, experiencing headaches, nausea, and drowsiness, among other symptoms.
Artificial flavors sample list: benzyl isobutyrate, ethyl acetate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate (petroleum derivative), methyl benzoate (petroleum derivative), hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone. An artificial flavor may be made up of any number of synthetic chemicals.
7. Sodium benzoate: Used as a preservative. It is the sodium 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, sodium benzoate is a petroleum derivative.
Health effects: Asthma, hives, hay fever, mouth irritation, and other allergic reactions. Neurotoxicity and brain damage; Linked to hyperactivity and decreased intellect in children. May cause DNA damage, leading to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Benzene, a known cancer-causing agent, can form in soft drinks when sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin c, commonly added to fortify soft drinks) are present.
8. 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.
Now you know the facts. You know what you are consuming, and can make an informed decision.