Why Is Phosphoric Acid in Soft Drinks?


Quick Answer

To give soft drinks a tangy flavor, cola makers frequently add phosphoric acid. Though the acid does help the drink obtain a particular flavor profile, the addition of phosphoric acid makes cola beverages more acidic than vinegar. Other names for phosphoric acid include E338, orthophosphoric acid and phosphoric(V) acid.

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Full Answer

Food-grade phosphoric acid is cheap to produce and widely available, but the side effects of putting phosphoric acid in soft drinks are unclear as of 2015. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has outlined some evidence that phosphoric acid contributes to decreased bone density. However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has released studies showing that most Americans consume phosphoric acid primarily from meat and dairy, not soft drinks.

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