How do you make a clear cola

Colorless cola

Cola contains acid, which is why it is also considered a good home remedy for clogged drains. The cola contains carbonic acid on the one hand, but also phosphoric acid. This is why the pH value of cola is below 3 and is therefore lower, i.e. more acidic, than normal household vinegar.

When this acid meets milk, the proteins in the milk denature. Denaturing means that the spatial structure of the proteins changes; they adopt an energetically favorable arrangement for the new acidic environment.

As a result, the proteins clump together and these clumps slowly sink to the bottom of the bottle. But they take some of the cola with them: especially the color E 150d, the so-called caramel color. This food coloring is made by caramelizing sugar and gives many brown drinks, but also sausages and instant sauces, their color. The color does not make a decisive contribution to the taste of the cola. However, E 150d contains a component that is suspected of being carcinogenic: 4-methylimidazole.

Food chemists repeatedly warn that this substance has triggered cramps and cancer in animal experiments. At the beginning of 2016, the American Food Authority announced another investigation into this. As a consequence of the findings, the American branches of the cola companies demanded that their caramel suppliers reduce the proportion of 4-methylimidazole. Coca Cola Germany, on the other hand, insists that the dye is harmless to health. At the beginning of the 1990s there was actually a cola without a brown dye. The “Crystal Pepsi” was clear as water, tasted like cola and - was a huge bankruptcy.

Test subjects confirmed in blind tastings that they could not find any difference in taste to normal cola. Nevertheless, the lack of color irritated the consumers - after a short time the clear cola disappeared again from the store shelves. For more than 100 years, however, there has been an almost clear, slightly yellowish cola from South America: Inka-Cola originally comes from Peru and is now sold in many countries - albeit by the Coca-Cola Group.