New Color for Your Favorite Cola
The color of your favorite Cola or Pepsi may not be same anymore. Center for Science in the Public Interest, a non-profit-making organization has called for a ban on two caramel coloring agents used in some sodas and food items.
The chemical reaction between sugars, ammonia and sulfates produce two caramel coloring agentsâ€™ 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). Results of experiments on mice and rats show that these chemicals are carcinogens, substances that cause cancer.
The Coca-Cola Company and other beverage companies contested that 4-methylimidazole form normally in the browning reaction even in household cooking and had rejected the claims of additive being dangerous for health.
CSPI Executive Director, Michael F. Jacobson wants FDA ban on the use of these two chemicals. He feels that artificial coloring has no nutritional and preservative value and instead of accepting potential health risk from these additives, soda industry can completely do it without these coloring agents.
The Washington D. C. based American Beverage Association representing companies making non alcoholic drinks opposes the new petition on caramel coloring. The association contested that Food and Drug Administration has never classified 4-MEI as a human carcinogen and no other regulatory body around the globe has supported the views against 4- MEI.