Trace amounts of alcohol can be found in popular soft drinks including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, according to new findings by the National Institute of Consumption in Paris.
The research, published in the French magazine 60 Million Consumers, found small amounts of alcohol measuring around 0.001 percent per liter in 19 popular sodas around the world. Generic supermarket brands, however, were alcohol-free.
Business Insider also reports that another chemical present in Coke, 4 methylimidizole (4-MI), is considered a carcinogen by the Center for Science in Public Interest.
The publication has more background on why the alcohol was detected:
Coca-Cola France’s scientific director Michel Pepin told Channels TV that it is possible “alcohol traces come from the process of making our drink according to its secret recipe,” perhaps due to natural fruit fermenting.
While the amount of alcohol found is negligible, the revelation may anger thousands of Muslims, whose religion prohibits them from drinking alcohol.
However, as the Seattle Post Intelligencer notes, Coca-Cola’s web site is up front about alcohol levels in its products:
Trace levels of alcohol can occur naturally in many foods and beverages. Governments and religious organizations have recognized that such minute levels are considered acceptable in nonalcoholic foods and beverages.
That being said, the news has prompted Coca-Cola to announce it will alter its recipe for sodas sold in the U.S. It reportedly has no plans to do so worldwide.