(TruthSeekerDaily) In 2009, Consumer Reports magazine did a blind taste-test comparison which found that Mexican Coca-Cola had “a fuller, slightly more complex flavor.” New York Times writer Rob Walker shared in his op-ed piece about his experience drinking Mexicoke and the difference he noted. “I am casting myself in the role not of the reasonable observer but of the dubious product-cultist,” Walker wrote. “Some years ago I noticed a glass bottle of Coke for sale, and that was something I hadn’t seen in a while. It looked great. I enjoyed drinking it immensely. My rational explanation was Coke tastes better from a glass bottle than from a plastic one or from a can.” Walker proceeded to explain that he then noticed that the difference was not in how he chose to consume the Coca-Cola, but rather, where it was made. In fact, the source of sweetness of the popular beverage varies from country to country–Colombia uses sugar, Argentina uses high-fructose corn syrup and Mexico uses cane sugar.
Hardcore fans of Mexicoke now have to face some disappointing news, as executives of Coca-Cola in Latin America have decided to stop using cane sugar and opt for high-fructose corn syrup. The motive behind the decision is to cut costs after Mexico’s congress approved a tax on soda that will cost one peso (or $0.08, at 13 pesos to the dollar) per liter of soda sales. For full disclosure: The soda tax was passed in an effort to tackle Mexico’s obesity epidemic since recent statistics suggest that over 70 percent of Mexico’s population is considered to be overweight and according to a study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that Mexico is the fattest nation in the world. In order to maintain profits and keep the price of Coca-Cola constant for Mexican consumers, the executives have reportedly decided to “move to more fructose.”
It’s important to note that Mexican Coca-Cola was never free of high-fructose corn syrup since the beverage has always contained the controversial ingredient. In 2010, researchers from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine tested out the ingredients in Mexican Coca-Cola available in East Los Angeles. “The Mexican Coca-Cola lists “sugar” on the ingredient list, but the laboratory did not detect any sucrose, but rather near equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of [high fructose corn syrup],” revealed the researchers in their findings. “According to the FDA guidelines, the word “sugar” can only be used in reference to sucrose.
It’s no surprise that the transition from cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup will be controversial, to say the least. Here are four reasons why the shift in ingredients is a terrible decision:
1. High-fructose corn syrup is not healthy. In 2004, researchers at the [Pennington Biomedical Research Center] of Louisiana State University published their findings that revealed that high-fructose corn syrup is a major player in America’s obesity epidemic.
2. Sugar is not all the same. Defenders of high-fructose corn syrup will argue that cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are similar in structure and ergo, are not very different. But from a biochemical standpoint, the two ingredients are not identical and as such, they are not processed by the body in the same way.
3. High-fructose corn syrup contains contaminants that are not regulated. High-fructose corn syrup is notorious for containing toxic levels of mercury and other questionable chemical compounds that are not measured or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
4. It will hinder the taste that “Mexicoke” is famous for. Those who have tasted both variations of the beverage insist that not only is Mexican Coca-Cola sweeter, but the high-fructose corn syrup variation is bitterer, more sour and boasts a synthetic taste.