Soft drinks consumption data exposes people to potentially harmful and carcinogenic byproduct of caramel color, analyzed public health researchers. Caramel color is a vital and common ingredient of dark soft drinks and colas. Results portray that 44 to 58% of people more than 6 years of age consume at least a can of soda on daily basis, if not more. This exposes every individual to 4-methylimidazole (4MEI), a human carcinogen.


Caramel Coloring May Cause Carcinogenic Disorders

The potential carcinogen forms particularly during the production of the characteristic caramel color added to a number of beverages worldwide. In California, there is a caveat that any drink that contains 4-MEI should come with a warning label.

Research Report

Researchers at Baltimore based Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future tested 110 soda brands and their samples and estimated that these drinks contained levels of soda that ranged from 9.5 mcg to 963mcg/liter. The concentrations varied area wise and remained more or less consistent in one area or state. Routinely consuming beverages can ultimately result in exposure to 4-MEI carcinogens in excess of 29mcg each day.

Diet Colas Has High Concentration Of 4-MEI

The regulatory standards laid down by the states may impact and has indeed regulated the levels of 4-MEI carcinogens from beverages. The author of the entire study Tyler Smith, on the rolls of a program officer at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future conjectured that “For example, for diet colas, certain samples had higher or more variable levels of the compound, while other samples had very low concentrations.”

Inviting Cancer For Esthetic Delight?

The author intends to analyze consumption of sodas and categorize them into mutually exclusive categories as – Cola, Diet-Cola, Root Beer, Pepper Cola and Non-Diet Cola. Dr. Nachman, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health commented that soft drink consumers are getting exposed to unnecessary carcinogenic chemicals during caramel coloring. It may risk the human beings their life; incidentally, the chemical is added merely for esthetic purposes.

One Response

  1. American Beverage Association

    Contrary to the
    conclusions cited here, the FDA has noted there is
    no reason whatsoever for any health concerns regarding this ingredient.
    This position is also supported by regulatory agencies and public health
    organizations around the world, including the European Food Safety
    Authority and Health Canada. Moreover, the FDA
    has said that a consumer ‘would have to drink more than a thousand cans
    of soda in a day to match the doses administered in studies that showed
    links to cancer in rodents.’ In sum, the ingredients in beverages are
    thoroughly tested, regulated by the government,
    and consumers can have complete confidence in the safety of these
    -American Beverage Association


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