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Taste Test: Coke Light (Diet) v Zero

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 16:15:53 -0400 (CLT)

We just had a "blind tasting" of the two low calorie Coca-Cola products. 
The "standard" which is called "Light" here and has been around for years,
and the new "Zero".

(Incidentally, I don't know why it's called Light and not Diet here.  Some
chilean friends once claimed that it was in response to some kind of
legislation, but this link -
http://salud.latercera.cl/columnas/diet_light.htm - says that the two are
used indiscriminately, with no law controlling or regulating their use.)

Anyway, the results were:

- They taste very similar.  Doesn't seem worth introducing a new product for.

- Zero is slightly less sweet and/or has a less sweet aftertaste.

Note that there may be less difference here than in other countries - I
don't think the same sweetners are used worldwide.

According to the packaging, Zero has per 100ml:
- 26mg of ciclamato de sodio (sodium cyclamate)
- 24mg of aspartamo (asparteme)
- 16mg of acesulfamo k (acesulfame potassium)
While Light has
- 24mg of aspartamo
- 16mg of acesulfamo k

The only difference seems to be the addition of sodium cyclamate which, is
apparently an artificial sweetner.  According to Wikipedia, however "It is
often used synergistically with other artificial sweeteners, especially
saccharin; the mixture of 10 parts cyclamate to 1 part saccharin is common
and masks the off-tastes of both sweeteners."

It also mentions that sodium cyclamate is banned in the UK and USA!

So it seems that adding sodium cyclamate masks the "synthetic" sweetness
taste, but that the main discriminant between the two products - the only
thing that remains constant across international boundaries - is
marketing.

Andrew

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