Some of the world’s most popular soda brands, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have been found to contain trace amounts of alcohol, according to research conducted by a French institute. Out of 19 different colas tested, 10 were reported to contain alcohol. Those concerned about being secretly drugged by beverage makers can rest easy though, as tests suggested that each drink only contained 10 mg per liter, or about 0.001 percent alcohol. Still, the information has been released in order to inform patients who could have medical complications due to accidental alcohol consumption.
“The concentration of alcohol, although very scanty, may interact with a few medications—either increasing or decreasing the effect of drugs taken like blood thinners, and a few antibiotics which may alter the drug regimen and its effects,” Dr Hatem Soliman, a critical care medicine specialist, told Gulf News.
In the Gulf region, some health care professionals have added the information to a long list of grievances in a campaign against carbonated drinks. Many believe that companies should be responsible for making the levels of alcohol known.
“Alcohol is toxic; the label should mention that the cola contains alcohol, specifying the percentage. So if a person knows he has a medical condition, he can make an informed decision,” said Hussain Al Beshbeshy, a marking manager at a sports and physical therapy center in Dubai, said.
“The presence of any amount of alcohol should be mentioned,” Emirati marking professional Noora al Fahim told the Gulf News. “Currently there is no transparency in the cola industry.”
Amalia Gomes, an Indian training specialist based in Dubai, brought up that the fact that in some cultures and religions, alcohol consumption could be offensive. “As a courtesy to those who might be offended due to cultural reasons or affected due to medical conditions, the label should clearly state it. Even if alcohol is present in minuscule amounts, not mentioning it is unacceptable, especially in an Islamic country.”