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Coca Cola under the microscope. Facts that will put an end to the question: drink or not drink

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola) is a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage produced by The Coca-Cola Company.

"Coca-Cola" was recognized as the most expensive brand in the world in 2005-2015 in the rating of the international research agency Interbrand. The drink is sold in more than 200 countries. According to some statistics, 94% of the inhabitants of the whole planet have at least once heard of the Coca-Cola brand.

In 2006, Turkey for the first time in the world against Coca-Cola began a trial on the composition of the drink. The label usually says that Coca-Cola contains sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, caramel, carbon dioxide and some "extract". This extract caused suspicion. And the Coca-Cola company was forced to disclose the secret, from what actually do the cola. This was a liquid obtained from an insect Cochineal (Cochineal).

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Cochineal is an insect that lives in the Canary Islands and in Mexico. This insect is sucked by the proboscis to the plant, sucks the juice and never moves from its place. For the insect cochineal prepare special fields. These insects in the field collect villagers ...

From females and eggs of these insects, a pigment called carmine, which colors Coca-Cola in brown, is removed. Dried cochineal looks like raisins, but in fact it is an insect!

Now you know what the word "Coca" means in the name of the drink. And now I'll tell you what's behind the word "Cola". To do this, I will tell you the story of an employee who spent 23 years working at the Coca-Cola factory.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Raw materials for cola are licorice roots and these roots are fed by various mammals, including mice. Large companies in the production of cola collect these roots in tons using excavators. When assembling tons of roots, they are not able to pull out mice.

Therefore, the licorice roots are pressed together with what was among the roots.

Only after that, the remnants of wool, paws and so on are pulled out of this mass!

Because the drink has a darker shade, it is not noticeable that it also contains blood and gastric fluid of mice. Of course, giants-companies that produce cola, try to neutralize harmful substances with the help of chemicals.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

For 23 years, an employee who told this story, never drank a glass of cola.

Next, judge for yourself.

Scientists from Washington have decomposed into components one of the ingredients of Coca-Cola. It turned out that caramel - it's not melted sugar, but a chemical mixture of sugar, ammonia and sulfites, obtained at high pressure and temperature. It can cause cancer of the lungs, liver, thyroid and leukemia.

It was also found out that alcohol enters into the soda: it is the basis of that secret supplement "7 X". In alcohol add a few drops of aromatic oils, coriander and cinnamon.

A liquid insect cochineal - carmine in general has not been certified, so cola in some countries do not produce at all.

How the organism responds to the cola

Coca Cola под микроскопом

In 10 minutes

10 teaspoons of sugar "hit" on your system (this is the daily recommended rate). You do not pull to tear, because phosphoric acid suppresses the action of sugar.

In 20 minutes

There will be a jump in insulin in the blood. The liver turns all sugar into fats.

In 40 minutes

The absorption of caffeine is complete. Your pupils will expand. Blood pressure will increase, because the liver throws more sugar into the blood. Adenosine receptors are blocked, thereby preventing drowsiness.

After 45 minutes

Your body will increase the production of the hormone dopamine, which stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. The same principle of action for heroin.

After an hour

Phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your intestines, accelerating metabolism. Increases the secretion of calcium through urine.

More than an hour later

Diuretic action comes into play. Calcium, magnesium and zinc, which are found in your bones, are excreted, as are sodium, electrolyte and water.

More than an hour and a half

You become irritable or lethargic. All the water contained in the coca-cola is excreted through the urine. The active ingredient of Coca-Cola is orthophosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. To transport Coca-Cola concentrate, the truck must be equipped with special containers designed for highly corrosive materials.

Detailed composition of Coca-Cola Light without caffeine

Aqua carbonated, E150d, E952, E950, E951, E338, E330, Aromas, E211

1. Aqua carbonated - carbonated water.

The presence of carbon dioxide in the water stimulates gastric secretion, increases the acidity of gastric juice and provokes flatulence - abundant release of gases. In addition, not spring water is used, but tap water, passed through special filters.

2. E952 (Cyclamic Acid and Na, K, Ca salts), Cyclamic acid and its sodium, potassium and calcium salts.

Sugar substitute. Cyclamate is a synthetic chemical, has a sweet taste of 200 times the sweetness of sugar, is used as an artificial sweetener. It was banned for use in human food because it is a carcinogen causing cancer.

In 1969, by order of the Federal Agency for Food Products and Medicines (FDA), it is banned for use in the United States, because it was proved that he, like saccharin and aspartame, causes bladder cancer in rats. In the same year it was banned in Canada.

In 1975 it was banned in Japan, South Korea and Singapore. It is forbidden to use in the production of beverages in Indonesia. In 1979, the World Health Organization rehabilitated cyclamates, recognizing them harmless.

* Safe dose: 0.8 grams per day.

3. E150d (Caramel IV - Ammonia-sulphite process, dye)

Burnt sugar is obtained by processing sugar at certain temperatures, with or without chemical reagents. In this case, ammonium sulfate is added.

4. E950 (Acesulfame Potassium, acesulfame potassium)

200 times sweeter than sucrose. Contains methyl ether, which worsens the work of the cardiovascular system, and asparogenous acid, which exerts an excitatory effect on the nervous system and can, over time, become addictive. Acesulfame is poorly soluble. Products with this sweetener are not recommended for children, pregnant and lactating women.

* Safe dose: 1 g per day.

5. E951 (Aspartame)

Sweetener for diabetics. It is chemically insensitive: when the temperature rises, it decomposes into methanol and phenylalanine. Methanol (methyl alcohol) is very dangerous: 5-10 ml can lead to loss of the optic nerve and irreversible blindness, 30 ml can lead to death. In warm soda and aspartame is transformed into formaldehyde, which is the strongest carcinogen.

Documented cases of aspartame poisoning: loss of touch, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, palpitation, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, foggy vision, rash, seizures, vision loss, joint pain, depression, spasms, diseases of reproductive organs, hearing loss.

Aspartame can also provoke the following diseases: brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Graves' disease, chronic fatigue, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, diabetes, mental retardation and tuberculosis.

* Safe dose: 3 grams per day.

6. E338 (Orthophosphoric Acid, orthophosphoric acid) - chemical formula: H3 PO4.

Fire and explosive. Irritating to eyes and skin. Application: for the production of phosphate salts of ammonium, sodium, calcium, manganese and aluminum, as well as for organic synthesis, in the production of activated carbon and film, for the production of refractories, refractory binders, ceramics, glass, fertilizers, synthetic detergents, in medicine, metalworking for cleaning and polishing metals, textile for the production of fabrics with flame retardant impregnation, oil, match industry.

Food orthophosphoric acid is used in the production of carbonated water and for the production of salts (powders for making cookies). Prevents the absorption of calcium and iron in the body, which can lead to a weakening of bone tissue, osteoporosis. Other side effects: thirst, rash on the skin.

7. E330 (Citric Acid, citric acid) - colorless crystals.

It is widely distributed in nature. Get citric acid from tobacco and fermentation of carbohydrates (sugar, molasses). Applied in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Citric acid salts (citrates) are used in the food industry, as acids, preservatives, stabilizers, in medicine - for canning blood.

8. Aromas - it is not known which aromatic additives

9. E211 (Sodium Benzoate, sodium benzoate)

Expectorant, food preservative. Benzoic acid (E210), sodium benzoate (E211) and potassium benzoate (E212) are introduced into certain foods, as a bactericidal and antifungal agent. Such products include jams, fruit juices, marinades and fruit yoghurts. It is not recommended to use asthmatics and people who are sensitive to aspirin.

In a recent study conducted by Professor in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology from Sheffield University (England) Peter Piper, found that this compound causes significant damage to DNA.

According to Piper, sodium benzoate, an active component of preservatives used in most carbonated beverages, does not destroy parts of DNA, but deactivates them. This can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases, for example, Parkinson's disease.

Composition and Formulation

The components of the "classic" version of "Coca-Cola" are:

  • purified carbonated water;
  • sugar;
  • natural dye caramel;
  • acidity regulator; orthophosphoric acid;
  • natural flavors;
  • caffeine.

The nutritional value

Nutritional information (per 100 ml)
Caloric value 42 kcal
Proteins 0
Fats 0
Carbohydrates 10.6 g
Sodium <11.0 mg
Potassium 1.0 mg
Calcium 4.0 mg
Magnesium 1.0 mg
Phosphorus about 17 mg

According to the manufacturer, at the end of 2016, 1.96 liters of water was needed to prepare 1 liter of Coca-Cola.

The exact composition of natural spices "Coca-Cola" (besides the ingredients mentioned above) is a trade secret. The original copy of the composition is stored in the main depository of SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. His predecessor, Trust Company, was the insurer of the IPO The Coca-Cola Company in 1919.

A popular myth says that only two leaders can have access to the composition, while everyone can have access to only half of the information. The truth is that although Coca-Cola has a rule that restricts access to only two leaders, each of them knows the whole composition, and the other, in addition to the established two, knew the manufacturing process.


  • A colorless version of Coca-Cola was produced specifically for the Soviet Marshal GK Zhukov.
  • The huge sign of Coca-Cola, located above the Pavilion of Coca-Cola World in Atlanta, consists of 1407 ordinary bulbs and 1906 "running" neon lamps. The height of the sign is 9 m, width - 8 m, weight - 12.5 t.
  • Coca-Cola is the longest sponsor of the Olympic Games. The cooperation of Coca-Cola with the Olympic movement began in 1928.
  • Drawing Santa Claus for The Coca-Cola Company in 1931, the Swedish artist Haddon Sandblom portrayed him as not a vivacious old elf, as was usual, but a cheerful old man with ruddy cheeks and a thick white beard. Over the years, Santa Sandblom became a well-known and beloved personification of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
  • The largest sign of Coca-Cola is located in the Chilean city of Arica. It is laid out on the top of a hill of 70 thousand bottles of "Coca-Cola", its dimensions - 122 × 40 m.
  • The first outdoor billboard "Coca-Cola", drawn in 1904, is still in its place in the town of Cartersville, Georgia.
  • The pH of Coca-Cola is 3.0 ± 0.3.
  • In 2011, the National Geographic channel showed the plant, its work and the secret of making the Coca-Cola drink.
  • In 1989, Coca-Cola was the first foreign company to advertise its brand on Pushkin Square in Moscow.
  • In 2015 in the Vologda region came into force a regional law that prohibits the sale of tonic beverages. Among the beverages sold from the age of 18 on presentation of the passport, Coca-Cola got into the list, and cocoa was also on the list.
  • For the preparation of Coca-Cola, the company annually spends about 200 billion liters of water.
  • Coca-Cola marketers say that the very word "Coca-Cola" is considered the second most popular and recognizable among the world's inhabitants. The first position stably holds the word "okay."
  • The largest amount of Coca-Cola is consumed in Iceland and Mexico.

Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt in Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1833)

Coca Cola под микроскопом

One of the first written mentions of cochineal is found in the writings of Armenian historians. Thus, Movses Khorenatsi (5th century AD) writes: "There are mountains and fields in Ayrarat, and abundance of all, and the lake of Gailot, and a worm from the root of the seza for adornment in red." Lazar Parpetsi (5th century AD) also mentions the cochineal in his History: "It is not without benefit that the desired plain of Ayrarat produces the roots of reed plants, does not in vain raise worms for them to decorate in red, giving their amateurs profit for profit and luxury. " Numerous evidences of medieval historians, in particular the Arabs about cochineal, are also preserved, but here it does not seem advisable to quote them all.

In modern scientific literature, as a new species, Cochineal was described by F. F. Brandt in 1833. Brandt named the species in honor of Gamel. Therefore, the name of the species in Latin is written like this - Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt, 1833), although according to the nomenclatural commandments the correct version should be written like this - Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt in Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1833).

It all started with the fact that the archimandrite of the Etchmiadzin Monastery Isaac Ter-Grigoryan (also Saak Tsakhkarar) passed Baron GV Rosen (who by the way named one of the most beautiful spruce forests of Armenia) to the commander of Georgia, Caucasus and Transcaucasia, some cochineal. Rosen sent cochineal to St. Petersburg, to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, where it was studied by academician I. Kh. Hamel. Here, I will digress a bit and recall an interesting detail of the biography of Academician Gamel. When in 1853 he was seconded to the United States, he was given a receipt to "not dare to eat human meat in America" :) ) What is the reason for such a stupid prescription is not clear ... Let's move on to the cochineal. Gamel does a great job of identifying historical information, conducts linguistic analysis, collects data on the biology and distribution of cochineal, and in 1833 sends to the Academy of Sciences his work "On the Ararat Cochineal." Work by the way is very interesting and its relevance is preserved until now. The article was in German, and in 1835 a Russian version was published. Both articles can be downloaded at the end of the post. At the bottom of the scan is a Russian version of the article by Gamel. We see the first scientific image of cochineal, a very decent quality by the way.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Once again, I'll digress a little and bring the cochineal figure from Alishan's book (1890) to Ayrarat. The figure is signed as vordan karmir, i.e. Ararat cochineal, but in fact there is a different kind of cochineal here, probably a Mexican cochineal (Coccus cacti) from a completely different kind. It is clear that in the distant 1890 that Alishan in distant Venice had no opportunity to get acquainted with our cochinea :)


Ararat cochineal is a part of the family of Gigantic and carmine-bearing chervens, or margarodidae, superfamilies of cauliflowers and scabs (Coccoidea), suborder of the Sternorrhyncha, the order of the Homoptera. The composition of the family by different authors includes from 10 to 70 genera. The genus Porphyrophora contains again from 30 to 50 species for different authors. In Armenia, there are three representatives of the genus - Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt), Porphyrophora tritici (Bodenheimer) and Porphyrophora monticola (Borchsenius). It is worth noting that the genus, and the whole family in Armenia, has not been studied. In Soviet times, more or less detailed studies were carried out on the Armenian cochineal, but by genus or family as a whole, especially during the years of independence, no large-scale studies have been conducted.


The Armenian cochineal is common in Armenia and adjacent areas of Turkey and Iran. In Armenia, it is distributed mainly in the Ararat valley, a focal point and very scattered. It can be found only in solonchaks with a specific chemical composition, at altitudes of 800-900 meters above sea level. Below is a typical solonchak where the Armenian cochineal dwells.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

The fodder plant for the cochineal is two plants from the family of cereals - coastal (Aeluropus littoralis) and reed (Phragmites australis). I really have not yet seen cochineal on reeds, but if many authors claim this, I will not argue. There is also an indication that cochineal occurs on bluegrass (Poa sp.), But it is quite possible that the indication is untested and unreliable.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Coastal plants close-up - Aeluropus littoralis

It is noteworthy that in all parts of the insects there is a pigment reddish-red color of Carminic acid (formula C22H20O13) from which the Carmine dye is obtained. There is an assumption that carmine is produced by cochineal as a protective or deterrent, but the presence of many enemies of the cochineal cause a little doubt in the plausibility of this assumption.

The color of the cochineal is certainly unique, it is a pity that the photos can not fully convey this particular color of carmine color.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Most likely the color is due to the generic name of the name Porphyrophora, which means porphyritic, i.e. giving a purple color. But it is possible that Brandt chose the generic name as a synonym for the royal, another meaning of the word porphyry. For me, this tsar's insect certainly deserves such an epithet. Because of its unique color, carmine has been valued in ancient times. It was used for painting carpets, cloth, for making drawing paints. Now it is used as a food color. There is also information about the medical use of carmine. It is interesting that in the natural population very rarely (frequency 1: 100000) there are absolutely white individuals-albinos (source: Mkrtchyan LP, Sarkisov RN (1985)).

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (female)

Morphology and life cycle

Ararat cochineal is characterized by a pronounced sexual dimorphism. In addition, insects pass through several stages before they turn into adult individuals and in the initial stages males and females are similar. There is an assumption that females are a kind of neotenic form, i.e. in the course of evolution they are as if "frozen" in the larval stage.

Almost all his life cochineal conducts underground. Only in the autumn after the insects have passed into the adult stage, they come out from under the soil for only one day to reproduce. After fertilization, the males die in a few hours, and the females again burrow into the soil and lay eggs, and within a few days after laying eggs also die. Unfertilized females also burrow into the ground, but come out in the following days for attempts of fertilization. For cochineal is characteristic of both bisexual and parthenogenetic development, that is, unfertilized females can also lay eggs, from which only females will hatch. I note that the diploid set of females is 14, and the males are 13 chromosomes. The mechanism of sexual differentiation XX-X0.

Eggs of Armenian cochineal are elongated-oval, dark red, 0.4-0.7 mm long, 0.2-0.3 mm wide. Located inside the egg-like cotton-like bag. On average, one bag contains about 500 eggs.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (ovorum saccum)

In the spring, in the end of April or beginning of May, larvae of the 1st stage or strolls come out from the eggs, which are selected on the surface, they search for the forage plant and attach to its rhizome. Their body is elongated, anteriorly narrowed, behind it widely rounded, dark red, 0.2-0.8 mm long and 0.2 mm wide. Segmentation is more or less clearly expressed. Eyes simple, large, oval, located between the coxae of the front legs. Antennae six-segmented. From the end of the abdomen a pair of long setae leaves. Attached larvae begin to grow and change shape from elongate-oval to pear-shaped. The changed larvae are called larvae of the second stage. Their body is narrowed from the front, and greatly widening toward the rear, which gives the larva a pear-shaped shape. The length of larvae of the second age is 0.7-1.2 mm, width 0.3-0.8 mm. Eyes simple, round, located along the sides of the first antennal segment. Antennae six-segmented. In the pear-shaped larva, the cephalothorax and all parts of the abdomen are fused together; The body is not segmented, than it differs from the larva of the 1st stage. Photos of the larvae of these stages I have not yet.

By the end of May, molting of the larvae begins, as a result of which they lose limbs and tendrils and begin to be encysted.

The third stage larva has an incised, broad-oval body, 1-3 mm in length and 1-2 mm in width. Eyes are simple. Antennae and legs absent.

Cyst aggregations are clearly visible in the form of tuberculate growths on the roots of the host plant.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

The larva of the 4th stage female is also incised, similar to the larva of the 3rd stage, only larger. Body elongate-spherical, length 3-7 mm, width 3-5 mm. A photograph of the encysted larva of a female.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

At the end of August and beginning of September, the exit of mobile larvae of males starts from the part of the cysts.

The male larva of the fourth stage has a size of 2-5 mm in length and 1-3 mm in width. The body is segmented, the covers are elastic. Eyes are simple. Antennae 11-12 segments. As can be seen from the description, the larva of the fourth stage male differs sharply from the larva of the female of the same stage, but almost does not differ from the adult female. The main difference between the male larva and the adult female is smaller and flatter, elongated, the body shape of the male larva tapering to the rear. Such are the interesting nuances of biology.

A few days later, the mobile larvae of males again burrow into the soil and form a nymph.

The nymph of the male has an elongated, clearly segmented body with a formed head, chest and abdomen, there are rudiments of wings, limbs and copulatory apparatus. During the period of the mobile larval phase of the male, the larvae of females remain in the same incipient state, continuing nutrition and growth. In the first half of September, the emergence of adult insects that have completed their development begins on the surface of the soil. Insects appear along with the first rays of the sun.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

Adult females are oval, wingless, inactive, dark-cherry-colored insects. Their body is segmented, and does not have a clear differentiation on the head, chest and abdomen (which is typical for most insects), the covers are elastic. The oral apparatus is reduced, i.e., they do not feed in the adult state. Eyes of females simple, convex. Antennae 11-12 segments. Body length from 2 to 12 mm, width 1-6 mm. On average, one female weighs 27 mg.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (female), ventral and dorsal view

The front pair of legs is of a digging type. Claws are needed for burial in the soil.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Adult males are similar to small flies with a body length of 2-4 mm and a width of 0.5-1 mm, very mobile. Weight on average 2 mg. They have one pair of transparent wings and well-developed legs. The wings have a purple border along the leading edge. The oral apparatus is underdeveloped, they do not have a proboscis, therefore, they do not feed in the adult state, and therefore the duration of their life is limited to several hours. Eyes large, faceted. Antennae 13-segmented. From the penultimate segment of the abdomen departs a bunch of white wax threads.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (male)

As already said, adult insects come to the surface of the soil early in the morning and by noon all the females bury themselves back into the soil. After entering the surface, females take a characteristic posture with the front and back ends of the body tightened under themselves and a curved back. Having found out the female the male settles down at a back edge of its back. After this, the female straightens and begins to crawl. Insemination occurs during the movement.

Copulation video

Intriguing photos of copulation

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (in copula)
Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (in copula)

After insemination the male leaves in search of another female, and the abandoned female begins to burrow into the soil.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

After burying in the soil, the female forms an egg sac in which it lays eggs and dies.

Egg sack of cochineal.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (ovorum saccum)

So the phase of development of cochineal is completed and so it repeats from year to year.

Natural enemies of cochineal

In addition to man, the enemies of the cochineal are mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae), beetles (Nephus bipunctatus, Lithophilus bipustulatus, Sepedophilus bipustulatus), ants (Tapinoma erraticum, Messor sp., Pheidole pallidula) and birds (common starling, crested lark).

In the photos below, we clearly see one of his main enemies - ants.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Coca Cola под микроскопом


In the latest edition of the Red Book of Armenia and IUCN, cochineal is registered with the status of CR, that is, the species is in critical condition. For the protection of the cochineal, in the Soviet era, two reserves were created, designed to protect the cootchains habitats.

Most information on cochineal is taken from the book Mkrtchyan LP, Sarkisov RN (1985) Biology and reproduction of the ararat cochineal. Er .: Ed. AN Arm. SSR and articles Ter-Grigoryan MA (1976) Morphology of the ararat cochineal Porphyrophora hamelii. In the journal. Biological Journal of Armenia, vol. XXIX, 3.

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