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

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola) is a carbonated soft drink 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 people all over the world have ever heard of the Coca-Cola brand.

In 2006, in Turkey, for the first time in the world, Coca-Cola started a trial against the composition of the drink. The label usually says that Coca-Cola contains sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, caramel, carbonic acid, and a kind of "extract." This extract aroused suspicion. And the Coca-Cola company was forced to reveal the secret of what a coke is actually made of. It turned out to be a liquid derived from the insect Cochineal (Cochineal).

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Cochineal is an insect that lives in the Canary Islands and in Mexico. This insect sticks to the plant with its proboscis, sucks the sap and never moves. For the insect cochineal prepare special fields. These insects in the field are collected by villagers ...

From the females and eggs of these insects, they remove a pigment called carmine, which coke stains brown. Dried kind of cochineal looks like raisins, but in reality it is an insect!

Now you know what the word "Coca" means in the name of the drink. And now I will tell you what lies behind the word "Cola". To do this, I will tell you the story of an employee who worked for 23 years at a Coca-Cola factory.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

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

Therefore, ice 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 dark shade, it is not noticeable that it also contains the blood and gastric fluid of the mice. Of course, the giant companies that produce cola are trying to neutralize harmful substances with chemicals.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

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

Then judge for yourself.

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

It also turned out that alcohol included in soda: this is the basis of the very secret additive "7 X". In alcohol, add a few drops of aromatic oils, coriander and cinnamon.

And insect cochineal liquid - carmine has not been certified at all, therefore, in some countries they do not produce cola at all.

How does the body react to the coke?

Coca Cola под микроскопом

After 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 inhibits the action of sugar.

In 20 minutes

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

In 40 minutes

Caffeine absorption 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, speeding up the metabolism. Increases calcium excretion through urine.

More than an hour

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

More than an hour and a half

You become irritable or lethargic. All water contained in the Coca-Cola is excreted through the urine. The active ingredient in Coca-Cola is orthophosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. For the transportation of 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 gas. 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 200 times the sweetness of sugar, is used as an artificial sweetener. It has been banned for use in human food, as it is a carcinogen causing cancer.

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

In 1975, banned in Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Prohibited for use in the beverage industry in Indonesia. In 1979, the World Health Organization rehabilitated cyclamates, recognizing them to be harmless.

* Safe dose: 0.8 g per day.

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

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

4. E950 (Acesulfame Potassium, Acesulfame Potassium)

200 times sweeter than sucrose. It contains methyl ester, which impairs the cardiovascular system, and asparogenic acid, which has a stimulating effect on the nervous system and can, over time, be addictive. Acesulfame 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. Chemically unstable: with increasing temperature decomposes to methanol and phenylalanine. Methanol (methyl alcohol) is very dangerous: 5-10 ml can lead to the death 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, heart palpitations, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, blurred vision, rash, seizures, loss of vision, joint pain, depression, cramps, diseases of the genital organs, hearing loss.

Also, aspartame can provoke the following diseases: a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, basil disease, chronic fatigue, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, mental retardation and tuberculosis.

* Safe dose: 3 g per day.

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

Fire and explosion hazard. 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 making fabrics with flame retardant impregnation, oil, match industry.

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

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

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

8. Aromas - it is not known what flavorings

9. E211 (Sodium Benzoate, sodium benzoate)

Expectorant, food preservative. Benzoic acid (Е210), sodium benzoate (Е211) and potassium benzoate (Е212) are introduced into some food products, as a bactericidal and antifungal agent. These include jams, fruit juices, pickles, and fruit yogurts. It is not recommended to use asthmatics and people who are sensitive to aspirin.

In a recent study conducted by Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield, England, found that this compound causes significant DNA damage.

According to Piper, sodium benzoate, an active ingredient in preservatives used in most carbonated beverages, does not destroy portions of DNA, but deactivates them. This can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases, such as 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 value (per 100 ml)
Calorie content 42 kcal
Squirrels 0
Fat 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, to prepare 1 liter of Coca-Cola, 1.96 liters of water was needed.

The exact composition of Coca-Cola natural spices (in addition to the ingredients listed above) is a trade secret. The original copy of the composition is stored in the main vault of the SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. Its predecessor, Trust Company, was the insurer of The Coca-Cola Company’s IPO in 1919.

A popular myth is that only two managers can have access to the composition, and 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 managers, each of them knows the entire composition, and the other, in addition to the established two, was aware of the manufacturing process.


  • The colorless version of Coca-Cola was produced specifically for the Soviet Marshal G. K. Zhukov.
  • The huge Coca-Cola sign, located above the World of Coca-Cola pavilion in Atlanta, consists of 1407 ordinary light bulbs and 1906 “linear” neon lamps. The height of the mark is 9 m, the width is 8 m, and the weight is 12.5 tons.
  • Coca-Cola is the longest-running sponsor of the Olympic Games. Coca-Cola’s collaboration with the Olympic movement began in 1928.
  • Drawing Santa Claus for The Coca-Cola Company in 1931, a Swedish-born artist, Haddon Sandblom, portrayed him not as a cheerful old elf, as it was then accepted, but as a cheerful old man with rosy cheeks and a thick white beard. Years later, Santa Sandbloma became the 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. He laid out on top of a hill of 70 thousand bottles of "Coca-Cola", its dimensions - 122 × 40 m.
  • The first Coca-Cola outdoor billboard, drawn in 1904, is still in place in the town of Cartersville (Georgia).
  • The pH of Coca-Cola is 3.0 ± 0.3.
  • In 2011, National Geographic showed the plant, its work and the secret of making the Coca-Cola beverage.
  • In 1989, Coca-Cola was the first foreign company to advertise its brand on Pushkin Square in Moscow.
  • In 2015, a regional law came into force in the Vologda Oblast, prohibiting the sale of soft drinks. Coca-Cola hit the list of beverages sold from the age of 18 upon presentation of a passport, and cocoa was also on the list.
  • The company spends about 200 billion liters of water annually to make Coca-Cola.
  • Coca-Cola marketers claim that the very word “Coca-Cola” is considered the second in the world in popularity and recognition among the inhabitants of the planet. The first position consistently takes the word "OK".
  • The greatest amount of "Coca-Cola" is used in Iceland and Mexico.

Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt in Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1833)

Coca Cola под микроскопом

One of the first written references to cochineal we find in the writings of Armenian historians. Thus, Movses Khorenatsi (V in. AD) writes: "Ararat has mountains and fields, and an abundance of everything, and Lake Gylotskoe and a worm from the root of sesa for decoration in red." Lazar Parpetsi (5th century AD) also mentions cochineal in his History: "The desired Ararat canal also produces roots of reed plants not without use, it does not need to grow worms on them for decoration in red, giving them to lovers of profit for profit and luxury. " Numerous testimonies of medieval historians, in particular Arab ones, about cochineal, have also been preserved, but it does not seem appropriate to quote them all.

In modern scientific literature, cochineal was described by FF Brandt in 1833 as a new species. Brandt named the species in honor of Hamel. Therefore, the name of the species in Latin is written like this - Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt, 1833), although according to the nomenklatura 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 Echmiadzin monastery, Isaac Ter-Grigoryan (aka Sahak Tsakhkarar) handed over to the chief governor of Georgia, the Caucasus and Transcaucasian regions baron G.V. Rosen (by the way, one of the most beautiful forests of Armenia was named) some cochineal. Rosen sent cochineal to Petersburg, to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, where Academician I. Kh. Hamel began to study it. Here I will digress a little and remind about an interesting detail of the biography of Academician Hamel. When in 1853 he was seconded to the United States, they took a receipt from him in order “not to dare to eat human meat in America” :) ) What is the reason for such a stupid prescription is not clear ... Let's turn to cochineal. Hamel does a great job of identifying historical information, conducts linguistic analysis, collects data on the biology and distribution of cochineal and in 1833 sends his work "On Ararat province cochineal" to the Academy of Sciences. The work by the way is very interesting and its relevance still remains. The article was in German, and in 1835 a Russian version was published. Both articles can be downloaded at the end of the post. Below is a scan from the Russian version of Hamel's article. We see the first scientific image of cochineal, very decent quality by the way.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Once again, I’ll distract myself a little and give a drawing of the cochineal from the book of Alishan (1890) Ayrarat. The picture is signed as Vordan Karmir, i.e. Ararat cochineal, but in fact there is a different kind of cochineal here, most likely it is Mexican cochineal (Coccus cacti) from a completely different kind. It is clear that back in 1890 that Alishan in distant Venice had no opportunity to get acquainted with our cochineal :)


The Ararat cochineal is a member of the family of Giant and carmine-bearing worms, or margarodids (Margarodidae), the superfamily of worms and shield insects (Coccoidea), a suborder of the Big-Rumped (Sternorrhyncha), and the Order of the Homoptera. The family for different authors includes from 10 to 70 genera. The genus Porphyrophora contains, again, for various authors from 30 to 50 species. There are three representatives of the genus in Armenia - Porphyrophora hamelii (Brandt), Porphyrophora tritici (Bodenheimer) and Porphyrophora monticola (Borchsenius). It is worth noting that the clan, and the family with the whole in Armenia is almost not studied. In Soviet times, more or less detailed studies were conducted on Armenian koshenili, but by the genus or family as a whole, especially in the years of independence, no large-scale studies were conducted.


Armenian cochineal is distributed on the territory of Armenia and adjacent areas of Turkey and Iran. In Armenia, it is distributed mainly in the Ararat Valley, focal and very fragmented. It can only be found on salt marshes with a specific chemical composition, at altitudes of 800–900 meters above sea level. m. At the bottom of a typical salt marsh, where the Armenian cochineal dwells.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

The forage plant for cochineal is two plants from the family of cereals - the riparian (Aeluropus littoralis) and the reed (Phragmites australis). I really have not seen cochineal on cane, but if many authors claim it, then I will not argue. There is also an indication that cochineal is found on bluegrass (Poa sp.), But it is quite possible that the indication is unverified and unreliable.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Coastal plant close up - Aeluropus littoralis

Noteworthy is the fact that in all parts of insects the pigment is of reddish-colored Carminic acid (formula C22H20O13), from which the dye Carmine is obtained. There is an assumption that carmine is produced by the cochleena as a protective or scaring agent, but the presence of many enemies of cochineal cause a little doubt in the plausibility of this assumption.

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

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Most likely the color is due to the generic name of the name Porphyrophora, which means porphyronous, 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 porphyron-bearing. For me, this royal insect certainly deserves such an epithet. Because of its unique color, carmine was valued dearly in ancient times. It was used for painting carpets, cloth, for the manufacture of drawing paints. Now it is used as a food dye. There is information about the medical use of carmine. It is interesting that absolutely white albino specimens are found very rarely in the natural population (frequency 1: 100,000) (source: Mkrtchyan L. P., Sarkisov R. N. (1985)).

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (female)

Morphology and life cycle

The Ararat cochineal is characterized by pronounced sexual dimorphism. In addition, insects pass through several stages before they become adults and in the initial stages males and females are similar to each other. There is an assumption that females are a kind of neotenic form, i.e. during evolution they seem to be "frozen" in the larval stage.

Cochineal spends almost all its life underground. Only in the fall after the insects have passed into the adult stage, they leave the soil for just one day to reproduce. After fertilization, the males die in a few hours, and the females burrow into the soil and lay eggs again, and in a few days after the laying of eggs, they also die. Unfertilized females also burrow into the ground, but come out in the following days for fertilization attempts. Both bisexual and parthenogenetic development is characteristic of cochineal, i.e. unfertilized females can also lay eggs, from which only females will hatch later. I note that the diploid set of females is 14, and the males have 13 chromosomes. The mechanism of sexual differentiation XX-X0.

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

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (ovorum saccum)

In the spring, at the end of April and the beginning of May, larvae of the 1st stage, or vagabonds, come to the surface, search for the food plant and attach to its rhizome. Their body is elongated, narrowed anteriorly, widely rounded at the back, dark red, 0.2–0.8 mm in length and 0.2 mm in width. Segmentation is more or less clearly expressed. The eyes are simple, large, oval, located between the basins of the front legs. Antennae 6-segmented. A pair of long setae departs from the abdomen end. Attached larvae begin to grow and change shape from elongated-oval to pear-shaped. The changed larvae are called 2nd stage larvae. Their body is narrowed in front, and greatly expanding towards the rear, which gives the larva a pear shape. The length of the larvae of the 2nd age from 0.7-1.2 mm, width 0.3-0.8 mm. The eyes are simple, rounded, located on the sides of the first segment of the antennae. Antennae 6-segmented. In the pear-shaped larva, the cephalothorax and all parts of the abdomen are fused together, i.e. the body is not segmented, which is how it differs from the 1st stage larva. I still have no photos of the larvae of these stages.

By the end of May, the molting of the larvae begins, as a result of which they lose their limbs and antennae and begin to encyster.

The 3rd stage larva has an encystosed, broadly oval body, 1-3 mm long and 1-2 mm wide. Eyes are simple. Antennae and legs absent.

Cysts accumulations are clearly visible in the form of lumpy growths on the roots of the host plant.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

The larva of the fourth stage female is also encysted, similar to the third stage larva, only larger. The body is elongate-spherical, length 3-7 mm, width 3-5 mm. Photo of an inseminated female larva.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

In late August and early September, part of the cysts begins to exit the moving larvae of males.

The larva of the male of the 4th stage has a size of 2-5 mm in length and 1-3 mm in width. The body is segmented, covers are elastic. Eyes are simple. Antennae 11-12 segmented. As can be seen from the description, the larva of the male of the 4th stage differs sharply from that of the female of the same stage, but hardly differs from the adult female. The main difference between the male larvae and the adult female is smaller and flatter, elongated, and narrowing to the rear of the male larva body. Such are the interesting nuances of biology.

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

The male nymph has an elongated, clearly segmented body with a decorated head, chest and abdomen, there are rudiments of wings, limbs and copulative apparatus. During the period of the movable larva phase of the male, the larvae of the females remain in their formerly cystic state, continuing to feed and grow. In the first half of September, the beginning of the development of adult insects on the soil surface. Insects appear along with the first rays of the sun.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (larval cysta)

Adult females are oval, wingless, slow-moving, 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. The eyes of the females are simple, convex. Antennae 11-12 segmented. 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

Front pair of digging feet. Claws are needed for digging into the soil.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

Adult males are like 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 front edge. The oral apparatus is underdeveloped, they have no proboscis, therefore they don’t eat as adults, therefore their life span is limited to a few hours. The eyes are large, faceted. Antennae 13-segmented. From the penultimate segment of the abdomen there is a bundle 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 burrow back into the soil. After reaching the surface, females take on a characteristic posture with anterior and posterior ends of the body tightened under them and a curved back. Having found the female, the male is located at the rear edge of its back. After that, the female straightens and begins to crawl. In the process of movement occurs insemination.

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 goes in search of another female, and the left female begins to dig in the soil.

Coca Cola под микроскопом

After digging into the soil, the female forms an egg bag in which she lays eggs and dies.

Egg bag cochineal.

Coca Cola под микроскопом
Porphyrophora hamelii (ovorum saccum)

This concludes the development phase of cochineal and repeats itself from year to year.

Natural enemies cochineals

In addition to humans, the cochleen's enemies are ticks (Tyrophagus putrescentiae), beetles (Nephus bipunctat, aphorus, Lithophilus bipustulatus, Sepedophilus bipustulatus), ants (Tapinoma erraticum, Messor sp., Pheidole pallidula), and birds (Common ants of eucalyptus), and ants (Brahma spine), and ants (Brahma spine).

In the photos below, we clearly see one of his main enemies, the 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 CR status, that is, the species is in critical condition. Back in Soviet times, two reserves were created to protect cochineal, designed to protect the cochineal habitats.

Most of the information about cochineal is taken from the book of L. Mkrtchyan, R. Sarkisov (1985) Biology and reproduction of Ararat cochineal. Er .: Izd. AN Arm. SSR and articles Ter-Grigoryan, MA (1976). Morphology of Ararat cohenenil Porphyrophora hamelii. In Jour. Biological Journal of Armenia, vol. XXIX, 3.

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