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Why Coke In A Bottle May Taste Better

Coca-Cola Bottle Top
Amy Sussman, Getty Images for The Coca Cola Company

Does Coke in a bottle really taste better?  Even though Coca-Cola claims “no”, there is proof why it might.

On the KTDY morning show today, we talked about Coke and how most people agree, it simply tastes better from a real bottle.  But Coca-Cola’s spokespeople say, “It doesn’t.   The particular way that people choose to enjoy their Coke can affect their perception of taste.”

But experts believe consumers may just be on to something.  It seems possible that the subtle variation in taste that some notice among aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles is more than just a psychological effect of their soda-consumption rituals?

Given that the formula is always the same, yes, according to Sara Risch, a food chemist and member of the Institute of Food Technologists. “While packaging and food companies work to prevent any interactions, they can occur,” she says. For example, the polymer that lines aluminum cans might absorb small amounts of soluble flavor from the soda. Conversely, acetaldehyde in plastic bottles might migrate into the soda. The FDA regulates this kind of potential chemical contact, but even minute, allowable amounts could alter flavor.

Risch advises Coke lovers to drink the product from a glass bottle for unaltered taste.  Keeping in mind that even though Coca-Cola maintains strict uniformity in processes in all of its worldwide bottling facilities, exposure to light and how long it sits on the shelf may affect taste.


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