When the new Diet Coke flavours of Coca-Cola hit the stores shelves in mid-January. The serious soda experts notice a new ingredient on the label of the product i.e., acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K.
The artificial sweetener is included in new varieties of Diet Coke’s ginger lime, zesty blood orange, feisty cherry and twisted mango. The Diet Coke will now be sold in skinnier and in a taller can. The coke will be made with aspartame as the only sweetener.
Ace-K, aspartame is a high-intensity sweetener and it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar. A very small amount of Ace-K is equal to the beet sugar. In the 1960s the sweetener was discovered and is often combined with aspartame, mainly in diet sodas.
In 1988 the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Ace-K and it says that more than 90 studies say that it’s safe. Some detractor feels that enough researchers have not been conducted yet on the sweetener. The president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Michael Jacobson said that it’s a sleeper that no one pays attention to. He also said that he doesn’t think if anyone can definitely say it’s safe or dangerous.
Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director said that historically Coca-Cola used aspartame in the Diet Cokes. Aspartame gives a very crisp taste to the soda.
The R&D team found a little bit sour taste in these new flavors that the company decided to target large numbers of consumers. After adding to the Ace-K the sour flavor was a mask over.
Acevedo added that they wanted to make sure that they maintain that crispness.
A mixture of aspartame and Ace-K in Coke Zero Sugar is used in Coca-Cola as it is designed to taste like regular Coke. Acevedo said that the final taste of the products are very different as Ace-K and aspartame are mixed together very differently in the two products.
The relaunch of Diet Coke surrounded by a period of declining sales of the product as consumers increasingly avoiding the artificial sweeteners. Also, consumers are trying to cut back on their sugar intake as per the research firm NPD.
The companies are on the way to find the natural sugar substitute. However, Acevedo doesn’t believe that the adding of Ace-K on the label will be unpleasant to consumers. He said that they are open to the category and this sweetener mix is going to connect with them.