Coca-Cola is willing to ditch 23 million Taiwanese consumers to protect its secret recipe
For fear of revealing its secret recipe, Coca-Cola almost left more than 23 million Taiwanese residents thirsty for the famous soda beverage. Fortunately, Taiwanese officials found a workable solution in the new Food Sanitation Law so that Coke can stay in Taiwan.
It was recently revealed that Taiwan's proposed amendments to its food sanitation law would require food companies to label all food additives used in their products.
“It sounds reasonable, but take Coca-Cola for example, the whole world knows its recipe is still lying somewhere in a safe. If the company abides by the new rule, then it must make its secret public in Taiwan,” said Connie Chang, executive director of the center for economic deregulation and innovation for CEPD (Council of Economic Planning and Development).
Coca-Cola said it would rather leave Taiwan than reveal its recipe.
Luckily for Taiwan's Coke drinkers, Chang said CEPD and MHW (Ministry of Health and Welfare) officials later found an article in the Food Sanitation Law that resolved the sticky problem. Since Coca-Cola's product is a "finished good," it only needs to put the word "flavoring" on its product label without further listing all the flavoring ingredients.
But guess what, This American Life, an American radio program, has already published what it claims is the secret recipe of Coca-Cola found in a newspaper article published in 1979 which contained a photo of the handwritten notes copied from the original recipe from 127 years ago.
Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
Citric acid: 3 oz
Caffeine: 1 oz
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity)
Water: 2.5 gal
Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
Vanilla: 1 oz
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color
The secret 7X flavor (use 2 oz of flavor to 5 gals syrup):
Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops
The This American Life team asked people to taste test the beverage using the recipe it found. It was pretty close, but Coca-Cola refused to respond. "To be clear," the program's producers said, "we are not claiming that we have found the recipe used today for Coca-Cola. We believe we found a recipe that is either the original recipe made by the inventor of Coke, John Pemberton, or a version of Coca-Cola that he made either before or after the product hit the market in 1886."
In other words, we can't be sure if the Coke we drink today is the same as the Coke concocted 127 years ago unless Coca-Cola admits it, and no government has ever been able to make Coca-Cola reveal its secret.