Tuesday

Why is Coca-Cola Corrosive?

Hey Guys!!
As I read this report, Bob Peeples, a chemical Engineer, from the environmental Program, answered the question from a student, of why is Coca-cola corrosive?, as he answered:
Coca-Cola®, like any other soda / soft drink, is acidic. This is because a small amount of the carbon dioxide dissolved in soft drinks (to make them effervescent) will react in solution to form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid may clean the rust from a nail, but it would not dissolve a nail in 24 hours. (Try it—a can of Coke® and a nail costs less than a dollar). Many common foods are acidic. That does not mean that they are dangerous. Speciallized cells in the human stomach wall secrete hydrocloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is much stronger than carbonic acid, and will dissolve an iron nail easily. The contents of your stomach are usually at a pH of 2.
Coca-Cola® products range in pH from 2.5 - 4.2. Coca-Cola Classic® is the most acidic at 2.5. Other food liquids that might contain Carbonic acid could include lemon juice, vinegar, salad dressings, and pickle solutions.
We also discovered that the human stomach is pretty capable of regulating its own pH. If things do get out of control, it is not usually the hydrochloric acid itself that is dangerous. Digestive enzymes work best at their optimum pH. One enzyme in particular, pepsin, works a little too well if the stomach is allowed to approach pepsin's optimum pH of 1.5 - 1.6. Excessive enzyme activity (in effect, digesting the wrong meat) is the real reason that excess stomach acid leads to gastric ulcers—not stomach acid itself.
A curious note found at the end of the article is: Another fun experiment is to drop an unopened can of Diet Coke® and an unopened can of Coca-Cola Classic® in a tank, bowl or bucket of water. Although both cans contain the same amount of liquid, one floats and the other sinks because of the difference in density between sugar and aspartame, the sweetener used in Diet Coke®.
I’ve heard many myths that Coca-Cola is really bad for your stomach. This article covers pretty much this explanation answering the student’s question.Iif you may want to visit the web site, here is the link http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/oct98/909181221.Ch.r.html

Hope you found it interesting!

Nohora C. Duque

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chemistry 1045 said...

Nohora I loved this article. It's so nice to read more in depth about stuff that is directly related to you. Imagine, coke is something that most of us consume almost daily, who would have thought that there is this whole complex explaination behind the make-up of it :-)

chemistry 1045 said...

oh that was me francia by the way
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