And the cola wars continue. There are two differences between Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The syrups they are made from are different. Firstly, Diet Coke with aspartame was launched using a completely different recipe for the syrup than that used in regular Coke. This new recipe, without the aspartame was used to launch the widely unpopular New Coke. Coke Zero is made using the original Coke recipe. I included a link to a Canadian study that was done to evaluate the health claims about aspartame. I am not entirely convinced by reading the site as I have heard so much evidence to the contrary. Click the links to read both sides of the story. Let it not be said that I don’t offer both sides of a story. The new syrup was much sweeter than the original and may have been introduced to win market share from Pepsi.
Secondly, Diet Coke uses Aspartame as its artificial sweetener. Coke Zero uses acesulfame potassium (ace-k) and aspartame as sweeteners. Again, some claims have been made about the safety of acesulfame potassium. Ace-k allows Coke to cut the amount of aspartame in half.
Coke Zero is purpoted to appeal to a different demographic than Diet Coke; the demographic that doesn’t like to see the word “diet” in products they buy. Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of reading food labels. I hope that people don’t think they are avoiding aspartame (if that is their concern) by drinking Coke Zero.
Here is my little diatribe on Aspartame. There have been hundreds of reports from pilots that have had seizures and tremors that they believe is linked to their consumption of Aspartame in products like soda, gum and artificial sweeteners. There are many, many arguments on both sides, but the conclusion that I have reached for my own family is, “why take the chance?”