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A Disturbing Defense

Every couple of years you seem to get some yahoo who claims to have found something or other in an unopened can of soda. This has happened with Mountain Dew, but what’s disturbing is Pepsi’s defense:

“the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it,” according to theRecord. (It would have become a “jelly-like substance,” according to Pepsi, adds¬†LegalNewsline.)

Follow through to get the link. It’s not all that surprising, really. Mountain Dew contains a lot of citric acid. That’s why the Pepsi guy was quoted as saying “our product is essentially a can of battery acid.” Do the Dew!

If you’re thinking of switching to Coke products, well, Coke contains a lot of phosphoric acid, which is arguably worse for you than citric acid.

14 Responses to “A Disturbing Defense”

  1. Wes says:

    I pour soda on my car battery posts to clean the crud off of them.

    Hmm, now that I think about that, maybe I should stop drinking soda….

    • Robert says:

      That’s less effective than using just straight water. What you want is a base, like baking soda mixed with water, to neutralize the battery acid. Otherwise you’re just adding acid to acid, which doesn’t do you a whole lot of good.

      • HSR47 says:

        He’s not trying to clean acid off them, he’s cleaning the buildup of road grime, grease, soot, rust, and other assorted crud.

  2. Sage Thrasher says:

    Do the Dew! Now with 50% more jelly-like rodent substance than generic brands!

  3. dannytheman says:

    I stopped drinking soda 6 years ago.

  4. Weer'd Beard says:

    Well given that your pour it into your stomach which is filled with hydrochloric acid, and all the studies that say drinking too much soda does anything but make you fat have been proven bogus, it’s all a lot of clap-trap.

    Oh also the carbonation makes carbonic acid in the soda. Its certainly not something you should bathe in, but its perfectly safe to drink.

  5. DirtCrashr says:

    The only serious use for Cola is to mix it with rum. Who eats candy all day?

  6. ThomasD says:

    Why is phosphoric acid worse than citric acid?

    • Sebastian says:

      There have been some studies that have shown it’s not good for bone or kidney health, if you drink too much of it. But there are other studies that have failed to confirm this.

  7. Dankphu says:

    Here’s a fun little fact for you: I was in the USMC working on the CH-53E helicopter between ’97 and ’03. One of our routine maintenance tasks when one of the aircraft’s 3 engines started losing power was to wash it. We would spray a potent cleanser through the turbine to flush out deposits and residue. Let it sit for a while, run up the engine and rinse it out and this stuff usually did the trick. What did we use when the engine wash solution wasn’t effective enough?

    A can of Coca-Cola.

    I know that sounds ridiculous but it worked every time.

    • Harold says:

      Not ridiculous, says this almost a professional chemist. The Coca-Cola almost certainly had different chemistry than the official “potent cleanser” (was that oil solvent based?), e.g. the phosphoric acid. It no doubt dissolved stuff the normal cleaner couldn’t … and I’ll bet it would have been very bad to let an engine coated with Coca-Cola sit around for a long time (corrosion).

      Another example is the use of ethanol and biodiesel: both are mostly non-polar (likes oil) with a polar (likes water) part somewhere. So if you don’t carefully and slowly add these to certain devices you’ll get clogging or worse as they pick up stuff that wasn’t soluble in the entirely non-polar gasoline or diesel they were previously fed with. I.e. I’ve read that if you feed biodiesel to an oil furnace you start slowly so that it only picks up a little bit of crud at a time, until you’ve got the system entirely cleaned out and then it doesn’t matter how much you feed it.

      As for the original question of acids in sodas, I say big deal. The dose makes the poison (are you going to avoid acetic acid, the “active ingredient” in vinegar?) and as noted by Weer’d Beard it all gets dumped into an intensely acid (pH 3) bath of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Don’t let it work on your teeth for very long (probably not an issue unless you have that dry mouth problem, in which case you should drink some water afterwords), follow the general rule of not consuming something this alien to excess and you should be fine.

  8. ravenshrike says:

    Eh, I regularly eat barbeque with sauce that has on not one but two occasions eaten pinholes in thin stainless steel mixing bowls when left overnight in the fridge. Admittedly, this was after years of use for each bowl but still.

  9. joated says:

    Used to show kids in middle school the acidic nature of cola by putting teeth in a cup of the stuff. In less than a week there were no more teeth in those cups.

  10. factchecker says:

    Oranges,lemons,limes,etc have citric acid, so I don’t understand the point that the author or commentators are trying to make here, arguing that dew is bad because of citric acid makes folks look silly, sure its bad for your teeth, but you brush your teeth and use moderation, a teeth does not dissolve overnight in coke.

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