Phosphoric acid (E388) is added to Coca-Cola to give it its tangy, slightly tart taste, counteracting the cloying sweetness of sugars or artificial sweeteners. It also has mild anti-microbial properties.
There is some evidence that its consumption, more than two colas a day, can cause kidney disease. A Framlington Osteoporosis study suggests it’s likely cola intake (so Pepsi as well as Coke) is also associated with lower bone mineral density in older women.
Phosphoric acid is the by-product of several industrial processes, including the production of detergents.
[Featured image is by Lorena.]