Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The hipster illusion in Mexican Coke

I’m a big fan of Mexican Coke. I can bore you silly talking about the elegant slender glass bottle, and the simple sweet taste of real sugar (Mexican Coke is made with sucrose, not high-fructose corn syrup) and the slightly lower levels of carbonation. It’s a delicious drink, far less harsh and cloying that its American equivalent. (And did I mention the glass bottle? And the cool “Hecho in Mexico” sticker?)

But here’s the rub: Mexican Coke appears to be a cognitive illusion. Marion Nestle summarizes a recent study in Obesity:
You know how everyone thinks Mexican Coca-Cola is so much more delicious than American Coke because it is made with table sugar (sucrose), not HFCS? Oops again. The investigators could not find any sucrose in the Coke, but did find plenty of glucose and fructose. This suggests that Mexican Coke is also made with HFCS (or it could also mean that the sucrose had been split into its constituent glucose and fructose).
--Jonah Lehrer, Wired, on false HFCS sanctimony

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