A can of Coca-Cola


It is a bit of a long process to produce one tin of Coke-Cola.

It starts with the mining of bauxite in Western Australia, on the Murray River.

Then crushed and washed with hot sodium hydroxcide, heated and became eventually became aluminium oxide.

The alumina is dissolved in cryolite, mined in Greenland and turned into pure aluminium.

Them it is loaded on a ship at the port of Bunbary – for sale in Austin.

Then it is rolled flat into aluminium sheets.

Eventually, after several processes, the can that is produced is coated with some seven layers of acrylic paint and varnish and cured by using an ultraviolet lamp.

The outside of the can is decorated.

The inside of the can is painted with a chemical called comestible polymeric to prevent the aluminium in go into the soda.

Coca-Cola is made from a syrup produced by the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia. The main ingredient of the syrup is a sweetener called high-fructose corn syrup – 55% fructose sugar and 42% simple sugar. Quite a process is needed to grind wet corn until it became cornstarch, mixing it with and an enzyme called bacillus, using a second and third enzyme (xylose isomerase) that is derived from a bacterium called streptomyces rubiginosus and then turn some glucose in fructose.

The second ingredient, caramel colouring, that gives Coca-Cola its dark brown colour are four types of caramel colouring, called E150od which is made by heating sugars with sulfite and ammonia to create a bitter brown liquid. Another ingredient is phosphoric acid and through more processes remove arsenic.

Vanilla is a fruit of a Mexican orchid. Cinnamon is needed – a dark bark from a tree in Sri Lanka. Coca leaves from South America after an addictive stimulant, cocaine; then kola nut, a red that grows on a tree in the rain forests in Africa, that gives Coke-Cola is distinctive red colour.

The final ingredient, caffeine, is a stimulating alkaloid derived from the kola nut, coffee beans and other sources.

All this is boiled down to a concentrated and transported to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company factory in Austin – where it is diluted and infused with carbon dioxide.

The top of the can is aluminium too, but thicker, and made from an alloy with more magnesium.

The number of individuals that can make a can of Coca-Cola: Zero.

The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coca-Cola: Zero.

This famously American product is not American at all.

Taken from the book How to fly a horse by Kevin Ashton. I shortened his fuller version somewhat.)

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About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert