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Protein-Based Testing Can Verify Natural Flavor Claims Of High-Priced Cola Beverages

April 1, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Italian scientists report that they have developed a way to tell if premium-priced cola drinks that claim to be made with natural ingredients really do contain natural flavorings. The new method involves testing for the presence of proteins derived from plant extracts and, according to the researchers, is very accurate. For their study, they detected plant proteins in a drink claiming to have "organic agave syrup and cola nut extracts." Coca Cola products, which do not claim to include cola extract, had no protein. The scientists say the method they developed "gives a certificate of authenticity" to beverage claims and their findings suggest “the possibility of certifying whether soft drinks … are indeed made with vegetable extracts or only with artificial chemical flavoring.”
Alfonsina D’Amato, et al., "Going Nuts for Nuts? The Trace Proteome of a Cola Drink, as Detected via Combinatorial Peptide Ligand Libraries", Journal of Proteome Research, April 01, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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