Analysis of saccharin and benzoic acid in regular and diet Cola-flavoured carbonated soft drinks
Chua SL, Teo SS
Carbonated soft drinks, especially Cola soft drinks showed a high consumption trend around the world, regardless of age, race, religion and culture. The usage of food additives plays an important role in the production of beverages to improve the quality, taste and shelf life of food products significantly. Sweeteners and chemical preservatives are some of the leading food additives to be added in soft drinks. For example, saccharin is used as the artificial sweetener and benzoic acid is widely used as preservative for soft drinks. However, the public has raised the controversial use of these food additives in food products since people are consuming soda more frequently. Therefore, the determination of the amounts of saccharin and benzoic acid in soda is essential to protect the wellbeing and safety of consumers. The aim of this study was to quantify the concentrations of saccharin and benzoic acid present in regular Cola and diet Cola that market in Malaysia, thereby assessing the compliance of the amounts of these additives with the limits set by the Malaysia Food Regulations 1985 and the Codex Food Standards. A simple and low cost procedure was applied in this study by using the spectrophotometric method for the saccharin analysis and the titrimetric method for the benzoic acid analysis individually. The results obtained indicated that the analysed regular Cola had mean concentrations of 13.89 ± 4.74 ppm and 226.6 ± 14.1 ppm for saccharin and benzoic acid respectively, whereas the analysed diet Cola had mean concentrations of 31.39 ± 2.10 ppm and 206.8 ± 28.2 ppm for saccharin and benzoic acid correspondingly. In addition, none of the analysed beverage samples was found to violate the maximum permitted levels set by the authorities. Furthermore, the independent t-test showed that there was a significant difference between the means of saccharin contents in regular Cola and diet Cola. Conversely, the independent t-test showed there was no significant difference between the means of benzoic acid contents in regular Cola and diet Cola.