Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Diet Coke Fresh

Line of Preservative Free Beverages Marketed as Perishables
  (+12, -3)(+12, -3)
(+12, -3)
  [vote for,

EVERY carbonated diet soft drink out there seems to contain the preservative sodium benzoate (which may be a carcinogen), leading me to believe that this is somewhat necessary for the shelf life of the product.

The "Diet Fresh" line of soft drinks would come refrigerated, in differently colored/shaped cans. They would be handled like fresh milk or juice (as opposed to the UHT sterilized kind).

A whole new marketing campaign would have to go with this to justify the perishability and the higher price--something like "If Coke grew on trees, this is what it would taste like" (with images of a fictional, orange-like coca cola fruit being picked, sliced, squeezed, served by attractive women, etc).

cowtamer, Dec 28 2009

Health Cola http://www.healthco.../healthful_ing.html
No phosphoric acid, no sodium benzoate. Trade shows in 2007, 2008, then what happened? Not marketed as perishable though. [jutta, Dec 29 2009]

Pepsi Raw http://www.pepsiraw.co.uk/
in the UK; in the US and Mexico, it's "Pepsi Natural" with a slightly different sweetener. [jutta, Dec 29 2009]

Red Bull Simply Cola http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Red_Bull_Cola
Similarly, no artificial preservatives in this one. [jutta, Dec 29 2009]

Fentimans http://www.fentimans.com/range.php
Curiosity Cola [pocmloc, Dec 31 2009]


       since benzoate salts have been exhaustively tested for safety and benzoic acid occurs widely in fresh fruit I doubt that they pose a danger on their own.   

       However it is clear that in the presence of antioxidants (ascorbic acid, bisulfite) benzene can be produced. To put this in perspective It must be considered that this is also possible under many "natural" conditions and that benzene rings are extremely common in plants and animals and hydrocarbon smoke. It's nasty stuff, but you are far more likely to absorb it from diesel smoke than from your soda.
WcW, Dec 28 2009

       Yes, be much more concerned about the artificial sweeteners, aspartame etc.
pocmloc, Dec 28 2009

       //images of a fictional, orange-like coca cola fruit being picked// Coca does grow on trees - and so does the Kola nut - perhaps you could sell "teabags" containing shavings of the original botanicals, and have people freshly brew them up when they fancy a drink - but I think you'd have difficulty getting an export licence.
zen_tom, Dec 28 2009

       Bring back the old fashioned soda fountains at stores and restaurants. I'd be in line for that. They could be places to get your Diet Coke Fresh bottles refilled.   

       Burrrrrrrp: [+]
swimswim, Dec 28 2009

       Part of the solution to this, as some people on here may be aware, is to sell the concentrate rather than the drink per se, because i've had the stuff sitting in the fridge for a couple of years now and it still makes perfectly good cola. Cola gloop takes forever to go off, partly because as the gloop it's a series of rather concentrated ingredients which anything trying to "eat" would have to pull up a very steep osmotic gradient, and partly because so-called Six X consists entirely of essential oils.   

       Like the fruit juice business, the fizzy drink business is an exercise in selling water at an astronomical markup. With both cartons of fruit juice and cola being almost entirely made from water, you're actually buying water with a little bit of concentrate in it. For that reason, i doubt this will ever happen.   

       The other thing is, what about all those branded fridges which can't be stocked with anything but the cans from that manufacturer? Aren't they just going to end up empty and thrown away? There is an angle there though, pursued by Sunny D(elight), which is to pretend your stuff is perishable and colonise non-freebie fridges with it, so there's no room for stock from other manufacturers which really is perishable. So, come to think of it, this is a good idea because it makes you less vulnerable to criticism on those grounds [+].
nineteenthly, Dec 28 2009

       [+] The concept of fresher or healthier soda is much like the concept of healthier cigarettes that advertise their product has lower tar and nicotine. I think it's a horrible idea but this concept would sell really well.
Jscotty, Dec 29 2009

       [+] ship me a bottle... leave out the sugar though.
FlyingToaster, Dec 29 2009

       If you left it, it might become alcoholic after a while.
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2009

       or acetic, or simply very funky tasting, or badly oxidized. Whole point is that benzoate preservatives aren't real bad. If you want a more "natural" preservative you could try sulfates but people can be allergic. You could use lots of anti-oxidant like ascorbic acid or you could have an alcohol content higher than 12%. Shelf stability is one of the "modern miracles" that makes our supermarket economy function.
WcW, Dec 30 2009

       I think it'd go through an alcoholic phase, followed by an acetic one. Ascorbic acid always does something stupid and the sooner we genetically engineer ourselves into synthesising it the better. The remnants of the gene which did it are still in our DNA. Anyway, there's a whole load of choices, including ridiculous quantities of sugar.
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2009

       In case people haven't noticed her bakespersonship, [jutta], has provided some links to this idea that show this idea has already reached the market.
Aristotle, Dec 30 2009

       Yes, i'd noticed.   

       Does anyone else think this could be sprayed on baby wipes?
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2009

       rust removal ?
FlyingToaster, Dec 30 2009

       Funny that, actually i was assuming citric acid rather than phosphoric. Anyway, fair enough.
nineteenthly, Dec 30 2009

       huh, learn something new every day: first time I put "Coke removes rust" and phosphoric-acid together.
FlyingToaster, Dec 30 2009

       Yeah, but i imagine it also makes it very sticky and discolours it at the same time, so you're left with the problem of getting the gunk off.
nineteenthly, Dec 31 2009

       [Pocmloc], that's what my children insist on drinking in preference to my gloop.
nineteenthly, Dec 31 2009

       having tried my hand at home-made soda... I *really* wish they'd make sweetener-free stuff commercially.
(the lemon, lime and grapefruit sodas turned out pretty good at least to my tastes, the cherry, orange, green tea not so much; still working my way up to pine, grape and berry)
FlyingToaster, Dec 31 2009

       They're fine, but i'd like to get the carbonation process better. So far i've just bought fizzy water.
nineteenthly, Dec 31 2009

       I don't think there's any easy way of getting a decent level of carbonation in a totally homemade soft-drink apart from buying premade fizzwater, or investing in a seltzer system... fractional distillation of air perhaps.
FlyingToaster, Dec 31 2009

       Sugar plus wine yeast = fermentation. Once the yeast is alive and working (6-12 hrs?) bottle and seal, and then wait another day or so. The yeast is producing CO2 which is forced into solution under pressure, producing perfect carbonisation. Refrigerate to slow or halt the fermentation. Open carefully and drink! You should get perhaps 1 or 2% alcohol by volume. This is basically the method Fentimans uses. Ideally all the flavourings are in the sugar solution before fermentation, so the yeast action works on the herbs etc. You can control sweetness by adding more or less sugar, as well as by increasing or decreasing the pre-bottling fermentation time. If you use plastic bottles (not still water bottles, they cant take pressure) you can feel the pressure build up and vent or refrigerate to avoid sticky disaster.
pocmloc, Dec 31 2009

       It's great that there are some attempts at this already. Now I want them to do this with *diet* soda, since not all of us can tolerate sugar (no matter how natural).   

       My current alternative is Splenda + sparkling water + lemon juice, which I'm too lazy to make all the time :)
cowtamer, Jan 02 2010

       Ironically, Coke may get wind of your idea and actually run with it, but not for your reasons. It worked out very well for Budweiser.   

       When Bud was marketing the crap out of its "freshness born on date" it didn't take any genius to see immediately what was up. Although the guy who came up with it deserves some sort of marketing Nobel.   

       Bud just realized that with increasing market loss to smaller boutique brewers, they had to press some advantage. But how to do that without appearing to be a bully? Take advantage of your grossly superior supply capability and out "fresh" the competition with bottle dating that they couldn't possibly compete against. Ya gotta love that. Genius. Has zero to do with actual taste or consumability. Everything to do with leveraging your size in the market.   

       What's Coke waiting for with this? I'm astonished that they have not already done this. But with Bud's success, it's no doubt already been floated past their upper management. The response is probably a yawn given the cash they're already rolling in.
outloud, Jan 04 2010

       I doubt that coke would be willing to do that. Beer is a refrigerated product with an expedited supply line. Coke shipped room temperature and dispensed by a multitude of vendors. Their small vendors would scream if people began to refuse an entire order of product on the basis of "freshness". Nope, you want to assure your customers that the product is always perfect at all times forever.
WcW, Jan 04 2010

       market segment: few adults drink Coke regularly (I like the taste but not the sugar and can't stand artificial sweeteners); kids won't be impressed one way or the other by "freshness"
FlyingToaster, Jan 04 2010

       I think there are some ways of carbonating beverages which don't involve factories, one of which is fermentation of course - works with ginger beer. I had a very annoying experience with carbonation last year where i had several different mixtures of carbonates and acids on the go to see which ones worked best. One of them did in fact work really well, but i then realised i hadn't bloody labelled them!   

       I also can't help but think that there's carbon dioxide in spades in the air around us all, and it can't be beyond the wit of humanity to get this to freeze onto something and stick it in some water rather than having to buy dry ice all the time. This room i'm sitting in should contain about thirty grammes of the gas.   

       Maybe combine fermentation with whatever it was i did to carbonate the mystery solution? Ferment it, leave it in the bottle, then add the carbonate-acid mixture. I think it was sodium bicarbonate and citric acid.
nineteenthly, Jan 04 2010

       [outloud], Pepsi has been marking their products with a "best taste if consumed by" freshness date since the early 90s.
tatterdemalion, Jan 04 2010


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