dear chemistry guys: thanks. love, jimmy

Acesulfame K

It’s about time modern chemistry contributed something valuable to our lives. Look, I love soda. I’m aware of how plainly awful the content of refined sugar is for us, but as hard as I’ve tried, I could never drink a diet soda. The horrid aftertaste that was symptomatic of any of the artificial sweeteners was just too much to take. Well, a while back I tried a sip of my fiancé’s Coke Zero. There was still that familiar bite, however it was noticeably less severe. Though not overwhelmed by the drink, I was encouraged by the thought that whatever the Coca Cola company was doing was definitely a step in the right direction. Then I noticed there was a Sprite Zero. I tried it and thought that was a little more like it, as the citrus flavor seemed to lend itself to masking most of the rudeness that had been inherent of the artificial sweeteners. Ok, so now there are two zero-calorie drinks that I not only can stomach, but after drinking them for an extended period, I could actually enjoy because of the fading frame of reference that was their non-diet counterparts. Naturally, I wondered what was going on. The primary sweetener in these drinks, as well as the rest of the diet sodas that I wouldn’t drink to stay alive in the desert was still aspartame, so what gives? Well, a quick glance at the ingredients indicated the presence of an extra component that was included in the recipe of only those soft drinks that I found palatable: Acesulfame Potassium. Ovulation Tests. Armed with this new knowledge, I began looking for anything new and improved with this miraculous agent on the supermarket shelves. I am happy to report that I have discovered a number of other once-cherished brand names that currently offer a pleasantly drinkable counterpart inclusive of Acesulfame K. Among those that I’ve tried are Pepsi One, Diet Mountain Dew and Fanta Zero Orange. Next up on the list are Diet Fresca and Vault Zero. The “thanks but no thanks” award in this category goes to Sierra Mist Free, as not even the inclusion of a drop of dewy-sweet sweat shaken from the hips of Shakira herself would encourage me to ever again imbibe this viciously rank brew…. Not to mention my complete spiritual aversion to their cosmically unfunny ad campaign.

Oh, and contrary to some very near-sighted reports of differing “fact”, I’m down three belt buckle holes since May. True story.

7 thoughts on “dear chemistry guys: thanks. love, jimmy”

  1. Also disturbing: I saw “Diet Sprite Zero” in a vending machine today.

    If it’s already got 0 calories and 0 caffiene, what else are they taking out at this point?

    Or is there no regular “Sprite Zero”? – I tried to look at Coca-Cola’s website and see, but it is just too God-awful to even attempt to navigate. If not, why tag one “Zero” product with “diet” but not the others?

  2. i think the moniker “diet sprite zero” was used during the transition from “diet sprite” to “sprite zero”. i think all the 0 cal products of the coca cola company have aligned under the name “zero”. except of course for their already established and best selling “diet” brand names, which i’m sure they’ll never change after the lesson they learned from the great “New Coke/Coke II/Coke Classic” disaster of the mid 80’s.

    and yes, i agree it is a bit strange that these products contain nothing but water and just enough preservatives and flavor/color ingredients to fool your tongue and keep it fresh on the shelf for years and years. and though there are risks associated with too much sugar, i’m sure there will be a few uncovered in the coming years as a result of ingesting these other ingredients (as there have already been with aspartame and sacchrine). but with the 12 to 24oz at most per day that i drink of the stuff, i’ll gladly accept those risks over the 400 or so completely empty calories that i would be ingesting otherwise.

  3. True fact: I lie awake in bed worring about soda-induced bone resorption. Luckily Coke has funded numerous studies denying this phenomenon.

  4. please can you tell me that why some gases are heavier then air and some are lighter than air?

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