39. Dr. Srross
asked the Minister of Food the measure of the acidity of the mineral drink called Cola, in terms of the hydrogen ion concentration, and assuming that the hydrogen ion concentration of water is pH7; and what other substances these mineral waters contain besides caffeine, phosphoric acid, sugar and water
I understand that the pH figure for Cola drinks sold in the U.S.A. is 2.6, though a sample taken in this country was slightly less acid. I have no information as to the ingredients of these drinks.
§ Dr. Stross
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the answer which he has given shows that this drink is as acid as vinegar even if it be masked by the sugar content of the drink? Is he aware of the evidence given before a committee of the United States Congress, in 1950, about the danger of this drink in relation to 1454 dental nutrition in that it causes teeth erosion? Will he check all these facts through the M.R.C. to see whether these accusations are correct, because a great attack is to be made upon our country by the Cola empire?
The level of acidity is only slightly more than the level for soft drinks containing acid generally. I am aware of the report published in the American Journal of Nutrition, and the Committee on Food Standards will, it is hoped, soon consider the position generally, including the question of acidity.
§ Mr. McAdden
In spite of all the technical jargon set out in the Question, is it still all right to chance it and drink this stuff? Alternatively, can my hon. Friend tell us what pH is, and whether there is something particularly dangerous about it?
I am surprised that my hon. Friend has forgotten that pH is the negative of the logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration measured in grams per litre of solution.
§ Dr. Stross
In view of the great interest in the subject and the need to get further information, I give notice that on Thursday of next week I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.