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Phosphoric acid is used as an acidifier in a number of soft drinks, including colas, as well as in foodstuffs.
Some degree of acidity helps to balance the sweetness of a drink. The phosphoric acid used in soft drinks is derived from natural minerals and is completely safe for its intended use. It has been recognised for use as a food additive by the health authorities in virtually every country in the world.
Phosphoric acid contains the mineral phosphorus, which is found commonly in soil and water. It is also present in nearly all foods, with especially high levels in protein-rich foods such as eggs, dairy products and meat. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient and contributes to the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth and has an important role in regulating the body’s energy production system.
The average adult consumes 1,000-1,500 mg of phosphorus per day; a soft drink such as a cola contains around 3-4% of that amount in a 250ml serving. By comparison, a hard-boiled egg contains 86 mg of phosphorus.