Here's What's Really In The Secret Ingredients Of Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola we all know and love today was first created in the 1880s by John Pemberton, who was a pharmacist, as reported by ABC. The ingredients have been kept secret from the public for many years. According to The Guardian, to ensure that the Coke recipe stays confidential, the company implemented a policy of only giving it to two executives at a time and not letting them travel together by plane. Seems over-the-top, but this method seems to have worked because most of us still don't know what's actually in the popular soda. 

The recipe had been kept under wraps for roughly 130 years. However, the well-kept secret ingredients seemed to emerge in 2011. When the host of This American Life, Ira Glass, was searching through old newspapers for a different story he was working on, he noticed a column that was printed in 1979 that featured an image with recipes that were written by pharmacists. "I am not kidding," Glass said during his show. "One of the most famously guarded trade secrets on the planet: I have it right here and I am going to read it to you. I am going to read it to the world."

Here are the alleged ingredients in Coke

Per The Guardian, the recipe features some items that aren't surprising, like a lot of sugar, vanilla, and caffeine. However, it also included some unusual ingredients like lime juice, caramel, and extract of coca leaves. But don't worry – there isn't anything bad in it like cocaine, which was legal during Pemberton's time. The drug was removed from the drink in 1904 in response to public concern. The coca leaves that are now used have been cleaned of the stimulant.

The secret formula has an additional, more surprising portion that lists alcohol, orange oil, nutmeg oil, coriander, neroli, and cinnamon. After the This American Life story was aired and allegedly divulged these secret ingredients, ABC reached out to Coca-Cola to find out if they had finally figured it out. "Many third parties have tried over time to crack our secret formula," a spokeswoman for Coke, Kerry Tressler, told the outlet. "Try as they might, there's only one real thing. And that was not it."