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ipso's avatar

How much corn is in a can of Coke?

Asked by ipso (4459 points ) October 12th, 2010

1.5 ears? 5.1 ears? (2 ears sounds better to me – hardy har har)

Maybe a 12oz can has ~12 teaspoons of HFCS-55, so 2oz? How much actual corn is needed to make an oz of HFCS-55?

This question is driven by the recent viewing of the movie The Future of Food (2004), specifically thinking about genetically modified corn and the lack of proper labeling in America (possibly my can of Coke?) I’m highly skeptical, but in all fairness this is what Coke-Cola had to say on the GM sub-topic.

I still look at food differently after watching that movie. I see also the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) want to re-brand their image.

So – an ear of corn has about 800 kernels, but how many of those are used to make a can of Coke?

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syz's avatar

I’m having an amazing amount of trouble finding the answer to your question. I did find information on how much corn it takes to make corn syrup, which is not the same product, of course. It’s a completely different production method:

When wet milled, about 2.3 litres of corn are required to yield an average of 947g of starch, to produce 1 kg of glucose or dextrose syrup. A bushel (25 kg) of corn will yield an average of 31.5 pounds (14.3 kg) of starch, which in turn will yield about 33.3 pounds (15.1 kg) of syrup. Thus, it takes about 2,300 litres of corn to produce a tonne of glucose syrup, or 60 bushels (1524 kg) of corn to produce one short ton.

Working backward from your Coke can ingredients, it might be possible to get a very rough idea of how much corn would be used if corn syrup were used. Since high fructose corn syrup contains more fructose, it is sweeter, but I have no idea if the production numbers of the two products are comparable.

llewis's avatar

I buy the Coke from Mexico that uses pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup. Available at the two main warehouse membership stores.

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