It’s one of the most closely guarded trade secrets, supposedly only known by a handful of executives.
But a website claims to have uncovered the precise formula to make Coca-Cola.
The exact ingredients of the popular soft drink, invented by a medicinal chemist called John Pemberton in 1886, have always been shrouded in mystery.
The details of the recipe are said to be kept under 24-hour guard in a vault in Atlanta, Georgia
But now Thisamericanlife.org claims to have uncovered a list, in a 1979 newspaper article, showing the ingredients and quantities used to make the drink.
The February 8 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a photo of someone holding open a book showing a recipe which is purported to be an exact replica of Pemberton’s.
The U.S. website has also published a similar list by Joe Jacobs, owner of the pharmacy where Coca-Cola was first served.
However, Jacobs’s list has extra ingredients such as prune juice and clover.
Coca-Cola contains a number of essential oils and it is the precise way that these are blended together that is responsible for the drink’s unique flavour.
This blend makes up the secret ingredient, known as Merchandise 7X, which comprises less than one per cent of the formula.
In 1993, author Mark Pendergrast published an exposé of the cola industry, For God, Country & Coca-Cola, and included what he said was the original formula.
The ingredients and quantities on this list are very similar to those seen in the photo, although the company has always said that Pendergrast’s recipe is not the same as the one it uses.
The soft drink, which was first sold in Atlanta in a single pharmacy in 1886, can now be bought in more than 200 countries around the world.
In 2010 Coca-Cola had become the first brand to top £1 billion in annual UK grocery sales.