Creating the Ideal Soda

By: Amit Verma and Nihar Tatapudi

An Investigation of the amount of sugar in major brand sodas and the creation of a healthier, less sugary soda


How can we make a healthier soda for society with a lower sugar count that is like popular soda brands currently?

Our purpose is to create the ideal soda with the proper amount of sugar content and no artificial preservatives or sweeteners to make an organic, healthy soda.


The 3 leading brands in the soda industry judged by a poll taken by NBC News about a year ago are: Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Pepsi-Cola

Boiling Soda

Boil the liquid until a starchy substance remains in the product. After, weigh the sugar extract and find the difference between the original liquid and the new sugar extract.


Sucrose which originally came from the source of sugar cane was a main part of the diet people had worldwide in the 20th century. Many considered it to be safe and healthy in comparison to the artificial sweeteners and altered sugars such as HFCS. But it is noted that Sucrose doesn’t have the technological abilities as sweeteners or other sugars such as the ability to hydrolyze acidic situations basically changing the characteristics of the product sucrose is in. It is also an ingredient which must be dissolved in water first before it is used. HFCS on the other hand though, is stable in acidic foods and drinks. It has easy access being a syrup and it can be distilled simply before use. It became an agricultural product derived from corn essentially in the Midwest. HFCS also has free glucose and signs of maltose, differing it from corn syrup which is only free glucose. The healthiness in HFCS which made it more appealing came from the ratio derived from the solution of HFCS of fructose to glucose being 1:1, the same ratio found in common fruits and fruit juices.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners are a powdered substance like sugar, but are used to replace sugar in order to make a soda healthier. They taste like sugar and they are chemically processed and are added to all sorts of food, going from soda to cakes. This substance is used to help people lose weight by not having the addition of extra calories. There are goods of artificial sweeteners, one being that they can prevent dental decay and help control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup

This is mainly used because of its sweetness and easy access. There’s no true evidence that HFCS actually leads to obesity by causing metabolic upset at high concentration when fed as the sole carbohydrate source. It was scared at first to use HFCS instead of sucrose but after scientists performed tests and realized that it did not produce a health risk, rather dental issues. After being taken originally as an ordinary ingredient to a decade-long project that was worldwide known, there was a sense of ease that HFCS would not lead to obesity and major brand sodas started to use it. Coca Cola was one of the first brands that used HFCS, thus creating its popularity in the mid 20th century.


If we create a soda without artificial sweeteners and lower the high fructose corn syrup sugar count, then the end product will be healthier than major brand sodas that many people enjoy, because the fat grams and sugar won't crucially affect the unhealthiness of our soda like it usually does to other sodas.

Variables and Parts of Experiment

  1. DV: Sugar Content

  2. IV: Sodas (Major Brands)

  3. Control: Our own soda that we modified to compare to major brand sodas

  4. Experimental group: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Coke, Diet Coke

  5. Constants: 1. Amount of sodas 2. Extraction theory


  • Non-diet soda(1)

  • Coca Cola 2-liter bottle

  • Pepsi 2-liter botte

  • 2-liter of Diet Coke

  • 2-liter of Diet Pepsi

  • Measuring cups

  • Stirrers

  • Paper Towels

  • Metal Pot(s)---May need 2

  • Marker

  • Brown sugar (I cup)

  • Graph paper

  • Pencil

  • Stove


Extracting the sugar content

1.) Weigh the pot that you will be putting the soda pop into. MAKE SURE YOU WRITE THE WEIGHT DOWN

2.) Pour the 4 flo. oz of the bottle of the soda into the circular metal pot.

3.)Boil the soda in the pot until a thick starchy substance remains

4.) Measure the pot with the substance in it, and then subtract the weight of the pot to find the amount of sugar(thick starchy substance).

5.) Repeat steps 2-4 20 times for each soda, including the created soda


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After completing all of the necessary tests for the data, we saw that the diet soda, especially Diet Pepsi, had the most sugar, while our own soda had the least. This was done in 4 fluid ounce tests for each soda. With Diet pepsi using the artificial sweetener, sodium benzoate. There is an overdose of it in order to produce a better flavor. It had about 1.4 ounces of soda just within its 20 tests of 4 fluid ounces each. When it came to our own soda, the sugar content was properly controlled by us. Adding ¼ a tablespoon was best because we would stay well below the sugar content of other major brand sodas. We also chose brown sugar because it is healthier, rather than the other sodas using white sugar. The difference was significant compared to the other sodas, coming at about .06 ounces per 4 fluid ounce test. Rather than the other boiled sodas creating a starchy substance, our own soda didn’t really result in the same outcome. In addition, it didn’t give off a burnt alcoholic smell that the other sodas had when they were boiled. When it comes to diet soda, we can probably conclude how they are more unhealthy by having more sugar content in them, although they are using artificial sweeteners as a substitute. We think that small amounts of sugar could be in the soda, making it almost weigh at 0 g, and could add up depending on how much soda is consumed. For example, Diet Pepsi uses the artificial sweetener aspartame, as well as acesulfame potassium or sodium benzoate. On the other the side, Diet Coke just uses aspartame in it. The difference between these sodas, which is making the sugar content in Diet Pepsi high is possibly the addition of acesulfame potassium. For our soda, we can see how it is much healthier than regular sodas and can give others the common soda sensation that many consumers crave. Looking at this data, drinking diet sodas with artificial sweeteners will make your body take in more sugar than it needs, which can lead to diabetes.


Our hypothesis was, if we had our own created soda without any artificial sweetener and controlled the sugar content, then our soda would be healthier than major brand sodas. Overall, the tests for our experiment went smoothly and as planned, except in some cases where I had to use another pot in order to boil the soda due to the starch becoming difficult to clean at the bottom. Our results do support our hypothesis. We found how our own soda was a lot healthier compared to the other sodas we tested. Our sugar count came to significantly less than those of the sodas we used in our experiment. On the other side, we found how the most sugar content was seen in the diet soda, Diet Pepsi, for the reason of the artificial sweetener it uses. Using an artificial sweetener can result in a massive change in taste for a diet soda because it is 100 to 200 times sweeter than regular soda is. We find that the sugar content in a diet soda will depend on the artificial sweetener that it uses. If a person were to consume a 21 fluid ounce drink, the difference in sugar count between our soda and diet pepsi is about 7 ounces of sugar. A 21 fluid ounce drink of diet pepsi has about 7.4 ounces of sugar, while our own soda has about .3 ounces. This massive difference shows how much healthier our soda is, especially with the use of brown sugar. Using brown sugar in our soda is a lot healthier in the way that it is 97% sucrose, instead of being 100% in white sugar. We find that our soda may be chosen among most people that want soda, yet want to be healthy without risking sugar content in it. Rather than consuming other such sodas in general, which also have a big difference compared to our own, we found that diet sodas are the worst when it comes down nutrition.

Sources of Inaccuracy

While we were conducting our experiment we may have not measuring exactly 4 ounces, although we had tried our best to do so. In addition, some of our results may have been varied due to the reason that we had to change the pot we were using. We only decided to use 2 pots and switch them out after each test. We did this because the starch after each test would become very difficult to clean and we didn’t want any starch from a previous test to affect the outcome in a new one. Overall, these were the only sources of inaccuracy that occurred in our experiment, which may have caused us to have some unreliable results.


A continuation for this experiment in the future most likely would be to find out how sodas at different temperatures could affect the body’s health. With the use our data, we want to see how our sodas could possibly benefit, or harm the body. The plan may be to heat up the soda, like we did in this experiment, but take it to 100 degrees fahrenheit. In addition, we may want to also freeze the soda and see the outcome of consuming that as well. A 3rd situation would be leaving the soda at room temperature. This expands on our experimental idea because we would still be looking for the healthier soda with the least sugar count but with an extra variable of temperature. Most of society chooses to keep their sodas at different temperatures and if we could continue this experiment, my partner and I would like to know what should be the customary temperature to keep the sodas at. This is a brief idea on how we think we can expand on our idea and help others be aware of the soda they consume.


Our experiment applies to real life because sodas are the enjoyable drinks that many people consume on a daily or weekly basis. We took the 4 major brands in the soda industry as of currently: Coca- Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi. Many people drink these sodas at parties, concerts, sporting events, or just to relax. Society can use our results by understanding that they should limit their consumption of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi and if they’re truly in need of a drink, they should drink Pepsi or the soda my partner and I created, “Brown Town”. Society can also use our results because they now will understand even if artificial sweeteners don’t have any real sugar or sugars from fat in the sweetener, artificial sweeteners are 100 to 200 times sweeter than regular sodas. It is important that society knows what my partner and I learned because, there will be a limited consumption of these drinks, and save society from entering diabetes or having heart problems due to a high sugar intake just because they love soda and don’t know the true implications for their body. It is also important that society knows what we have learned because they will know that diet sodas don’t technically mean a healthier soda, a common misconception in the modern day. I think our project on finding the amount of sugar in sodas and creating our own is extremely beneficial for society because we presume that society will be more careful with their soda and artificial sweetener selections.