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|2003-07-22 - Weird News|
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Caffeine: The New Nicotine?
Chicago, IL -- Soda makers may say they add caffeine to their beverages to enhance the flavor, but a new study shows that's not likely.
Smell and taste researcher Dr. Alan Hirsch asked 21 teens who claim they prefer the taste of caffeinated soda to do a blind taste test of various brands of caffeinated and caffeine-free cola.
He found 86 percent couldn't tell the difference.
Now, Dr. Hirsch is presenting his data to other "sensory scientists" like himself, and he hopes it raises some Big Tobacco-like questions about the use of caffeine in sodas marketed to kids.
He thinks the situation is similar to the scandalous nicotine-spiking practices of cigarette companies and hopes authorities will consider limiting caffeine consumption by minors.
"If caffeine adds no flavor, why add it?" Dr. Hirsch asks, adding he hopes this study opens people minds, "especially the school districts that sell cola to kids."
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