It is the most consumed and well-known drink in the world. Originally, Coca-Cola was conceived as a remedy against heartburn and, even today, its formula is still kept intact under lock and key.
In order to cover the demand throughout the more than 200 countries in which it is marketed, the firm has 900 factories around the globe , something very beneficial that avoids the additional costs of long-distance trips by plane or ship.
The amazing thing is that, despite everything, the taste of the soft drink is the same regardless of where we are on the planet. But what is the history of Coca-Cola
, what is it like inside its Coca-Cola bottling plants
And, most importantly, how is Coca-Cola made?
Let’s see it next.
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History of Coca-Cola
To learn about the beginnings of Coca-Cola, we invite you on a journey back in time to 1886, specifically to Atlanta, the capital of the American state of Georgia. There, John S. Pemberton, an ex-Civil War veteran, was a doctor who ran the little Jacobs Pharmacy on the street of the same name. Due to the pain caused by the injuries he suffered in the fight, Pemberton was addicted to morphine, due to its analgesic effects (this fact we ask him to keep in mind for later).
As we said, he originally wanted to make a syrup against stomach pain. The small store became the first point of sale for the most popular soft drink at just 5 cents a glass. Pemberton died in 1888, unaware that 7X (the first name of the drink) would end up being the sensation of the moment. Shortly after, those in charge realized the scope that the creation could have, so in 1891 The Coca-Cola Company was founded and, two years later, the brand was registered.
Already in 1897, Coca-Cola crossed US borders and agreed to supply different bottling plants with the original secret concentrate in exchange for them taking charge of the production, distribution and marketing of the drink; which would lay the foundations of the prosperous business.
The occurrence of bottling the drink was a success for Coca-Cola, since it made it easier for it to be distributed throughout different territories, outside of Jacob’s original premises . It was in 1923 when the reins of Coca-Cola were taken by Robert W. Woodrof, the president of the company that would expand the firm worldwide.
How do they make Coca-Cola
Although its exact formula has been a secret since it was created, it is known that Coca-Cola comes out of a mixture of water, vanilla, sugar, cola nut extract (fruit of the cola, typical of African tropical forests), lemon juice and the secret ingredient . Do not forget that carbon dioxide is also included, which is what gives it its gaseous quality.
At the beginning we mentioned Pemberton’s addiction to morphine to alleviate his pain; and it is that the clever doctor included one more ingredient in his gastric syrup, until it was withdrawn in 1903, for obvious reasons: cocaine. He apparently hoped that including cocaine in his product would make it easier for her to overcome his morphine addiction.
5 steps to make Coca-Cola
Decades ago, the production of Coca-Cola was decentralized from the place where it was conceived, Atlanta, in order to be distributed in other countries without the need for large shipments by sea or air.
In any of the 900 factories where the drink is prepared, bottled and shipped, the process followed is the same and is divided into phases. Let’s see:
1. Water purification
The first step isguarantee that the water to which the rest of the components will be added is as pure as possible . Thanks to an advanced treatment called “multi-barrier”, it is achieved that it meets the standards of the Coca-Cola company and complies with the legal requirements of the WHO. After exhaustive controls, the water used is receiving different treatments to eliminate residues.
2. Preparation of the simple syrup
Once the water has been treated, it will be mixed with the processed sugar, which will result in a first syrup, which will be pasteurized to eliminate microscopic remains that may remain attached . As with water, sugars must pass strict quality controls in order to be used definitively.
3. Processed syrup
To the mixture (for now, “simple syrup”), concentrated syrup is added , specific for each variant of Coca-Cola, according to the guidelines described by the firm.
4. Resulting drink
At this penultimate point, the right amount of carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide) is incorporated into the treated water and the processed syrup; treatment that occurs in a machine called “carbonator”. Once the mixture is finished, it is sent to the container filling machines through an intricate network of pipes, something that happens in record time thanks to technological advances.
After a rigorous washing (divided into 3 phases) and supervision of the containers that will contain the beverage (for example, the cans that do not measure up will be discarded), it is time to fill them, stopper them, label them, store them and load them on the trucks . for Coca-Cola containers to be marketed at the different points of sale.
This video/documentary will answer any questions you may have:
Multitasking Coca-Cola factories
The Coca-Cola production and bottling plants are buildings in which a great deal of activity takes place. Without going too far, the Barcelona factory, located near the municipality of Montornes del Valles, a few kilometers from the capital, is the largest national distributor of Coca-Cola, thanks to the dimensions of the factory.
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In these mammoth facilities, the plastic bottles that will later be filled with the soft drink are produced on an assembly line. But in addition, a laboratory is included where the quality controls of the raw materials are carried out, in addition to including a water treatment plant and a section destined to generate steam and compressed air.
Obviously, the star section of the complex is where they store the concentrate that contains the long-sought secret formula that has made Coca-Cola prosper. From the Port of Bilbao approximately between one and five trucks arrive a day to supply the Coca-Cola factory with concentrate, to guarantee stocks.
As for the glass bottles, there is also a part of the factory where they are thoroughly washed in three different phases (pre-wash, wash at 65ºC and rinse). Also thanks to an artificial detection system, it is possible to find anomalies or damage to the packaging.
Coca-Cola factories around the world
We have just seen in broad strokes the complex work that allows filling supermarket shelves with batches and batches of Coca-Cola.
Now, let us think that in another 200 countries throughout all the continents (the two Americas, Asia-Eurasia, Europe and Africa), the Coca-Cola brand also has these specialized facilities, which makes it possible for its products to be be distributed throughout 24,000 points of sale.
Currently , Coca-Cola is valued at 20 billion euros and has 100 thousand employees… Fancy a drink
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