Is Mixing Coke And Milk Such A Good Idea?

Over the years Coca-Cola has been mixed with pretty much everything you can think of...including other beverages, especially of the alcoholic kind. Now it seems, the chemical reaction when mixing Coke with milk is the new talking point. Thanks in no small measure to a recent You Tube video originally posted in January.
Over the last week this video has seen a massive resurgence of more than 3.5 million views. Yet mixing Coke with milk, and drinking (eating?) it, has been ongoing for at least 60 years, and probably a lot longer.

An American Icon:

Coca-Cola, the world’s favourite carbonated drink, was invented way back in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia. Marketed originally as a patented medicine it quickly became a popular thirst quencher across the US. Although vehemently denied by the Coca-Cola Company, there is good historical evidence that points to it containing that other coke up to 1903. Little wonder in soared in popularity.
In 1936, on its 50th anniversary, Coca-Cola became a national icon of the US, and in 1944 the company registered the trademark name “Coke”.

So What Happens when we Mix Coke and Milk:

In layman’s terms the milk curdles, or begins to solidify. Milk is a mixture of fat and proteins, including those called casein micelles, suspended in a clear liquid. With a pH of 6.4 to 6.8 it is on the acidic side, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Add anything to the milk which increases this acidity, such as Coke, beer or fruit juices such as pineapple, and curdling will begin to occur. Coke is extremely acid with a pH range of 2.5 to 4.5 due to its Phosphoric Acid content. With this increase in acidity, the negative charge in the milk casein micelles clumps begin to attract each other, forming larger clumps which become visible to the naked eye.
No mixing or stirring is necessary; leaving the Coke/milk mix to do its own thing is all that is required. Foamy clumps of brown yuck will begin forming in the bottom of the glass or bottle. With all these clumps forming a heavier solid mass (curds), they will remain at the bottom, while the top of the container will begin to show a semi-opaque liquid (whey).
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