Authors:Guillermo Espinosa, Ilsa Hernández-Ibinarriaga, and Jose-Ignacio Golzarri
Potassium, in a variety of compounds, occurs in abundance in the Earth’s crust, and is an essential nutrient for human health.
A naturally occurring radioactive isotope of potassium, 40K, is found in the food and water that we consume. This paper presents the results of a gamma spectrometry analysis of the
40K concentrations of a selection of commercial soft drinks. The 40K concentrations are used to calculate the overall potassium concentrations. The analysis was carried out using a hyper-pure
germanium (HPGe) detector with Ortec® ASPEC-927 multichannel analyzer module and GammaVision® software. This system was chosen for its high resolution and automatic data processing. The carbonated soft drinks (sodas)
Coca-Cola®, Coca-Cola Light® (sold as Diet Coke® in the USA and other countries), Coca-Cola Zero®, Pepsi®, Pepsi Light®, Pepsi Max®, Big Cola®, Lulu-Cola®, Manzana Lift®, Sprite® and Fanta® and the mineral waters Ciel® and Peñafiel® were analyzed. These brands are all international registered trademarks. The products analyzed were manufactured and bottled
in Mexico. The results show a great variety of potassium concentrations in the different soft drinks analyzed (from 128.0
to 1113.1 mg/L). The concentration of potassium in the sodas, in conjunction with the amounts drank by one person in a year
(180 L/year), are high enough to warrant consideration by public health authorities and by people to whom high potassium intakes
pose a risk.