The research carried out by Paris-based National Institute of Consumption (INC) has revealed that more than half of leading soft drinks, like Coke and Pepsi, contain traces of alcohol, Daily Mail reports.
The revelation will cause concern among those who chose the carbonated soft drink for religious, health or safety reasons.
These include the brand leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, while it is mainly only cheap supermarket versions of the drink which are alcohol-free.
French magazine `60 Million Consumers,’ published the results of the tests in its latest issue.
They suggest that the alcohol levels are as low as 10mg in every litre, and this works out at around 0.001 per cent alcohol.
But the figures will still be enough to upset the thousands of Muslims who regularly drink Cola because their religion forbids them from drinking alcohol.
Those who are teetotal and drink Coke regularly will also be worried, as will those who choose it as an alternative to alcohol when they are driving.
Of 19 colas tested, the nine which did not contain alcohol were made by brands including Auchan, Cora, Casino, Leader Price and Man U-Cola.
Ten which had traces of alcohol in them included Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola Classic Light and Coke Zero.
Michel Pepin, scientific director for Coca-Cola France, acknowledged that “It is possible that traces of alcohol come from the process” of making Coca Cola according to its secret recipe.
He, however, insisted that Coca-Cola drinks were provably “soft” and recognised as such “by the government authorities in which they are sold.”
“Furthermore, the Paris Mosque has provided us with a certificate stating that our products can be consumed by the Muslim community in line with the religious opinions of the Committee of the Mosque of Paris,” Pepin added.
A spokesman for Pepsi acknowledged that “some soft drinks can contain minute traces of alcohol because of the ingredients used,” although “the Pepsi Cola recipe does not contain alcohol.”
Both companies suggested that natural fruit can ferment and produce minute traces of alcohol.