In the 1960s, diet sodas entered the retail market for weight-conscious consumers. Patio brand soda, made by Pepsi, was marketed as a low-calorie alternative to Pepsi. After Patio's entry into the diet cola market, Pepsi-Cola made the unprecedented decision to re-brand Patio cola in the Pepsi name, and Patio cola-flavored drink became Diet Pepsi. At one time, Patio brand sodas came in flavors like orange soda, grape, root beer and strawberry, but few Patio sodas are sold on the market today. Patio Red Cherry is still available for sale at some Bojangles fast food chains in the United States.
Red Cherry Syrup
The red cherry syrup component of Patio Red Cherry Soda provides the soft drink's flavoring. Syrup is a traditional ingredient in flavored sodas. Use of syrup in sodas dates back to the 19th century, when soda fountains were used in drug stores to provide drinks that masked the taste of medicines provided by the druggist. Pharmacists made basic sodas that combined carbonated water and flavored syrups. Today, cherry flavored syrup may be purchased from most beverage-supply companies.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, or Sugar
Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are key ingredients in most carbonated beverages on the market. Any amount of Patio Red Cherry will contain one or the other. In recent years, high fructose corn syrup has become a controversial ingredient in food items because of a perceived link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity.
Citric acid is a common ingredient in sodas. Citric acid is the weak acid found naturally in citrus fruits like limes, lemons and oranges. This acid is used to provide flavoring that balances the sweetness of the beverage, giving the drink an underlying tartness.
Sodium benzoate is a chemical used as a preservative in many food products on the market today such as sodas, juices, pickles, salsa and other acidic food stuffs. This preservative is known to prohibit the growth of fungus and bacteria, adding to the long shelf life of commercial foods. Sodium benzoate is a chemical that occurs in nature in small quantities, but for commercial purposes it is synthetically produced.
This liquid extract has medicinal purposes such as relieving migraine headaches, intestinal inflammation, high blood pressure and poor circulation. Yucca extract is also used as a flavoring agent in soda. Food-grade yucca extract can be found in natural food stores.
Red Dye 40
A semi-controversial food additive, Red Dye 40 is used to give processed food a stable red hue. Red food is said to attract attention and appeal to consumers. Some recent studies have shown that Red Dye 40, also known as Allura Red AC, has been linked to aggressive behaviors, temper tantrums, headaches and upset stomachs. This dye has been approved by the FDA.
Cherry Soda Comparisons
The ingredients in Patio Red Cherry soda are comparable to ingredients in other cherry sodas on the market today, although the different types of low-calorie sweeteners and flavor additives may vary. Both Diet Cherry Coke and Pepsi Diet Wild Cherry Cola use a very common low-calorie sweetener called aspartame, and phosphoric acid flavor additive, for a tangy taste. Citric acid is found in Pepsi Diet Wild Cherry Cola, and Potassium Benzoate is found in all three types of sodas.