Barq's beverages trace their beginning to New Orleans and Edward Barq. In roughly 1890, he began producing what would become Barq's Root Beer. Today, the trademark name belongs to the Coca-Cola company. In addition to root beer, a red creme soda is sold under the name Barq's. Its contains ingredients that are both defined and undefined.
Companies generally list the main ingredient of any product first. For Barq's Creme Soda, the main ingredient is carbonated water. The process of carbonation involves adding carbon dioxide under pressure to water. Carbonation, or the production of carbonated water, is the principle that makes any soft drink fizz. It also provides flavor and preserves the liquid. Open a can or bottle of any soda with carbonated water and let it sit. After a period of time, it will be become flat due to the carbon dioxide escaping.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
The second ingredient on the list for red creme soda is high fructose corn syrup. This ingredient is found in almost all sodas and is a combination of fructose and glucose. It differs from standard table sugar in that it has a higher proportion of fructose than glucose; table sugar is equal parts fructose and glucose. In addition, the molecules in high fructose corn syrup are not bound together, while the fructose and glucose molecules in table sugar are. A study conducted at Princeton University linked consumption of high fructose corn syrup with substantial weight gain in lab animals.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative that is placed inside soft drinks to preserve their shelf life and prevent growth of mold or other items that would contaminate the product. Concerns exist about the safety of sodium benzoate in food products, especially when it is combined with vitamin C to produce benzene, a known carcinogenic, according to Sense About Science.
Citric acid occurs naturally in fruits like lemons and limes. In soda it acts as a preservative and a flavor agent. It gives sodas like Barq's Creme Soda a bitter or sour taste.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
This catchall phrase describes the "secret" ingredients of the beverage. Just what constitutes natural and artificial flavors is unknown. The manufacturer is not going to disclose its trade secret, so you can only taste the product and speculate about the nature of the additional ingredients.
Red 40, the last ingredient listed for Barq's Creme Soda, is a artificial coloring agent. It gives the soda its red color. It is a common ingredient which is used to color many food products.