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Secret Coca-Cola Recipe Displayed at Museum

coca-cola secret recipe
(Image credit: The Coca-Cola Company)

The secret recipe for Coca-Cola, the world's best-selling soft drink, has stayed under lock and key in a bank vault in Atlanta since 1925. That is, until today (Dec. 8), when the priceless list of ingredients was carefully moved to a new vault that is now on display at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in downtown Atlanta.

"The time has come for our secret formula to come back home," The Coca-Cola Company's chief executive officer, Muhtar Kent, said at the unveiling of the new exhibit, according to the Associated Press.

While visitors to the beverage company's corporate museum will now be able to experience the titillation of being near the coveted recipe, which dates back to 1886, they won't be able to jot down any notes: It will remain hidden from view, contained in a giant metal vault that can only be accessed by keypad and hand-imprint scanner. As both a marketing ploy and a clever business measure, the Coca-Cola Company makes much ado about the secrecy surrounding the drink's formula, especially the ingredients of a flavoring called "secret 7X." It is said that only a handful of people in the world know what's in it.

The new museum exhibit plays on this secrecy.

However, what will surely get no mention in the museum placards is the fact that the secret Coca-Cola recipe, at least as it was originally formulated by the drink's inventor, John Pemberton, has already been leaked. A handwritten copy of the recipe was found in the back of a druggist's record book in Georgia more than half a century ago, and was later printed in a 1979 issue of The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

This story was provided Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to Live Science. Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.

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