TEL AVIV (Jan. 2)
The giant Coca-Cola Corp. has yielded to an Israeli rabbi a secret hitherto known only to the soft drink’s founding family and a handful of the corporation’s most trusted executives: the formula for making Coke.
There was a need to know, says Rabbi Moshe Landau of Bnei Brak.
The Israeli businessmen who just acquired local bottling rights applied to him for a “hechsher,” or kashrut certificate.
But first the rabbi had to be sure Coca-Cola is indeed kosher according to strict Orthodox standards. To do so, he had to be told the ingredients it contains — knowledge Coke’s competitors presumably would die for.
The would-be bottlers contacted Coca-Cola headquarters in the United States, where it was finally decided to let the rabbi in on one of the great corporate secrets of all times.
Still the rabbi, to satisfy himself, had to visit Coca-Cola plants in Europe and the United States, where the syrupy liquid is produced. Some of his aides also got free trips to the Far East to examine how a secret herbal root essential to the formula is processed.