Sulfur smell in canned soda

So my husband, as a programmer, is required to drink Dr Pepper as his beverage of choice. ;) Several years back, he switched to Diet Dr Pepper, which is still what I buy in bulk when 12 packs are on sale. He generally just drinks it straight from the can.

We lived in Seattle for the past 10 years and have never had any issues, but a few months ago, we moved back east, to Maine. Shortly after we arrived, he commented that he thought the Dr Pepper tasted sort of funny, almost flat, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on exactly what was wrong. Nevertheless, I kept buying it and he kept drinking it.

Today, he said to me that when he pours a can of Dr Pepper into a glass, it has a strong sulfur smell. He opened a can, poured it and handed it to me, and sure enough, a rotten egg sulfur smell was definitely noticeable. We poured some diet Coke into a fresh glass (to eliminate a potential glass contamination issue) but it smelled (and tasted) just fine. We tested with a couple more cans and results were the same.

The cans here say they are bottled in Massachusetts, and I assume Dr Pepper in Seattle is bottled somewhere local to there (I never looked while we were living there). Is it possible that the local Dr Pepper facilities are just not up to par?

At some point, I’ll buy some more, just to see if it was a “bad batch”, but since he’s mentioned the odd taste before, I feel it might not be an isolated incident. Has anyone ever heard of similar issues with any canned soda?

Could be from contaminated carbon dioxide. I’d reach out to corporate.


Ahahaha perfect

Have you checked the date? Soda in cans can go bad. Especially if they were stacked too high and the pull top seal was damaged enough to let gas out and air in. The seal might have a minuscule opening. That’s enough. Do you have any unopened cans left? Squeeze one. If the sides easily dent, the seal is compromised. Does it hiss when opened? If not, that’s a problem. I’d expect a seal problem before a manufacturing problem. But of course, a manufacturing problem is not unheard of. But incredibly rare. They really check them before releasing them to retail.

Nope, not expired, and all the remaining cans in the pack feel and look normal. What’s especially weird is that he’d had a bunch of them already, but the smell wasn’t detectable until he poured it into a glass… which may lend some credence to @Dan_Theman’s theory that the carbon dioxide was contaminated? (Since more gas would escape from a glass than would the small opening in the can?)

We’ll seek out the contact info for corporate and see what they say.

Yep - if drinking out of a can, the gas would be primarily inhaled orally, impacting the flavor but not providing as strong of a scent. In my experience, beverage companies are pretty responsive to quality complaints (as an aside, I’m not in the beverage industry, but I used to do PR for rather large company and part of that was keeping track of how others responded to consumer complaints).

Just offering that you should narrow down it isn’t your dishwasher water. Use a container that hasn’t been washed in your home if you need to narrow it down.

Smelly dishwashers is actually a very common thing.

I did think of that, for a number of reasons. This is a brand new house, brand new dishwasher, etc… that said, we do have sulfur in our water (like much of Maine, we have a private well), but have a filtration system in place to remove it (which is also brand new - installed when we moved in) and haven’t had any sulfur issues - the system seems to be working perfectly.

But additionally, the glasses he used haven’t actually been washed in our dishwasher. I hand rinsed them when unpacking them (since they were well wrapped in bubble wrap and then moving paper), so even if we still had sulfur in the water, these glasses haven’t been exposed to it. Also, as I said in the original post, we poured some diet coke into one of the same glasses and it smelled fine.

But yeah, it had occurred to me to wonder whether it was residue on the glass, but I’m pretty sure we’ve ruled that out.

No worries, definitely worth asking. Hopefully you can track it down because that surely does sound strange.

I’m guessing that their water supply isn’t being treated at the plant. I think if it was the CO2 then somehow there would be trace amounts of H2S which would punch you in the face when you opened the can.

I am having the same problem! I drink from my yeti cup and I thought it was my cup so I poured it out, washed it and poured another but from a different 24 pack ( the first came from home, the second from work) that one was fine. I got home got a new cup and poured another from the batch at home. Same problem! The expiration date is 10-04-21 ETD20584. That’s on the bottoms of the can. At first I blamed my co worker thinking he had passed gas 🙄.
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