Why doesn’t Coke dissolve the can?

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Dear Cecil: In your book The Straight Dope you state that Coca-Cola will dissolve aluminum. My question is this: How is it that this beverage is sold in aluminum cans without oxidizing them? PARACELSUS, via AOL

Cecil replies:

According to Coke, the cans are “coated with a very thin layer of a type of light, food grade plastic material approved by the FDA.” This prevents the highly corrosive contents from dissolving the containers. The unanswered question is, what keeps them from dissolving you?

Cecil Adams

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.