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To my great surprise, diet DR. Pepper can go bad. And if soda was going to go bad, I'd expect it to go flat. But no, the sweetener decayed. Diet Dr. Depper without sweetener has very little to recommend it.

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I had that happen to me with a six month old can of Diet Pepsi once. It's apparently a common failure mode.
this is actually why some diet soda carries expiration dates. aspartame isn't permanent.

of course, i think that diet dr pepper never has anything to recommend it, but ....
I've experienced the same failure - it appears that leaving it in the trunk of your black automobile in the Florida summer for about a week accelerates the process. The flared and bloated cans are a pretty good indicator, though.