Three people have been charged in the United States with stealing confidential information from the Coca-Cola Corporation and trying to sell it to its main competitor, Pepsi.

The information included some of the company's secret soft drink recipes.

The three people who have been charged include a Coca-Cola employee.

The investigation was launched after Pepsi turned a letter over to its rival from a person who claimed to be employed at a high level with Coca-Cola and had offered 'very detailed and confidential information'.

Coca-Cola contacted the FBI, which launched the probe leading to the arrests.