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Drinks: Good Hosts The very name sends pleasurable sensations down one's throat! These drinks are everywhere, in myriad avatars - sending celebrities into swoons or into undertaking death defying feats!Sparkling and twinkling, creating a fizzy haze, making consumers down vast quantities of junk food, helped by the pleasurable gulps.
We tested 16 brands - a merry mix of colas and orange drinks, the sparkling variety and the Diet option for the weight conscious.
What did we find? Nothing - well almost - and we can declare with impunity - 'All is well' in pleasure land - packaging, labeling, marking, quantity, no heavy metals, pesticides or microbes - nothing to worry .go ahead and swill with a clear conscience - except!!!! This one product is sending the western hemisphere into a tizzy with obese people tripling every decade -- with untold health problems and consequent financial burdens for the health How can we Indian consumers be far behind our colonial cousins? We follow them as faithfully as ever, stuffing our fridges with the lethal brew, and letting our children splurge uncontrolled, even feeding them to toothless babies, condemning them to life-long tooth Our test has thrown up some questions about corporate and consumer responsibility, as well an immediate need for stringent action by regulatory authorities. Some of these are: Why do we have products with proven long term as well as short term negative effects on consumer health as well as the environment? When asking around, we got the following response from consumers: 'Oh you know the sector employs so many people and they'll all be without jobs if this was shut down.' Just goes to show the level and understanding of consumers towards their responsibility to society! SO wHAt'S NEXt?
least in the west, form the largest energy levels high on least cost Next : 'Its a question of consumer consumer segment hooked on to for the employers. Only now the choice - no one is forcing anyone. these products. There is a long employers have been replaced by Consumers don't need to buy this history of sugar dependence from Corporates and Consumers are stuff if they don't want to.' the days of slave labour, when the new slaves. slaves to sugary Well yes of course, except the slaves were given rations of sugar in options, netting huge profits for fact that children and the poor, at the sugar plantations to keep their the manufacturers as well as the Consumer voice 19

health providers at the ultimate cost and the ranking of the brands and of their own health. variants of carbonated beverages Key Findings
If consumers have been alerted tested by Consumer VOICE are as All the brands of carbonated beverages to concerns about sugar, how about follows: were found free from contamination of pesticides residues and without any the sugarless option? microbial contamination as well as The sugarless option, namely the heavy metals.
Diet-Coke, our test shows , has indeed Coca Cola
in organolaptic properties like colour, no sugar, but it has aspartame or even appearance, flavor & taste, brand worse Acesulfame-K, as declared on coca cola performed well followed by their labels. So what consumers get is Mirinda and Sprite.
a product not only nil in nutrition, but brand Diet Pepsi (71.56ppm) was found also minus the energy spiking sugar, with lowest caffeine content however brand Diet coke (130.48ppm) was and a more costly product to boot. found with highest caffeine content.
What about the regulatory Sugar was found between the ranges of 10.02 to 13.62. brand catch (10.02%) Well the standards that are in had lowest sugar however Mirinda (13.6%) had the highest quantity.
place are about parameters that are cosmetic, as discussed earlier. The brand Mountain Dew claimed caffeine contain on its labels need to carry alerts " Not fit for consumption by children below the arora lemon (local)
age of ----, if consumed, the portions while testing.
need to be limited to maximum . This product is no less risky than Mountain dew
cigarettes or alcohol and needs similar appy Fizz
alerts and warnings.
diet Cola
food-grade plastic containers under Cold Drinks or Carbonate
strict sanitary conditions. To avoid diet pepsi
contamination after packaging, the diet Coke
containers should be cleaned and/or Carbonated drinks are known Packing standards touches sterilized. And finally the containers
by various names world over like the benchmark
must be hermetically sealed with soda, sparkling, and also as ‘thanda' As per the Indian Standard, clean new crown or caps.
in India. All the carbonated drinks Carbonated Beverages should be Contrary to negative speculation come with a fizz that is produced filled in glass containers, cans or about hygiene, all the brands of by the carbon dioxide gas that is pressurised into the water. Other than carbonated drinks or soda primarily contain ingredients like sweetener (artificial or natural), a synthetic taste enhancer like caffeine and a flavouring agent, in a combination of one or more. The sweetener may be a sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or a sugar substitute in the case of diet drinks. A soft drink, mainly in cola category may also contain caffeine. Widely sold soft drink flavours are cola, lemon-lime, root beer, orange, grape vanilla, ginger ale, fruit punch ober 2011 and sparkling lemonade. The Name 20 Consumer voice

carbonated beverage were found to is a better option for
be properly packed in PET bottle. All consumers.
the carbonate drinks container Manufacturers
tested, including Arora Lemon which generous in filling
is packed in typical glass bottle seal the containers
through marble ball, scored 3 out of 3 in our rating.
It is a good thing that the big brands in India Diet Cola scores a perfect
are generous in pouring 10 in labelling and
more than the printed amount in the containers. As per the Indian Standard, The Our results show that 11 containers of carbonated beverages out 16 brands had at least 5 ml more grams of solution and represents the should be legibly and indelibly bear than what is claimed on the label. strength of the solution as percentage a number of information that gives And the rest were filled to absolute by weight (% w/w). If the solution the consumer a complete idea perfection. Hence we gave full marks contains dissolved solids other than of the product they are drinking. to all the brands.
pure sucrose, then the °Bx is just an The mandatory information on the approximate of the dissolved solid Sugar content kept in
Containers is as follows.
content. As per the Indian standard the sugar content should not be a) Name of the product Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar less than 8oBx. Carbonated drinks b) Name and address of the content in the aqueous solution. One low down in rating contain artificial degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 sweeteners.
c) Date of manufacture All the brands we tested met the Our Desi lemon since
minimum requirement for Brix and e) Net volume of content 19th Century
were found between the ranges of f) Green dot (Veg. mark) 10.15 to 13.78. In our assumption Locally manufacture soda is sold in the sugar content should neither be g) FPO license number india—packed in distinctive, green-tinged, codd-neck bottles and closed too high nor too low, and hence the h) Storage instructions with a marble. Lines of green bottles, highest ranking for the right amount of i) Instructions of use/consumption in crates with lemons perched on them sugar content given to Pepsi followed are a common sight around tea stalls j) List of key ingredients by Big Cola. The lowest ranking was in india. Sodas are made in one room given to Miranda which had the k) Nutritional information highest sugar content brix ration of l) Disposal of Packaging/recyclability 13.78 in our test. Requirement of brix does not apply to Diet cola drinks, as Except Diet Coke and Diet these brands are sugar free and add Pepsi all other brands did not mark artificial sweeteners as sweetening bottling operation and are a cottage instructions for use on their label. industry. these sodas are part of the Diet Coke was found with adequate indian culture, and have been around information on its label. Brand Arora Sugar content within limits
long before independence. Hence, Lemon was found with lowest required even when the market is taken over by Sugar (Sucrose) is a Disaccharide branded carbonated drinks; desi soda information on its label. And half of that can be made from the combination still has its share of the market. to open the brands did not give instructions of Monosaccharides, glucose and a soda bottle is an art in itself, just press for storage. And a50% of them did down the marble and the bottle opens fructose. It is a sweet crystalline or not give the green dot that indicates like champagne. the local soda industry powdered substance, consisting of that the product is vegetarian. Seven in facing a crisis as the raw material for sucrose obtained mainly from sugar oct out of the 16 products scored 4.5 making the bottles is costly. but this cane and sugar beets and used in small room soda making industry lives out of 5 in our ranking system with many foods, drinks, and medicines on as ordinary people identify with this Diet Coke scoring a perfect 5, which drink and it is part of the culture.
to ostensibly improve their taste. As is no surety that this ‘Diet' versions per the Indian Standard, it should Consumer voice 21 not be less than 5% in carbonated all the brands. Non cola drinks in pH which is not harmful. However, beverages.
orange, lime and sparkling category as you move down to 6 or 5 and so All brands of carbonated beverages do not contain caffeine. One cola on it makes that product acidic. The met the minimum requirement for based brand Big Colas claimed as colas have a pH of around 3.0 which sugar content in it. The sugar was being caffeine free was found to be meant it is quiet acidic and can be found between the ranges of 10.02 correct.
harmful. Effervescence is the release to 13.62. Catch (10.02%) had lowest of gas from the drink. In colas or sugar content among al Mirinda Aspartame
beer when dissolved carbon dioxide (13.6%) had the highest quantity. In is depressurized it forms bubbles our ranking system Coca Cola got the and makes the fizzing. Some experts highest ranking of 4.99 out of 5 for Aspartame, also known by the brand feel that such pH levels change the the right amount of sugar content, names Nutrasweet and equal, is an additive pH levels of our body, which may while Mirinda got the lowest rating found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie not be as healthy. Moreover the desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. it also of 3.96. This test is not applicable acidic nature of carbonated comes in individual packages used in place of sugar as a on Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi as drinks and soft drinks can be sweetener. the safety of aspartame, as combination of two these brands are sugar free amino acids and methanol, has been the focus of hundreds harmful and can cause tooth and add artificial sweetener of scientific studies. conclusion by the U.S. Food and Drug to decay — www.tutorials.
as sweetening agent.
Administration, the World Health organization, the ADA, and the Food and Agriculture organization indicated that the additive Hazardous Caffeine
is safe. conversely, the center of Science in the Public interest gave pH is a numerical value found to be in
it their lowest ranking in a review of food additives, quoting animal that expresses the acidity permissible
and in 2007, which of a solution. The acidity suggest that there is a link between of a solution is determined cancer. Gerbstadt, by the concentration of from the ADA – hydrogen ions in it. Aqueous which is mainly derived an organization that supports the general safety of aspartame – says that the additive might be solutions at 25 degree C from a plant and widely unhealthy for some people – especially those with the disease with a pH less than seven used in many food products phenylketonuria, an enzyme disorder – because it contains are considered Acidic, while drinks phenalalanine. "Some people may be sensitive to it those with a pH greater especially the cola based and it's easy to avoid,' she than seven are considered variety. Caffeine is used to Basic (Alkaline).
increase the flavour in soft drinks. As per the Indian this is a relatively new pH was found between approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Standard, it should not be the range of 2.63 to 3.22 in 1998 for use in soft drinks. it is also found in baked more than 145ppm (parts all brands. Catch (2.63) was goods, chewing gum, and gelatine desserts. Acesulfame-K – the per million) in carbonated "K" is the chemistry symbol for potassium - is considered 200 found with lower pH whereas beverages. However some times sweeter than sugar. While Gerbstadt isn't specifically 7Up (3.22) had a higher pH.
health experts warn that concerned about the sweetener when used in moderation, there is a general concern that testing on this product Carbohydrates that
caffeine is an addictive, and has been scant. Some studies showed additive may gives the fizz….
hence it should not be taken cause cancer in rats, but the substance makes top more than 500 to 600 milligram Carbohydrates are a source 12 lists of additives to avoid because further per day. Caffeine is also said to study is needed to conclude whether or of energy and since carbonated cause several health hazards such not acesulfame-K harmful. beverages are sugar based product as seizures, strokes or even death, if Source: consumer Voice, except the specially made category, taken in excess and continuously.
hence they are expected to be high All the cola brands we tested in carbohydrates. In Indian Standard were found within the maximum limit Cold drinks are acidic in
no requirement is specified for of caffeine content. Brand Diet Pepsi nature
(71.56ppm) was found with lowest According to experts, due to caffeine content however brand Diet carbonation process the oxygen in between the ranges of 10.02 to 13.67 Coke (130.48ppm) was found with soda is reduced, whereby reducing gm/100gm. Fanta (13.67) was found ober 2011 highest caffeine content among the pH value of the drink. 7 is neutral with higher carbohydrates content 22 Consumer voice

Diet sodas: free of calories, not
of consequence!
those who drink diet sodas have bigger waist sizes,
say a new research. two new studies have linked
drinking diet soda to poorer health compared with
those who don't drink the beverage.
People who said they drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist size increases that were six times greater than those of people who didn't drink diet soda, according to researchers from the University of texas Health Science center at San Antonio.
A second study found that the sweetener aspartame raised blood sugar levels in diabetes-prone mice.
"Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised," said study researcher Helen P. Hazuda, professor and at the university's school of medicine. "they may be free of calories, but not of consequences."the human study was based on data from 474 participants in a larger, ongoing study called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. in that study, the participants were followed for nearly 10 years. Diet soft drink drinkers, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with those who don't drink diet soda.
Abdominal fat is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic conditions, the researchers said. in the mouse study, researchers fed aspartame, a calorie-free sweetener used in some diet sodas, to diabetes-prone mice. one group of mice ate chow to which both aspartame and corn oil were added; another group ate chow with only corn oil added.
After three months, the mice that ate aspartame showed elevated blood sugar levels."these results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans," said study researcher Gabriel Fernandes, professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the university.
(the studies were presented on June 25, 2011 at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association.) whereas Catch (10.02gm) had a lower So consumers need to reconsider Can Your Cola Habit
count. This test is not applicable to their options. Why do consumers take Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi as these ‘Diet' drinks? What is their sel ing Soft drinks can raise your blood pressure. According brands are sugar free and add artificial point? If the sel ing point is no calorie to a new study, adults sweetener as sweetening agent.
factor there is a study that Diet soda who consumed more than guzzlers are actually obese.
74 grams of fructose per How high is the Soda in
day – the amount in two- Products free of
and-a-half colas – increased their likelihood of developing Energy value is the amount of contaminants
high blood pressure by 36 calories which our body obtains from VOICE tested carbonated drinks percent. that's in addition to a bloated the foods. As carbonated beverages for heavy metals, pesticides and risk of obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. And diet cola may not be any safer. in are mainly consumed for giving microbes, all found in this products. a recent Harvard Medical School study, instant energy, it is expected that However we found all brands we women who drank two or more servings they are high in energy value.
tested, qualified as safe and free of all of artificially sweetened cola daily were found to have doubled the risk of kidney Energy value was found between these contaminants. The testing done function decline, which can destroy that the ranges of 37.38 to 51.26 kcal/100g. for contaminations are as follows: organ. For all soft drinks, the devil's in Brand Catch (37.38) was found with • Pesticides tested for presence the dose, so make cola a special treat, lowest Energy value however brand of O,P-DDT, P,P-DDT, O,P-DDE, or at least practise portion control. cola fans, take note: if you must have it, cut Fanta (51.26) was found with highest. P,P-DDE, O,P-DDD, P,P-DDD, it down to half a bottle or glass. And This test is not applicable on Diet Gamma-HCH (Lindane), Alpha there's always the best option: drink Coke and Diet Pepsi as these brands -HCH, Beta-HCH, Delta- HCH, water instead.
are sugar free and sugar is the only Alpha-Endosulfan, Beta- Endo- Source: readers Digest source of energy in soft drinks.
sulfan, Endosulfan Sulphate, Consumer voice 23 Energy drinks from the
lap of Mother Nature
the water of tender coconut, technically
the liquid endosperm, is the most
nutritious wholesome beverage that the
nature has provided for the people of
the tropics to fight the sultry heat. it
has caloric value of 17.4 per 100 gm.
it is unctuous, sweet, increasing semen,
promoting digestion and clearing the
urinary path,' says Ayurveda on tender
coconut water (tWc).
Numerous medicinal properties of
tender coconut water reported are:-
Good for feeding infants suffering from intestinal disturbances.
oral rehydration medium.
Monocrotophos, Ethion, Chlor- necessary that it should be free contains organic compounds possessing pyrifos, Phorate, Phorate Sul- from contamination of any type of growth promotion properties.
phoxide, Phorate Sulphone, 2,4-D, pesticides as there may be chances Keeps the body cool.
Butachlor, Isoproturon, Alachor, of pesticide presence in carbonated Application on the body prevents prickly Atrazine, Methyl parathion, Methyl drink through water. Fortunately none heat and summer boils and subsides the paraxon, Malathion, Malaoxon, rashes caused by small pox, chicken pox, of the brands of carbonated drink was measles, etc.
Aldrin, Deildrin.
found with pesticides and all passed Kills intestinal worms.
• Heavy Metals tested as Arsenic, this test. Caffeine is also a critical Presence of saline and albumen makes Lead, Copper, Iron, Tin, Zinc, issue with carbonated beverages, it it a good drink in cholera cases.
Cadmium and Mercury is a stimulant which is permitted to checks urinary infections.
be added in carbonated drinks upto • Microbe : Total plate count, yeast 145ppm by Indian Standard, and if excellent tonic for the old and sick.
and mount, and coliform.
found beyond the permitted level then Conclusion
it may have negative health effects. Diuretic.
effective in the treatment of kidney and The testing was mainly based on All brands of carbonated drink were urethral stones.
the requirements of Indian Standard found within the maximum limit of can be injected intravenously in IS: 2346 – 1992 and PFA, out of overall caffeine content.
emergency case.
parameters the key parameters for Based on the analysis and Source: consumer Voice, July 2010 which carbonated beverages tested evaluation of all test parameters and were pesticides residues, caffeine observations brand Coca Cola scored content, heavy metals, microbiological top among all the brands in cola scored top; in sparkling carbonated tests and sensory properties. Since category followed by RC Cola and beverages brand Sprite performed on carbonated beverages are mainly Catch. In orange flavour brand Fanta top position and in diet cola category ober 2011 sweetened carbonated water, it is was on top; in lime flavour brand 7up brand Pepsi scored top.
24 Consumer voice Mountain
cadmium and Mercury 51-70- Good ***, endosulfan Sulphate tests*** 25%
esticides tested for presence of pesticide Residue* 12%
Heavy Metals** 10%
**Heavy Metals tested as ***Sensory tests as organolaptic tests conducted involving testing experts from lab one external (V Consumer voice 25


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