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employers have been replaced by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
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
Diet-Coke, our test shows , has indeed
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
need to be limited to maximum .
This product is no less risky than
cigarettes or alcohol and needs similar
alerts and warnings.
food-grade plastic containers under
Cold Drinks or Carbonate
strict sanitary conditions. To avoid
contamination after packaging, the
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
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
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
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
and in 2007, which
of a solution. The acidity
suggest that there
is a link between
of a solution is determined
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
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
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
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,
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
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
it may have negative health effects.
effective in the treatment of kidney and
The testing was mainly based on All brands of carbonated drink were
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.
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
t PERFORMANCE SCORE OF CARBONA
cadmium and Mercury
51-70- Good ***,
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
Native Medicinal Mushrooms An overview of their therapeutic potential Background: in November 2015, mushrooms are treated as 'whole' material with many The Wild Side of Life hosted the constituents that act together in symphony. With First UK Medicinal Mushrooms only a small number of exceptions, they are very safe, Conference in Lincolnshire. The
"Farmacología kinésica deportiva" Cátedra Kinesiología Deportiva Encargado de enseñanza Dr. Mastrángelo, Jorge Lic. Spinetta, Daniel Integrantes Balzi, Brenda Bettini, Florencia Ferraris, Juan Manuel Fortuondo, María Emilce Gómez, Vanina Guisasola, Pablo L'Afflitto, Mariana Micó, Gustavo Vazquez, Lorena Vignolo, Florencia