Sunday, May 29, 2011

The chemistry of Water

At home I have a carbonator that makes soda from filtered water. Here on the road I do not have this magical device, so I have to buy the seltzer from Wegmans the local supermarket. By accident instead of getting plan seltzer I got a flavored water. It is not satisfying in the least. I miss my soda maker along with several other aspects of being home.
This water is called Flavor Splash... a naturally flavored water beverage. In this case: Wild berry (with other natural flavors). It has pictures of raspberries, blue berries and strawberries on the label and proudly proclaims 0 calories. It still tastes like mystery Kool Aide that has been diluted in a large lake. So I looked at the bottle to see exactly what natural ingredients it contained. Here is what I found.
Contains: Filtered water (that is good... really the only thing I wanted) Natural flavor (still not committing to an actual fruit) Citric acid (so the noncommittal flavor will seem like real fruit) Sodium hexametaphosphate (no idea what that is but it states in a parenthetical: to protect the flavor.... a flavor which needs protection even though we do not know exactly what it is) Phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate( again an unknown ingredient but once more in a parenthetical it says: to preserve protect the mystery natural flavor from spoiling) sodium citrate, sucralose, calcium disodium, ETA (and once again a reason for this chemical is said: to protect the flavor.... again I wonder what flavor we are protecting?)
I am no scientist but it seems to me a natural flavor that needs to be protected by three different chemicals becomes a very unnatural soup. The unfortunate reality is, if I liked the flavor, I wouldn't have bothered to read the ingredients. And I am sure that this recipe doesn't come close to the chemistry set that is in the average coke. I will guzzle down one of those with no thought of ingredients. So as I make my almost daily run to Wegmans after the show today I will be careful to avoid any proclamation of naturally flavored water.... just give the the unnatural non flavored stuff that has been infused with suspended carbon dioxide gas which is by the way is natural....oh, and also a deadly poison to humans.
As you were,

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