Here is Jarritos Fruit Punch tutifruti imported from Mexico. The manufacturer proudly states that the drink is made with:
- 100% natural sugar
- No caffeine
- No High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Yes, this is good but what about fruits? Unfortunately sugar and water are the only nutrients whereas the other five are not. Look at the risk diagram: too much red.
While citric acid is essentially harmless we cannot say so about even caramel coloring. Center for Science in the Public Interest has recently filed petition (CSPI Caramel Coloring Petition) to ban caramel coloring in the USA because modern technology for its production uses ammonia at high temperature, the conditions in which carcinogenic 2-methyl and 4- methylimidazioles are created (see California Lists 4-Methylimidazole as a Proposition 65 Carcinogen).
Artificial colors such as Red 40 have been long suspected to cause or aggravate behavioral problems in children and adults (read another CSPI document Diet, ADHD and Behavior) especially in combination with sodium benzoate (Assessment of the results of the study by McCann et al. (2007) on the effect of some colours and sodium benzoate on children’s behaviour). In Jarritos Fruit Punch we have detected 60 mg/L of Red 40 (or 16 mg/bottle) which is quite common for the soft drinks in the USA.
Therefore look at the next row and perhaps you will find Topo Chico mineral water that is another product of Mexico and it is perfectly safe to drink. What you get for the same $1.48 are nutrients only: water and mineral salts with no risky food additives.
Hope this brief review helps to make your informed free choice.