We read everywhere: zero calorie, sugar free, fat free, gluten free… But what we have to keep in mind is that every time when sugar, fat or gluten are taken out, a designed combination of other food additives is called upon to replace them. These ingredients, sometimes natural, sometimes chemically synthesized, help food scientists make “zero calories”, “light” or “fat free” versions of product taste as close to the original as possible. Are they still healthy? This is a different topic. So let us see what you get with Fruit2O drink in replacement of our natural but demonized macronutrient – sugar.
Stated value: Everything on the label is screaming about how fruity the beverage is: Fruit2O; Natural Grape; Great Fruit Flavor!
True value: Why wouldn’t Sunny Delight Beverages Co. make the true statements instead? The silent truth is: NO Fruit; Synthetic Methyl Anthranilate; Great Methyl Anthranilate Flavor!
DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!
The main ingredient is water. The rest is chemicals added in “less than 2%” that makes the beverage nothing more than water deliberately contaminated with 7 chemical food additives. Accordingly, you will get tremendous foreign food additive risk of DDFI = 13/1 = 13 and about ZERO nutritional value of DDNF = 1/31 ~ 0.03. You will also get 4% of your daily sodium. What else?
- Methyl anthranilate is grape flavor additive. Of course they don’t want to put scary chemical name on the front of their beverage. And if they do, would you still buy it? But the truth is that methyl anthranilate is EXACTLY what you buy, smell and taste in the Fruit2O. Yes, it does occur naturally in grapes and other fruits but food industry does not make it by tedious and costly extraction from the natural sources: it is easily synthesized from petrochemicals. So what is the point? While methyl anthranilate has low acute toxicity of LD50 ~ 2 – 5 g per kg of body weight (some like the one of table salt, see Methyl anthranilate MSDS section 11) it is NOT GRAPE and even not derived from grape. Its another use is described in an article (PDF file): Methyl Anthranilate as a Bird Repellent.
- Sucralose is a chlorinated sugar widely used as zero calories artificial sweetener. For health effects and more details see Propel Zero: Sucralose is not a solution.
- Sodium benzoate is a food preservative. In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate form benzene, a known carcinogen. However, in most beverages that contain both, the benzene levels are below those considered dangerous for consumption. Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed. Professor Peter W. Piper of the University of Sheffield claims that sodium benzoate by itself can damage and inactivate vital parts of DNA in a cell’s mitochondria. Mitochondria consume oxygen to generate ATP, the body’s energy currency. If they are damaged due to disease, the cell malfunctions and may enter apoptosis. Coca-Cola begun withdrawing the controversial additive from European markets in January 2008 in response to consumer demand for more natural products. Read the article: Diet Coke to drop additive in DNA damage fear. Also see a PDF file Effect of some colours and sodium benzoate on children’s behaviour.
So, do you see why DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It? You may be surprised, but the first reason why I do not buy products like this “fruit fraud” is that I cannot take lies anymore! And I don’t take lies because I do not accept being treated like helpless cattle. The second reason is, of course, that those products are non-nutritious and almost useless if not harmful. Why almost? Well, in an emergency perhaps you can survive a day or two on Fruit2O or Gatorade better than without any water at all but if you choose to drink that stuff regularly you may take higher health risks.
Mineral water is a perfect choice: If you look for zero calories, fat free and gluten free drink and you don’t want take chances with all those chemical replacements, here is the perfect choice:
I am not saying that you should not drink Fruit2O. My goal is to clearly explain what the product really is. Then YOU decide if you still want to accept those lies and add health risks to your daily diet. Yes, the freedom of choice is yours but the reality is that with the number of chemical additives overgrowing 3000 we have less food freedom left.