Wendyl Wants to Know: Fizzy drink

Long Lunch 12/03/2018

Wendyl Wants to Know: What's in Ninety Nine and Sparkling Oh!

After Lisa Owen brought a bottle of bright red fizzy drink into work Wendyl decided to let her know just exactly what she's drinking and give her a better option.

Ninety Nine 97% sugar free Raspberry flavoured drink  - 99c for 1.5 litre

Carbonated Water

Flavour ( this is artificial)

Sweeteners (951,950)These are Acesulfame (950)

Potassium. This is a chemical that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Its approval for use in 1988 was controversial as the Center for Science in thePublic Interest, a Washington consumer group, said that animals fed this in two different studies suffered more tumours than others that did not receive the compound. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) said that four long-term animal studies in dogs, mice and rats had not shown any toxic effects and approved its use.

951 Aspartame is an artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet. Compound prepared from aspartic acid and phenylalanine which is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. There have been objections made that it might cause brain damage and that when used in soft drinks it deteriorates into toxic levels of methyl alcohol under storage conditions. Neither claim was accepted, and it has been approved as a sweetener since 1981. However aspartame must be avoided by people with the genetic condition phenylketonuria or PKU which means a person cannot break down phenylalanine which is an ingredient in aspartame.

Food Acid (330) This is citric acid.

Preservative (211) This is sodium benzoate.

Colour (122) Azorubine or Carmoisine. This colour was phased out in the UK because  consumption of mixes of certain artificial food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to increased hyperactivity in some children.

So in this drink we have the preservative sodium benzoate and one of the six artificial colours phased out by 2009.

The artificial colours are:

  • sunset yellow FCF (E110)

  • quinoline yellow (E104)

  • carmoisine (E122)

  • allura red (E129)

  • tartrazine (E102)

  • ponceau 4R (E124)

Sparkling Oh! Orange Mango - $3.00 for 1.25 litres

Carbonated Spring Water

Reconstituted Mango Juice (3%)

Flavour enhancer (Erythritol)  When stevia is used as a natural sweetener ( below) you will often find erythritol in the mix as well because it can reduce the bitter after taste often found with stevia.

It is a low-calorie sweetener and derived from fruits and fermented foods but studies have shown that it doesn’t give the blood-sugar spike associated with normal sugar and it doesn’t appear to feed bacteria in the mouth.

Natural flavours

Acidity regulators (citric acid, sodium citrate)

Preservative (potassum sorbate)

Natural sweetener (stevia) Stevia is a plant which looks a bit like mint. It’s about 300 times sweeter than sugar, but with no calories. It does have a bitter aftertaste so you will often find other sweeteners such as erythritol (above) included in the mix to help with the taste.

Natural colour (carotene) Orange-yellow colour, converts to vitamin A in the body.

Antioxidant (ascorbic acid)

CONCLUSION: So the Ninety Nine drink is basically a bottle full of chemicals and has nearly four times as much salt at 117mg. But it has 17 kjs or about 4 calories per serve. He Sparkling Oh has no  nasties but 2g of sugar per serve - from the juice. So you’ll get 72 kilojoules or 17 calories per serve.

And there is a huge price difference - Ninety Nine  is 99c for 1.5 litres - Sparkling Oh is $3.00 for 1.25 litres.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.