Chemically Crafted

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There’s a food item out that appears to contain no actual food – a beverage called Orange Cream Soda by a particular manufacturer. I knew it was coming; there is less and less “real” food in purchased food items these days unless one eats organic or all natural. It’s all modified this (such as modified milk ingredients and modified starch) and additive that (such as caramel color).

I rarely drink soda, but, wanting a change, I ordered this soda at dinner. Curious, since it was $4, I looked at the ingredients label, expecting to see it was made from all natural, organic ingredients. What I found was anything but, despite the sales pitch on the label which states:

“A rich, Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with the complexity and character of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanicals. We proudly present our Orange Cream Soda, hand-crafted with only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, including a blend of select oranges, mandarins, and real vanilla. This recipe’s added complexity and character comes from a blend of lemon, lime, Chinese Ginger, nutmeg and botanical extracts including lemon grass and angelica root. Enjoy this truly classic Orange Cream Soda recipe, originally crafted by our master brewers”.

Here are the ingredients:

Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste)Natural and Artificial Flavor, Modified Food Starch, Erythorbic Acid, Yellow 6, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil.
Um, if it contains oranges, mandarins, vanilla, lemon, lime, ginger, nutmeg etc. should it not say that on the ingredient list?

Let’s break this “hand crafted with the finest quality ingredients” beverage down, shall we?

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
According to http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2008/11/19/f-fructosecornsyrup.html:

“High-fructose corn syrup is made from corn. After it’s milled, the resulting starch is processed into a syrup. By adding enzymes, the syrup is converted into fructose. Glucose syrup is then added to the mix to make high-fructose corn syrup. The most common form of the syrup contains 45 per cent glucose and 55 per cent fructose.”
There are some studies, listed on the cbc.ca link, that suggest consumption of HFCS plays a role in elevating triglycerides, as well as contributes to liver disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.

Modified food starch
According to research done by
http://katieskitchen1.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/what-is-modified-food-starch/
modified food starch is
“prepared by treating the native starch to change the properties of the ingredient in order to enhance their performance in different applications (increase stability against heat, acid, to change texture, etc.)”
Yellow No. 6 is a synthetic (i.e. man-made) food dye.
Citric Acid
is
“manufactured by a submerged fermentation process from a glucose and/or sucrose carbohydrate substrate”.
http://www.cargillfoods.com/wcm/groups/public/@cseg/@food/@all/documents/document/na3014920.pdf
Basically it sounds bacteria (like mold) is added to glucose or sucrose to ferment it. Yum!
Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin
I wonder what glycerol ester of wood rosin is and if I will get a splinter drinking or eating something that contains it. Also known as “ester gum” it is
“an effective weighting agent for adjusting the density of citrus oils and improves stability in beverages.” http://www.ticgums.com/products.html?page=shop.browse&category_id=17
Brominated Vegetable Oil
Finally, there is “brominated vegetable oil” (BVO) which has been “patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant, and banned in food throughout Europe and Japan, BVO has been added to sodas for decades in North America. Now some scientists have a renewed interest in this little-known ingredient, found in 10 percent of sodas in the United States”.

For more info: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/brominated-battle-in-sodas

Does that mean by drinking something with this in it, I won’t spontaneously combust?

I’d like to see another label added to commercially prepared foodstuffs:

No real food was harmed in the making of this item.

At least that label would be an accurate one.

(For a delicious, refreshing alternative to this and other sodas, cut up limes, lemons, oranges or cucumber and place in a pitcher of water. Refrigerate overnight.)

2 thoughts on “Chemically Crafted”

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Don’t you wish the label on the front of the food product matched the back. It would make ordering and buying foods so much easier.

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