What’s In My Food: Sprite Ingredients Explained
Reading the ingredient list on your food label and knowing what they are, are two different things. For example: Do you know what the ingredients BHT, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, blue 1, and phosphoric acid are? Well you should, since you are consuming them on a daily basis. One's use is banned in restaurants. Another is mined from the earth. And the Other two are made from petroleum.
Can you imagine what these ingredients are doing to your body? Well don't imagine. Know. Educate yourself. Read on to learn exactly what your food is made of, and what it’s doing to your health.
In all products, ingredients must be listed according to their relative weight. The listing of each ingredient is in a descending order of predominance.
Sprite’s ingredients are: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate (to protect taste).
1. Carbonated Water: Plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved.
Health effects: Linked to tooth decay. May reduce fertility. Suspected teratogen (any agent that interferes with normal embryonic development).
2. High fructose corn syrup: Corn derived sweetener. Corn starch is processed to corn syrup and then treated with enzymes to convert glucose in fructose.
Health Effects: Excess may increase risk of tooth decay, abnormal weight gain, kidney stones, gout, kidney stones, colon cancer, and diabetes. Large amounts have caused tumors in mice. In 2005, some U.S. manufactured high fructose corn syrup was found to contain trace amounts of mercury.
3. Citric acid: A weak organic acid used as a flavoring agent and a preservative. Extracted from citrus fruits or made by fermentation of yeast or mold. May contain MSG. May be genetically modified.
Health effects: If MSG sensitive, may provoke symptoms.
4. Natural flavors: Any flavor not chemically derived. Obtained by physical processes from plants or animals. Made to provide flavor to a food rather than nutritional value. May contain MSG.
Health effects: Unknown.Different foods use different natural flavors and processes. Naturally derived ingredients may be altered, rendered unsafe. It should be noted that the use of the word “natural flavors” is often used to mask the use of harmful, naturally derived flavors.
5. Sodium citrate: The sodium salt of citric acid. Used for flavoring or as a preservative.
Health effects: May interfere with the urinary excretion of drugs, having the effect of making said drugs either less potent or more toxic.
6. Sodium benzoate: Used as a preservative. It is the sodium salt of Benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is synthesized commercially from toluene. Toluene is produced in the gasoline making process and the making of coke (carbon fuel produced by distillation of coal) from coal. Therefore, sodium benzoate is a petroleum derivative.
Health effects: Asthma, hives, hay fever, mouth irritation, and other allergic reactions. Neurotoxicity and brain damage; Linked to hyperactivity and decreased intellect in children. May cause DNA damage, leading to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Benzene, a known cancer-causing agent, can form in soft drinks when sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin c, commonly added to fortify soft drinks) are mixed.