What makes the taste of bottled water different?

What makes the taste of bottled water different?

Bottled water is drinking water packed in glass or plastic bottles. It may or may not be carbonated and sizes vary from large carboys for water coolers to single serving bottles. The factory containers have an undetermined shelf life, as long as they remain undamaged and closed. A town water supply is mixed with numerous chemicals and is treated with filters so as to remove pollutants from it. At times, some traces of these chemicals left in the water. The increasing demand of bottled, filtered water has resulted in the establishment of many bottled water suppliers and companies that deliver this pure water straight to your doors. They provide an array of services varying from pumping to home delivery.

Bottled water is low in sodium, sugar-free, and does not have any kind of unpleasant aftertaste odor just like chlorinated tap waters. It can be obtained in a number of types as classified by the IBWA (International Bottled Water Association). Listed below are some of the available kinds of bottled water:

 

Sparkling Water

(Photo: authoritynutrition.com)

It contains CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) either added or naturally that is very popular in the Europe and the USA.

The carbon dioxide can be replenished and removed after treatment.This produces a bubbly drink that’s also known as sparkling water, club soda, soda water, seltzer water and fizzy water. With the exception of seltzer water, they usually have salt added to improve the taste. Sometimes small amounts of other minerals are included. Natural sparkling mineral waters, such as Perrier and San Pellegrino, are different. These waters are captured naturally from a mineral spring, and tend to contain minerals and sulfur compounds. These waters are often carbonated as well.

 

Mineral Water

This water has minerals when it is taken from its source and is extensively consumed all over the world. It contains approximately 250 parts per million TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), and originates from a physically and geologically protected underground water source.

Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product.

Mineral water comes from natural sources like wells, pure and rich in minerals. Unlike tap water that receives different treatments before human consumption, mineral water is bottled directly from the source, without adding any chemical elements. It only goes through a physical process of filtration to ensure maximum purity.

  • Mineral waters can be classified according to their origin:
  • Meteorological: Produced by rain, snow, and de-icing.
  • Juvenile: Those that see daylight when surfacing.
  • Fossil: Formed from sediments deposited on the sea floor.
  • Mixed: Composed from a mixture of meteorological, juvenile, and fossil water.

 

Purified Water

Different kinds of water certainly look the same in a glass, but there are differenced. (Photo: Aaron Amat/Shutterstock)

It is purified by deionization, reverse osmosis, or distillation processes that eradicate even the most resistant bacteria and chemicals. It is also known as “demineralized water”, and meets the standards of purified water in the US Pharmacopoeia.

Purified water is water that comes from any source, but has been purified to remove any chemicals or contaminants. Types of purification include distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, and carbon filtration. Like distilled water, it has its advantages and disadvantages, the advantages being that potentially harmful chemicals may be taken out and the disadvantage being that beneficial minerals may be taken out as well.

 

Spring Water

Groundwater used for drinking can be contaminated with arsenic

Spring Water either has similar properties as water at the source or flows naturally from its source.

This is what you often find in bottled water. It’s from an underground source and may or may not have been treated and purified. Though spring water sounds more appealing (like many others, I imagine my spring water coming from a rushing spring at the base of a tall, snow-capped mountain), it’s not necessarily the best water for drinking if you have other options. Studies done by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) have found contaminants in bottled water such as coliform, arsenic and phthalates. A lot of bottled water is labeled as spring water, but the source of that water is often a mystery, as this Environmental Working Group report makes clear. This topic has been a popular one in recent years, sparking plenty of controversy.

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