Beware of imitation mineral waters

Today’s food technology has broadened the definition of mineral water, and thus “mineral waters” can include products that have low salinity, lack a therapeutic effect and are produced synthetically. In addition to natural mineral waters, retailers also carry so-called artificial mineral waters, which could better be considered simply groundwater, spring water, drinking water, bore-well water or table water. For instance, due to its composition, spring water does not need to undergo the physiological examination and certification required of food. Artificial mineral water consists of drinking water to which either natural high-salt water, sea water, various mineral salts and carbon dioxide have been added. It should be stressed that such products do not have a classic therapeutic value, and often the label does not specify the chemical makeup of the water. It is simply ordinary bottled drinking water, pure and of a guaranteed quality, which has been carbonated beforehand. What can be learned by reading a water bottle label? Bottled natural mineral waters sold in stores fall into three main categories:
  • water with very low salinity (less than 50 mg of salt per litre);
  • water with low salinity, salt concentration in these waters is under 500 mg per litre;
  • high salinity with more than 1500 mg of salt per litre.
Labels list important information for consumers about the content of specific chemical elements or compounds in the water. Natural mineral water marking:
  • high in hydrocarbonates (HCO3), over 600 mg/l
  • high in sulphates (SO42-), over 200 mg/l
  • high in chlorides (Cl-), over 200 mg/l
  • high in calcium (Ca2+), over 150 mg/l
  • high in magnesium (Mg2+), over 50 mg/l
  • high in fluoride F-), over 1mg/l
  • high in iron (Fe2+), over 1 mg/l
  • carbonated (CO2), over 250 mg/l
  • high in sodium (Na+), over 200 mg/l
  • low in sodium (Na+), under 20 mg/l
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