The difference between various bottled water types

bottled water

Have you bought bottled water recently? Did you see all the different types that are now available? While there are different sources for bottled water, all water that is labeled as “drinking water” or “bottled water” is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must meet certain standards.

According to the FDA, for a product to be considered “bottled water” it cannot contain sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences) and must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts and essences — derived from spice or fruit — can be added to bottled water, but these additions must comprise less than 1% by weight of the final product. Beverages containing more than the one percent by weight flavor limit are classified as soft drinks, not bottled water.

What is in bottled water? The FDA defines the various types of water as follows:

Artesian Water: Bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand).

Mineral Water: Contains no less than 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (minerals). No minerals can be added to this product.

Purified Water: Water labeled as “purified” can be derived from either distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis.

Sparkling Water: Water that, after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. (An important note: soda water, seltzer water and tonic water are not considered bottled waters. They are regulated separately and may contain sugar and calories. These types of carbonated water are considered soft drinks.)

Spring Water: Bottled water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.


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