Mineral water is mother nature’s cocktail of dissolved solids. The concentration of essential chemicals in the water makes it an excellent source of nutrients and electrolytes. Although your bottled product retains most of the properties present at its natural condition, the water still needs some help before it can be safely consumed.
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The natural chemicals that give mineral water its name
Mineral water is rich in natural elements namely calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium, and sodium sulfate.
In the US, only water that contains 250 parts per million dissolved solids in its natural state classifies as mineral water. The EU does not specify any minimum mineral content as long as the water is bottled at source. Member states, however, keep an official register of producers in this sector.
When can you say mineral water is natural
Minerals can theoretically be added to distilled water, but you can only market bottles as ‘natural mineral water’ if the mineralization occurs organically in aquifers. Water picks up its mix of minerals as it seeps through layers of rock on its way from the earth’s surface to underground streams.
While you may decant the sourced water to filter out undesirable chemicals such as iron and arsenic, your production process may not add any minerals further to it.
Still or Sparkling? Managing carbon in mineral water
Natural mineral water contains carbon dioxide. Even if you are bottling non-carbonated water, it still has a degree of CO2 in it – the levels are just not sufficiently significant.
You may, however, decarbonate and re-carbonate the water during processing to control the intensity of effervescence in the bottle. If you want to make a more lively beverage, you can fortify the naturally carbonated water with an extra supply of bubbles.
Declare your fluoride intensity
Fluoride occurs naturally in water, but a high exposure to the mineral can lead to tooth decay and skeletal damage.
If the fluoride concentration in your mineral water is higher than 1 mg/l, you must indicate the fact on the label. Moreover, if the content is over 1.5 mg/l you are bound by the Food and Agriculture Organization to advise customers that the product is not suitable for children under 7 years.