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Survey of the chemical composition of 571 European bottled mineral waters

Bertoldi, Daniela, Bontempo, Luana, Larcher, Roberto, Nicolini, Giorgio, Voerkelius, Susanne, Lorenz, Gesine D., Ueckermann, Henriette, Froeschl, Heinz, Baxter, Malcolm J., Hoogewerff, Jurian, Brereton, Paul
Subtropical plant science 2011 v.24 no.3 pp. 376-385
Europeans, alkalinity, ammonia, boron, calcium, chlorides, commodity foods, electrical conductivity, fluorides, hardness, low sodium diet, magnesium, mineral content, mineral water, nitrates, nitrites, sodium, sulfates, surveys, Europe
As part of the European TRACE project (Tracing Food commodities in Europe, VI FP, Contract N. 006942), this paper provides a wide-ranging survey of the chemical composition of 571 mineral waters bottled and marketed in 23 European countries, and discusses 39 compositional parameters (specific electric conductivity, pH, hardness, total alkalinity, ammonia, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, sulphate, Ca, K, Mg, Na, Al, B, Ba, Cd, Ce, Co, Cs, Cu, La, Li, Lu, Mn, Mo, Nd, Ni, Pb, Rb, Se, Sm, Sr, Tl, U, V, Yb, Zn) mainly referring to legal limits and nutritional implications. According to European legislation 58.1% of samples could be defined as ‘suitable for a low-sodium diet’ while 8.1% could be defined as ‘containing sodium’, 13.7% could be labelled as ‘containing magnesium’, 10.2% as ‘containing fluoride’, 4.9% as ‘containing chloride’, 13.5% as ‘containing sulphate’ and 17.5% as ‘containing calcium’. 2.8% of samples did not conform with European Community limits for at least one parameter (Se, NO₂ ⁻, Mn, Ni, Ba, F and NO₃ ⁻). About 9% of samples had boron, nitrate or nitrite levels above the legal limit existing in individual European countries.