Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Minute Maid Light Lemonade Tart Taste

I really love the tart and tangy taste of Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink! The first time I tried Minute Maid Lemonade in a can, it was the regular offering which has 30 times the calories of the light version! That's 5 calories for the light versus 150 calories for the regular. Since I can drink more than one 12-ounce can in a short time period, I don't want all those calories so I now opt for the light version.

Perhaps you have read my previous blog post about my former favorite soda in a can? Although I just penned that post the day before, I was actually looking for a while to find another favorite drink. I didn't take long to settle on the Minute Maid. I have long known the Minute Maid brand for orange juice and grapefruit juice. It is only recently that I have gotten a taste for their lemonade.

Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink in 12-ounce Can
Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink in 12-ounce Can
I've been loving lemonade since I was a young kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. We actually used to make our own lemonade and sell it when we had summer parties and games with the kids in our neighborhood. We didn't do the traditional lemonade stand, but we did make a few bucks selling lemonade at our get-togethers.

What's pretty wild is that the Minute Maid Light Lemonade in the 12-ounce can tastes better than any lemonade I ever made! In my lifetime, I've made lemonade a variety of ways: from squeezing real lemons to using Real Lemon and tried Kool Aid Lemonade, Crystal Light and Country Time Lemonade mixes. None of those compares to the tangy and fruity taste of the Minute Maid.

I just never expected to have so much flavor in a soda can! In my personal opinion, this light lemonade fruit drink is probably the most flavorful fruit drinks I have ever had in a can!

What Does it Contain?

Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink in 12-ounce Can
Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink in 12-ounce Can
Reading the contents right off the 12-ounce can, this light lemonade fruit drink contains pure filtered water, lemon juice from concentrate, less than 0.5% of: natural flavors, citric acid (provides tartness), modified cornstarch, glycerol ester of rosin, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate and calcium disodium EDTA (to protect taste), aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, yellow #6.

3% Lemon Juice

Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.

Sodium: 50mg - 2%
Calories: 5

Compare this to Minute Maid's regular lemonade in the can which has a whopping 150 calories!

At the moment, the Minute Maid Light Lemonade Fruit Drink is my current "replacement" soft drink for Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale which was my favorite until I began to investigate the red 40 and blue 1 food dyes it contains.

Minute Maid Light Lemonade is not free of food dyes as it contains Yellow #6. A recent discussion on Dr. Oz shared a report that links Yellow #6 food dye with hyperactivity in children.

In a comprehensive report prepared by The Center for Science in the Public Interest, Yellow #6 is linked to allergic reactions and to "possible adrenal and testicular tumors."

There is not only the concern over food dyes in that lemonade! Both the Canada Dry and the Minute Maid drinks have aspartame and phenylalanine. Federal regulations require that any food that contains aspartame bear this warning: "Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine."  People with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) need to avoid products that contain phenylalanine. Read more about this from the Mayo Clinic.

Discovery Kids Lemonade Stand
There is another ingredient I wasn't familiar with; i.e., acesulfame potassium. Googling it, I learned from Nutrition Express that "acesulfame potassium is a calorie-free sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar." Gosh, that sounds like a lot of sweeteners in this drink.

I think it is probably the citric acid in this drink that has excited my taste buds. After all, it says right on the can "provides tartness." To describe my tastes in drinks I would definitely use the 4-letter word of tart!

I'm not sure how long I will continue to drink the Minute Maid Light Lemonade. I must say that I do give it the edge over the Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale.

P.S. How about that cool lemonade stand? Gosh, I wish we had that when I was a kid! Holy smokes, when I searched Amazon, it told me over 1,900 items. That's a lot of lemonade. Check out the variety of Lemonade Mixes on Amazon!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Red 40 and Blue 1 Food Dyes in Canada Dry

I am concerned about the use of red 40 and blue 1 food dyes in my favorite drink! That drink is Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale. I buy Canada Dry in the popular 12-packs of 12-ounce cans. Often times there are Publix store promotions from the bottler where you can buy three qualifying 12-packs for $12.00 and get the fourth free or buy two 12-packs and get two free. Many times throughout the warm summer months of Jacksonville, Florida, I have been purchasing up to four 12-packs of Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale at a time.

A drink of Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale
A drink of Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale
Copyright JaguarJulie Ann Brady
For the average person who maybe consumes a couple 12-ounce cans of this soda during a one-week period of time, food dyes might not be a concern. However, I don't fit this type of profile as I can easily drink half a 12-pack in one day. You see, it is a concern when I am particularly thirsty after working for hours in my yard in the humid heat of Jacksonville, Florida. It is quite easy for me to drink 4 of these cans in one yard workout session, if not more!

Did you ever think that the red 40 and blue 1 food dyes could be colorizing your urine which in turn could be colorizing the underside of your toilet seat? I mean, turning it a pinkish color, with light blue undertones? Gosh, what about my internal organs? Will the food dyes make them a more "healthy" deep pinkish color?

Take a closer look at the vivid red color - I believe you would call it a cool, pinky-red with blue undertones. To see it in person, the color is quite inviting.

Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale Ingredients
Ingredients of Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale
Copyright JaguarJulie Ann Brady

Contents / Ingredients:

The contents of that Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale include: carbonated water, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), malic acid, sodium citrate, aspartame, natural and artificial flavors, red 40, blue 1.

Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.

Sodium: 105mg - 4%

Caffeine-Free
Calories: 0

Nutrition Facts: Based on the composite nutritive standing Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale has been given a composite ranking of 16, and sparingly.

Do you know that the Regular Cranberry Ginger Ale has 230 calories per serving! Yikes, that is a lot of calories for one 12-ounce can. Imagine that I was drinking the regular offering whilst working out in my yard. I could easily hit just short of 1,000 calories without really eating anything. That's not a good thing!

Bottom Line:

So, it was my thinking that drinking one of the Canada Dry Ginger Ales would be good for me. You see, my grandma Julia Nagy always had some ginger ale for us kids to drink when we weren't feeling well. Perhaps that ginger ale of the 1950s was more healthful. Writing this page today, I was originally concerned with the red 40 and blue 1 food dyes in Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale.

Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale can and drink
Canada Dry Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale
Copyright JaguarJulie Ann Brady

Maybe I should be concerned about the aspartame and phenylalanine that is in that drink? To eliminate the dangers of the food dyes, I could drink the other version of Canada Dry Ginger Ale without the cranberry.

But, wait! Googling just to determine the ingredients of the regular Canada Dry Ginger Ale, I found many a resource questioning whether there really is real ginger in the ginger ale. After all, that was the reason I started drinking it in the first place; i.e., to benefit from the health effects of ginger - like my grandma taught me. Now I find that there are negative health side effects of Canada Dry Ginger Ale according to a report on Livestrong.com!

Oh boy! Time to find another favorite drink I think. Hey Canada Dry! Why not remove those questionable red 40 and blue 1 food dyes from my "former" favorite drink? And, while you are at it ... how about not adding phenylalanine?

After taking the time to research and write this page, I have now come to the conclusion that change is good. I will be changing my drinking habits. I will no longer be buying my former favorite drink from Canada Dry. Now, I do think it is a good opportunity for Canada Dry to capitalize on the healthful benefits of ginger and provide us consumers with a healthful ginger ale. Oh, get the red out please!

Online Research:

If you do a little of your own research online, you will find many sources which question the safety of these food dyes. For example, FDA Probes Link Between Food Dyes and Kids' Behavior -- The Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking the FDA to ban these artificial food dyes. 
  • Red No. 40 Allura Red - The most widely used food dye in terms of pounds consumed, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Found in cereal, gelatin, candy, baked goods.
  • Blue No. 1 Brilliant Blue - Found in ice cream, canned peas, candy, drinks, dessert powders, mouthwash.
Additional Resources:
By the way, are you curious about the origination of ginger ale? Who is credited with inventing ginger ale?