Filed under: Dining
The FDA determined standards of identity to help classify the different types of bottled water. A basic summary of the classifications follow:
- Spring water which comes from a natural underground source and from which the water flows to the surface of the earth.
- Purified water where the water has been produced by a process that is defined by the United States. These processes can include but are not limited to distilling and reverse osmosis.
- Mineral water which is described by having naturally occurring dissolved solids (minerals and trace elements) at the minimum rate of 250 parts per million. This means the minerals or other solids can not be added later.
- Sparkling water is allowed to have carbon dioxide added or other treatment to retain the same level of carbonation it had at the original source.
- Artesian water which is water taken from a specific height above an aquifer.
- Well water which is self explanatory, just like our backyards it is water that comes from a hole drilled or bored in the ground.
If you think that the different brands of bottled water taste differently it is not your imagination run amok. While many of us are influenced by the design of the bottle itself, if you listen to your taste buds carefully, you might learn to discern which of the bottled waters you prefer and why.
According to industry experts, the mineral content, both amount and types as well as PH, and the level of carbonation effect the taste of a given brand of bottled water. High TDS (total dissolved solids) in mineral water as well as the amount of specific minerals such as salt, may also effect ones perception of the taste. Obviously the size of the bubbles in carbonated water influences the way it feels in your mouth, just as it does in champagne.
Speaking of champagne, a fun idea is to conduct your own bottled water tasting. Look for waters from different regions, aquifers, rain water, mineral waters and even tap water for comparison. The best part is that there is no right or wrong just what you prefer!