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Which contains more colorings and preservatives, the liquid ready drinks (for example any juice/drink) or the powder drinks (for example Tang)?
Let’s start by looking at Tang. The ingredients on the label are:
CALCIUM PHOSPHATE–prevents caking
POTASSIUM CITRATE–controls acidiy
ORANGE JUICE SOLIDS–what they are is unknown!
ASCORBIC ACID–another name for vitamin C
XANTHAN AND CELLULOSE GUMS
ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE–another name for vitamin E
NIACINAMIDE–one of the B vitamins
VITAMIN A PALMITATE
RIBOFLAVIN–another name for vitamin B2
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and BHA are antioxidants that prevent spoilage of food, mostly the oils and fats from going rancid. I’m taking a stab at food science, but I don’t see any other ingredient that would be considered as a preservative (examples of preservatives are calcium propionate, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, and sulfites).
Actually, I discovered that Tang was invented as astronaut food. It was used by the NASA Gemini space program because one of the life support-system modules produced water that could be consumed by the astronauts. However, they didn’t like the taste of the water, so Tang was invented to flavor it–both “natural” and artificial flavors.
Along with sugar, more sugar, and no fruit. Maybe a hint of the fruit from the company’s secret flavorings.
Other liquid juices, on the other hand, are another whole story. Some juices are better than others, but my guess is that most of them have more fruit than something like Tang.
When you choose juice, make sure it says 100% fruit juice. The water-sugar combo in most juices is not going to do you any good. Many juices have as low a 5% coming from fruit. So become a pro at reading those labels.
Even with 100% juice, try to drink no more than one 8-oz cup a day. Fruit juice has more calories and sugar, and less fiber than whole fruit. Plus, many studies find that people don’t get “full” after drinking juice compared to eating a whole fruit. For someone trying to cut back on food and calorie intake, juice won’t help. Whole fruit will.
The answer to the question really is: Tang and other powdered flavored “juices” are not really juice. Flavorings, colors, preservatives, and sugar. The label says it’s an instant breakfast drink that provided 100% of vitamin C need for the day. Well, a cup of 100% orange juice or one cup of cut up strawberries do too. Do I recommend them for anyone? Absolutely not.