Non-diet Low-Sugar Soda May Be Possible

On Monday, we shared the exciting news that Nestlé has created naturally sweeter chocolate without refined sugar. Today, we’re talking about the news that scientists have figured out a way to cut sugar out of soft drinks! While cutting added sugar is great, it doesn’t make chocolate a suddenly “free” food. However, soda — with no calories or weird chemical additives — might be something you can enjoy. Studies have shown that effervescent drinks like seltzer and sparkling mineral water don’t impact bone health, but colas do. Speak to your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet.    

Research from De Montfort Univ. Leicester, Univ. of Sheffield, Innovate UK and WET Group Ltd. looked at changing pH levels in soft drinks. Much of the sugar in drinks isn’t needed to make them sweeter; it’s to mask the flavor of acid. Water’s natural pH level is 7, but soda’s is much lower.

Sugar is being used to disguise the acidity in drinks, rather than improve the flavor,” explained Prof. Martin Grootveld, of De Montfort Univ. Leicester. “And, actually, adding sugar causes the pH value of water to decrease even further — we found some drinks had a highly acidic pH level of 2.5.

By making source water with a very high pH of 10.5, they were able to create drinks that didn’t need sugar to hide any acidic taste. Even once all the flavors and additives were in the mix, the beverage still had a pH over 9. The drinks have under 0.1 grams of sugar in 100 milliliters. The new technology that the team created, to make water with such a high pH, has been awarded the Seal of Excellence by the European Commission.

An additional bonus of this method of producing drinks isn’t just the lack of sweeteners; it’s the lack of acid. Acid can seriously damage tooth enamel and heighten your risk of tooth decay and cavities. If we can have naturally sweet drinks without sugar and acid, we will be very happy campers!
July 24, 2019
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