Balance – Carbonation

Carbonation Levels of Bottled Water

  • Still: Still waters-those that have no carbonation- are preferred by 65% of Americans when eating. Still water is perfect with any food, but a little variety can go a long way. With Still waters , we can engage in a dialoque about sources and minerality and focus on the differences in Still waters based on their terroirs. It is important to resist the temptation to pour Still water over ice- especially ice made from tap water. If you prefer your bottled water with ice, for full enjoyment make sure the ice is made with the same water.
    Recommended Serving Temperature: 54° F (12°C)
    ** SNO™ glass bottle’s SNO™ flake turns bluish purple at 59°F (15°C)
    Carbonation: 0 mg/L
  • Effervescent: Effervescent waters are an epicurean surprise to many. These sophisticated waters, with the smallest possible bubbles , straddle a line between Still and Light Sparkling waters. In some instances these waters lose their –sparkle – very quickly and some are almost still. Many naturally carbonated waters such as Badoit, Wattwiller, fall into this category. Use this element of surprise to contrast or support a dish with a water pairing.
    Recommended Serving Temperature: 56°F (13°C)
    Carbonation: 0-2.5 mg/L
  • Light: These waters draw attention. Many people who claim they don’t like sparkling water at all love Light sparkling waters. If your are serving a dish with a subtle mouthfeel- eg a perfectly pan-seared fish – a light sparkling water would be a perfect choice. It gives texture but does not overpower the presentation.
    Recommended Serving Temperature: 58°F ( 14°C)
    Carbonation: 2.5-5 mg/L
  • Classic: Classic is what most people think of when they talk about sparkling water. Many high mineral content waters fall into the category. Classic waters are the workhorses of food and water pairing. Their mouthfeels matches many dishes perfectly, which makes them a safe bet. Classic waters are also perfect for mixed drinks, especially wine spritzers. In selecting specific Classic waters to pair with food, note the mineral content. A Classic water with low TDS like SNO™ (68tds) is a good choice for mixed drinks, while one with a higher TDS would be the perfect choice with steak.
  • Bold: Expect bold, large and loud bubbles. Bold water sometimes create a –fireworks in your mouth- kind of feeling. Served too cold the bubbles can be overhelming. Served closer to room temperature , the bubbles calm down. You can use a spoon to stir the water to reduce the effect of the carbonation; opening the bottle and allowing the water to breathe will also reduce some of the effect, if desired. Careful matching of food is required if Bold waters are to be enjoyed while dining. Bold waters are perfect at the beginning of a meal, preferably with crispy appetizers.
    Recommended Serving Temperature: 62°F (17°C)
    Carbonation: larger then 7.5mg/L

Artifical Carbonation

Current carbonation techniques involve pressurizing carbon dioxide before adding it to the water- the pressure increases the amount of carbon dioxide that will dissolve. Opening the bottle of water releases pressure, allowing the carbon dioxide to form bubbles that hadn’t previously been visible. The size, spacing and quantity of bubbles in carbonated water is governed by te amount of carbon dioxide added to it. Most artificially carbonated waters have 1 to 10 mg/l of carbon dioxide.

Minerality (TDS)

Glacier Water’s subtle taste and terroir are determined by the minerals it contains. The amount of minerals dissolved in water is indicated as total dissolved solids, (TDS) measured in milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm), which are equal.

TDS- Total Dissolved Solids in Bottled Water

A water’s TDS is normally made up mainly of carbonates, bicarbonates, chlorides, sulfates, phosphates, nitrates, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium,, iron, manganese and a few other minerals. Gases, colloids or sediment is not included in the TDS measurement . After mouthfeel, TDS is the second most important factor in matching water with food. The higher the mineral content the more distinct a water’s taste can be, however in some cases the less hydrating properties they may have.

Think of low TDS waters as comparable to white wines, with a clean, neutral taste and less weight; high TDS water are more like red wines, with a heavier more substantial feel. Very high TDS waters feel distinctly heavy and may have an aftertaste, much like a big bold red wine.

  • Super low 0-50 mg/l
  • Low 50-250mg/L
  • Medium 250-800 mg/L
  • High 800-1500 mg/L
  • Very High 1500 mg/L & over

Orientation (pH)

pH Factor of Water:
The pH (for “potential hydrogen”) measures a substance’s level of acidity or alkalinity. On this scale 1.0 to 6.9 is acidic , 7.0 is neutral , and 7.1to 14.0 is alkaline ( or basic)

Sour tastes ( such as that of vinegar) comes from acids, whereas alkaline substances tend to taste bitter and may seem to have a slippery feel.

Low alkaline waters (ph 7.1 to 7.5) may be perceived as sweet- this doesn’t mean that the water tastes sugary but simply that it tastes neither bitter nor sour. Since pH is a logarithmic scale, the difference of 1 degree indicates a tenfold increase or decrease in acidity or alkalinity. Water with a pH of 5 for example is ten time more acidic than that with a pH of 6.

In the 5 to 10 range, the pH factor plays a minor role (about 5%) of the flavor relative to TDS (20%) and the carbonation (75%).

Hardness (Ca & Mg)

Calcium & Magnesium:
Calcium and magnesium levels combine to determine the mineral water’s “hardness” (for the exact formula, see the table below). Bottled water is naturally soft , thanks to low levels of calcium and magnesium. Higher levels are often found in municipal water, which is often “softened” – particularly in the United States –to be used at home.

The taste of water is impacted heavily by softening.

Hard Water:
Hard tap water makes cleaning more difficult and more dependent on soaps and synthetic detergents. Scaling in boilers and teakettles comes from hard water. But hard water does not pose any danger to your health: According to the U.S. National Research Council, the magnesium and calcium in hard water can actually contribute to your daily dietary requirements.

Soft Water:
Water is softened with an ion-exchange water softener, which adds sodium (salt) to he water. About 8 mg/l of sodium is added for every grain of hardness. In the United States , water hardness is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Instead the Department of the Interior and the international Water Quality Association offer the following classifications.

  • Soft 0- 17.1 mg/l
  • Slightly Hard 17.1- 60mg/l
  • Moderately Hard 60-120 mg/l
  • Hard 120-180 mg/l
  • Very Hard 180mg/l & over

Vintage (age)

What is Real Bottled Water(written by Michael Mascha June 13, 2006 at Fine
Much bottled water and mineral water is really bottled municipal tap water- in the United States, governments and industry estimate that municipal water makes up 25%-40% of the bottled water sold. American bottlers are also permitted by the FDA to label water as spring water even when it is treated with chemicals or pumped to the surface through a well near a true spring.

Commodity Bottled Water:
Bottled Water – The salient characteristic of this type is that it is bottled , providing a convenient package for on-the-go hydration. Water fountains or sinks would work just as well to quench your thirst, but water companies’ self-serving marketing campaigns may have persuaded you that water is healthier when it comes from a bottle. This attitude turns bottled water into a commodity, regardless of where the water comes from. Convenience is the key- the water itself is nothing special. This water is “unstructured”

Natural Bottled Water:
Bottled Water – These very special waters express terroir. Bottled at source, they may be naturally carbonated and are treated only minimally (if at all). SNO™ (still) water is not treated at all. SNO™ (sparkling) has CO2 added to give it its fizz. Contact with geological formations imparts a unique mineral composition to each water; many of these compositions are reputed to have healthful properties.

Structured Water:
When water is unadulterated it means it is untouched unchanged, nothing added or subtracted , 100% natural, this in turn means this H20 water molecule has, its outer electron shell intact, ie in equilibrium and without a charge. This is a structured water, a water that you will see can penetrate the body’s cells much more easily and therefore cleanse your cells and re-hydrate your body’s cells much more easily. It is this cleansing of your cells that give you a healthier, happier life. Typically the lower the TDS (total dissolved solids) the greater the cell hydrating properties of the water.

At the University of Georgia they found that in every human body all diseased cells (no matter what the disease) were surrounded by what is called “unstructured” water and they also found that every healthy cell was surrounded by “structured” water.

Minerals Commonly Found in Bottled Water

Effect of Minerals on your Health:
Compared to wine, differences in taste between waters are quite subtle. But they are nevertheless discernible: Local geological strata impart water with different minerals, giving every single-source water a unique set of characteristics. This section describes the most common minerals found in bottled water the benefits these minerals can provide.

Magnesium (Mg++):
Almost all human cells have some level of magnesium in them, and adults need three to four hundred milligrams of magnesium every day. Magnesium is important for the regulation of muscle contractions and the transmission of nerve impulses, and it activates energy-producing enzymes. Bone structure also relies on magnesium and it expands blood vessels, which lessen the risk of heart attack. Nervousness, lack of concentration, dizziness, and headaches or migraines may result from magnesium deficiency. Most bottled waters have below 20mg/l like SNO™ whereas some may have as much as 1000mg/l. SNO™ has 3.0 mg/l.

Calcium (Ca++):
Adults need about eight hundred milligrams of calcium per day—babies don’t require as much but fifteen to nineteen year olds need significantly more. The many benefits of calcium include it stabilizing bone structure , teeth, and cell membranes; ensuring nerve and muscle impulses are properly transmitted; and helping to prevent blood clotting. Calcium also has a balancing effect for numerous skin allergies. Bones decalcify (osteoporosis) and fractures become more likely if a body is not getting enough calcium. Bottled water usually has less than 100mg/l of calcium, but few examples have about 500mg/l. SNO™ has 4mg/l.

Potassium (K+):
Two to four grams is usually a sufficient day’s supply of potassium. Children and young people should pay particular attention to their intake, since potassium aides the growth of cells. The pressure of water between cells is regulated by K+, which also makes sure each cell gets enough food. Potassium has special roles to play in muscle contraction and the formation and conduction of impulses and make smooth muscle tired. Typical potassium content in bottled water is less than 5mg/l, but some (such as Ferrarelle and Malvella) can have as much as 50mg/l. SNO™ has 1.5 mg/l.

Sodium (Na+):
A person’ level of exertion largely determines his or her daily requirement of sodium. Normally about three grams are necessary, but severe physical stress can bring the requirements up to 15 grams or more. The heart’s metabolism is affected by sodium as is the regular contraction of the heart. Today, we rarely have to worry about sodium deficiency; Salt is an integral part of many foods, especially those that are highly processed. Sodium is bottled water ranges from 10mg/l in most bottled waters to 1200mg/l in a few waters, such as Vichy Catalan and Vichy Celestins. SNO™ has 7.8 mg/l suitable for heart patients.

Sulfate (SO4–):
Sulfates are the salts of sulfur. They aid the liver in detoxification and help digestion by stimulating the gall bladder. Sulfates in high doses act as a laxative. Fish, meat and milk contain sulfates, which are an important component of protein. The human body only absorbs small amounts of sulfates, but these amounts are sufficient to stimulate peristalsis by binding magnesium and sodium to water in the intestine. This effect makes mineral waters that are rich in sulfates, taste slightly bitter, suitable as “nonalcoholic bitters” after a meal. Most bottled waters have well below 100mg mg/l of sulfates, but San Pelligrino and a few others can reach 500mg/l. SNO™ has 1.5mg/l.

Bicarbonate (HCO3-):
Present in all biological fluids, bicarbonate is essential for maintaining our bodies pH balance. The substance is also found in stomach secretions. Lactic acid generated by physical activity is neutralized by bicarbonate dissolved in water; a similar process raises the pH of some acidic foods. The typical range of bicarbonate in bottled water is 50mg-200mg/l, but it can reach up to about 1800mg/l in waters such as Apollinaris, and Gerolsteiner. SNO™ has 39mg/l.

Silica (SiO2):
Most adults need between twenty and thirty milligrams of silica daily. [ An essential mineral building block, silica is one of the body’s greatest energizing nutrients.] Silica reduces the risk of heart disease and may prevent osteoporosis; it also helps tissue repair by serving as an antioxidant. Hair and nails are strengthened by silica. If bottled waters contain any silica, it is usually less than 20mg/l and the higher levels in waters such as Fiji are well below 100mg/l. SNO™ has 20mg/l.

Trace Elements:
The human body needs iron, iodine, copper, fluoride, zinc and other trace elements as well as minerals. The recommended daily intake is fractions of a milligram for some substances and a few milligrams for others.