While we’re environmentalists and like to brew our own, America loves its bottled tea. (We like it, too: We’re just focused on reducing our environmental footprint.)
Today is National Iced Tea Day, an appropriate day to note the move to “100% natural” in bottled teas.
“Natural” in tea means no artificial colors, flavors, chemical preservatives* or fabricated products such as high fructose corn syrup (see details). Natural-ingredients foods have become increasingly popular with health-focused consumers.
There are natural food preservatives: alcohol, ascorbic acid, citric acid, salt, sugar and vinegar. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, sourced primarily from lemons. It is found in varying amounts in citrus fruits and some vegetables. Citric acid is also found in citrus fruits and some vegetables, but it has less nutritional value than ascorbic acid. Citric acid, which does not contain vitamin C, is most famously used in sodas, in large enough quantities that it can erode the tooth structure of heavy soda drinkers (details). Ascorbic acid can do the same, but it is added to foods only in small amounts.
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