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Vitamins and minerals

The need for a sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals is present throughout life. They help maintain a healthy body and fight diseases and also are essential to the smooth functioning of the body.

Vitamins

In general, any soft drink which contains a quantity of fruit juice as an ingredient will contain some amount of vitamins. However, it is becoming increasingly popular for manufacturers to add a variety of vitamins to any soft drink product. These are usually referred to as fortified drinks.   

Vitamins play a vital role in many metabolic pathways. Vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruit juices and at varying levels in other fruit juices, is an important contributor to maintaining healthy cellular activity which therefore can guide against infections. It is also essential for the structure of bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels, and maintenance of capillaries and gums and the absorption of iron.


Minerals
Metals in a soluble form are usually referred to as mineral salts and are very important building blocks needed in the renewal of tissues such as blood and bone. Soft drinks contain a range of minerals as a result of the ingredients used in their manufacture. Sodium, calcium and magnesium come mainly from the major ingredient - water. Low levels of potassium and phosphate will also be present if any fruit materials are contained in the drink.

Bottled waters are a good source of minerals. Natural mineral water and spring water, for example, will contain a wide variety of minerals which it picks up from the geological structure of the bedrock from which it emerges. Its mineral composition is also dependent on the length of time the water circulates in underground formations.

Each underground source of water, therefore, produces a distinctive product with unique properties such as mineral composition and flavour. For example, waters which flow through chalk will contain calcium, those containing magnesium will have a slightly bitter taste whilst those containing sodium might taste salty.