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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Caution about Mazaa and slice mango drinks

This is an health related information, learnt from a reliable source, but not verified by this author. Readers are requested to use their discretion.

Some of us think fruit based drinks such as Mazaa and Slice are better alternatives that aerated drinks like Sprite/Coke/Pepsi. Learnt from a friend that these drinks, specially during summer months could be even more harmful.

Now, this is what I learnt recently about these drinks-
Drinks like Maazaa and Slice are manufactured using natural and synthetic fruit pulp (mango in this case). In order to sterilize the microbes in them, the drink needs to be treated with a process called Pasteurization for about 90 minutes, before bottling. During summer, demand will be very high and the bottling plant will have difficult to meet production targets. Due to this high demand and a mandate of producing more and more bottles of drinks, the 90 minutes pasteurization process is often compromised-either the duration is reduced or its skipped altogether.

What this means is lots of bacteria, which should have been sterilized through pasteurization are bottled live and they reproduce rapidly inside. A consumer drinking from this bottle runs a high risk of catching some infection/diseases these bacteria might be pathogens to. I do not know the exact threat/disease caused by these micro organisms. So far no serious case has been reported in this regard and our body might have enough immunity to deal with these microbes, still this post is a word of caution. Better be safe than sorry.

Also please note that above information is not verified-of course no company will officially accept a lapse in process compliance. Unless a designated government agency conducts a surprise ride to verify it, or a person working there confirms it off the record, we can’t be sure. Please use your discretion.

This doesn’t mean aerated drinks like Coke and Pepsi are any better. Serious recommendation is to revert to any of the natural drinks listed here

16 comments :

Mohan said...

Shri, In my view, any company seeking licence for running such food related items has to go through rigorous compliance process defined by the government. Any lacuna wrt standards will not be tolerated as per law. Also, it may be noted that each such factory will have a capacity planning based on standard norms. So, obviously, they can't produce in excess of their capacity.

However, it is a good caution to keep in mind. If your caution proves to be correct, then I wish to see a severe punishment for these companies and be barred from doing the business for ever.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Mohan,

We all know how serious Indian companies w.r.t safety, hygiene and process compliance. When demand is high everyone tries to make some extra money working overtime. Not just factories- cab drivers, IT staff on projects, construction workers, everyone do overtime when work demands and or there's money to be made.

In this particular case, deviation is done only during summer months, I'm told. Rest of the year it should be fine I hope.

You might have seen in movies like Guru or Corporate how norms are bypassed.

S Shivananda Gavalkar said...

Good informative article.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

hari said...

Shrinidhi, if there ever came out such a case, the company would suffer irreparable loss in terms of image and that would be more important to big MNCs like Pepsico and Coca-Cola, so I doubt whether they will compromise on the manufacturing process.

Of course, they might try different tactics in marketing and product placement, but I think they won't take this kind of risk. They're in it for the long-haul, not for short term profits.

JyotiAjay said...

thanks for sharing ths article.bec my fav drink is slice i used to drink a lot these days.so from now i will be little cautious abt ths.

Vatsal Rathod said...

really useful information you gave us.. and I am sure lot of this content may be true also.. keep it up!!

@Hari and Mohan,
I really appreciate your optimism but this is not the case in our country, especially in backward areas where the safety and hygiene are given far lower preference.. I sincerely feel these should be handled with a really strict hand and taken care of since it directly affects our citizen's health.

hari said...

Vatsal, the manufacturing plant is the same whether they market in "backward" areas or in the cities.

Only the packaging of the product is different.

I agree that we should maintain strict standards on hygiene. But we should be more concerned about the actual ingredients of these "soft drinks" that cause harm to people when consumed regularly (like the acid content in Pepsi etc.)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Shiva,
Thanks

Hari,
I hope they don't. But big names will also have big tentacles protecting them against law. We can't be sure-sometime it can even happen without the knowledge/permission of senior management

Jyoti
Ok.

Vatsal,
Thanks. But as Hari said, the plant can be same irrespective of locality and deviation can happen anywhere.

Hari,
What difference in packaging are you talking about?

Thanks all.

hari said...

Difference in packaging:

in cities, we usually see the disposable PET bottles and cans while in villages they still use smaller glass bottles which have to be returned to the shop.

That's what I meant.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Not sure-I've seen glass bottles in cities and pet bottles in villages... May be they offer both at both places-preferences of local shop owner as to which one to stock may vary...

hari said...

If you go to the really small roadside shops in suburban or rural areas, they still keep glass bottles.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

ok...

The Confused Orient said...

Thanks indeed.

My 2 cents:
Some of the safest and healthiest options are Tender coconut water, fresh fruits, Carry water yourselves and in case fruits not being available vegetables like Cucumber are very good source of water.

Amla and Lime are very very good, they hydrate and keep you healthy, so carry some Lime concentrate when traveling.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sumanth Sharma,

Appreciate your input. I've already listed most of natural drinks in a separate post (like at end of the post)

Thanks

amit said...

hi,
actually pasteurisation is done continuously and time limit for pasteurisation is not 30 min.
even during season you cant fill bottles at a speed higher than OEM reccommondation and there is no bypass line also. so at least you can trust that pasteurisation ca'nt be bypassed even if someone tries.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Amit,
thanks for that additional info. Hope that means health of consumers isn't compromised.