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What Preservatives Does Monavie Use in Their Blend

28 December 2009 5,253 views No Comment

MonaVie has no control over how the product is stored once it arrives at its destination and because of this they understand that the product may not be kept in optimal conditions.  It is in these less than satisfactory conditions that the growth of potentially harmful bacteria is promoted necessitating the need for preservatives.

 

Citric Acid

MonaVie uses a lemon based form of citric acid but the levels of citric acid in the formula are extremely low. Citric acid is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks. MonaVie adds this to the blend to help lower the pH. This also helps control the growth of microbes that could grow in the juice. 

 

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a potassium salt version of sorbic acid, a polyunsaturated fat used to inhibit mold growth. Sorbic acid was first isolated from the oil of the unripened rowan berry (sorbapple or mountain ash berry) in 1959 by A.W. Hoffmann. Sorbic acid obtained its name from the scientific name for mountain ash (i.e. Sorbus aucuparia, Linne), the parent of the rowan berry. The chemical structure of sorbic acid was determined some time between 1870 and 1890 (see above), and then chemically synthesized by O. Doebner in 1900.

 

 

The value of sorbic acid, or its salts, was not immediately recognized. (It would only be much later that these compounds would be appreciated for their ability to interfere with ATP metabolism in microbes, while posing no health risk when consumed by mammals.) In 1939 and 1940, E. Mueller (Germany) and C.M. Gooding (U.S.) discovered sorbic acid’s antimicrobial properties. Subsequently, in 1945, C.M. Gooding and Best Foods, Inc. were awarded the first patent for the use of sorbic acid as a fungistatic agent in foods.

 

 

Since the 1950’s, sorbic acid has been repeatedly tested for safety and efficacy, and today stands as one of the most thoroughly tested food additives in history. In fact, few substances have had the kind of extensive, rigorous, long-term testing that sorbic acid and its salts have had. It has been found to be non-toxic even when taken in large quantities, and breaks down in the body into water and carbon dioxide in the Krebs Cycle.

 

 

The all-time critic of food additives, Dr. Michael Jacobsen (founder of Center For Science In The Public Interest in Washington, D.C.), has given sorbic acid and its salts his highest rating, SAFE. He has indicated that, “the body metabolizes potassium sorbate like any other polyunsaturated fat.” Many of the most common food additives which health-conscious Americans take for granted have not received this rating: hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, common food colorings (coal tar dyes), natural liquid smoke flavorings (distillates), BHA, BHT, TBHQ, nitrates, etc.

 

 

Sodium Benzoate

Since the early 1900’s, sodium benzoate has been used as a food preservative.  It is utilized in a wide range of preservative applications due to its antimicrobial action combined with its low toxicity and low taste.  From carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, fruit and fruit juices, syrups, olives, pickles and other condiments, sodium benzoate is widely used in a number of the products we consume through everyday use.

 

It is used in acidic foods and products to control bacteria, mold, yeasts and other microbes and because there’s a considerable amount of time between the production and the consumption of food today, the need exists for the use of preservatives in order to prevent spoilage and undesirable alterations in color, flavor or nutrients. 

 

Degradation pathways for benzoic aid (produced in the body from the sodium salt) have been studied in detail and have shown the harmlessness of this substance:  75 – 80% is excreted within 6 hours, and the total dose leaves the body within about 10 hours. 

 

The limit of sodium benzoate in foods is not because of its toxicity, but at levels higher that 0.1% will leave an undesirable aftertaste.  Foods containing this preservative are much healthier than non-preservative foods since harmful microorganism growth is inhibited, food oxidation is prevented and food nutrients are preserved. 

 

Chronic toxicities were examined in rats fed diets containing up to a total of 1%.  After 4 generations there were no changes in normal patterns of growth, reproduction, lactation and no morphological abnormalities of organs.  Acute toxicity studies, where one large dose of sodium benzoate is given to animals, showed no lethal effects until 2 grams per kg. body weight was administered.  One could not eat enough foods containing sodium benzoate to even get 0.002% of this amount! 

 

 

As a preservative, sodium Benzoate preserves freshness. It also acts as a controller; meaning it controls and prevents the growth of yeasts and molds. Yeasts and molds tend to grow in fruit based products and if allowed to cultivate they can decompose a product’s nutritional content.

 

 

Yeasts and molds when permitted to thrive also produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins, which can be hazardous to human health. Some mycotoxins may also be carcinogenic. Yeasts and molds can cause allergic reactions, infections in immune compromised individuals, and symptoms of food borne illness, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

 

Safety is of primary importance to MonaVie.  Sodium benzoate interacts with vitamin C to form benzene; however, benzene is only a concern if the levels of benzene are very high.  MonaVie repeatedly tests its products to check for benzene.  There are acceptable levels of benzene described as “parts per billion” and MonaVie’s products are well within the acceptable levels of benzene as outlined by the FDA and World Health Organization (WHO).

 

The FDA has set a standard for benzene, which naturally occurs in water, as 5 parts per billion (ppb). To help put this into perspective, this is comparable to 5 drops of benzene found in 4000 gallons of water. Results from MonaVie tests finds our products are WELL below 5 ppb. MonaVie consistently tests below 3 ppb. The possible negative effects of yeasts and molds growing in MonaVie are far greater than extremely low levels of benzene.

 

The Real Risk of Benzene

“There have been reports concerning benzene in soft drinks.  At issue is the reaction of sodium benzoate, a preservative, with vitamin C, which is present in many beverages.  It seems clear that in the presence of trace amounts of metals which catalyze the reaction, vitamin C produces free radicals that can convert benzoate into benzene.  That’s why some beverages have been found to contain as much as 50 ppb of benzene, ten times what is allowed in drinking water.  But when we make the calculation, we find that a liter of such a drink contains 50 micrograms of benzene, which means that even at an impossible consumption rate of 120 liters a day, we would be below the amount that has no effect in occupational workers.” (Source: The Soft Drink Industry)

 

Of course, soft drinks are not our only exposure to benzene.  When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration carried out a survey of seventy foods over five years, benzene was found in every item except for American cheese and vanilla ice cream.  A hamburger, for example, has 4 micrograms, but this is only one tenth of the amount of benzene in the smoke inhaled from a cigarette.  A banana can harbor up to 20 micrograms.  Still, when all exposures are added up, we are well below the levels that have been linked with leukemia.

 

Is the risk zero?  No.  In some unlucky person a trace of benzene may start a cascade of events that lead to cancer.  Therefore, all efforts should be made to minimize exposure to carcinogens, particularly in the workplace – but traces of benzene in soft drinks are not a big deal.  We should worry about the benzene we’re inhaling when we’re pumping gas.  That’s about 20 micrograms – but even if you let the gas station attendant pump your gas, you’ll be breathing in about 20 – 30 micrograms per hour just from the exhaust of the cars in front of you.  In comparison, the average total daily intake from diet is about 5 micrograms.

 

In addition it should be noted that sodium benzoate is an offshoot of benzoic acid which occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including cranberries (which are present in MonaVie blends as an excellent source of antioxidants). 

About Author

For more information about Monavie visit my websites at:

www.theacaistory.com/rose

www.mymonavie.com/rosechabrow

Or Email me at: rose@theacaistory.com

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