I never drink squashes or cordials anymore. Cordials and squashes are a mixer of chemicals and water devoid of nutrients
Squash/cordial is a sweetened or unsweetened fruit-flavour which is mixed with water before drinking. Although squash is supposed to be fruit-based (from fruit juice concentrate), it is now common practice for companies not to use any fruit juice concentrate when making squashes.
Basically, squash like are ‘Quencher’ or ‘Highlands’ are manufactured by mixing a concoction of chemicals with water and sugar. Check the label of any squash/cordial you will see the following ingredients.
2. Emulsion (depending on the flavor, e.g. pineapple emulsion for the pineapple squash, orange emulsion for the orange squash etc.)
3. Citric acid,
5. Permitted food colors and flavors.
6. Preservatives: sodium benzoate and sodium metabisuphite.
From the list of ingredients, you can see there is not fruit juice used.
Let see the benefits or implications of these ingredients.
Sugar: Sugar is just a source of calories which are unhealthy. Check my article on dangers of sugar here.
Emulsion: This is just concentrated artificial flavour mimicking a certain fruit.e.g. for orange squash, Orange flavour Emulsion is used.
This is to lower the pH. Citric acid is similar to acid found in lemons that make them have a tart or astringency sensation. Again it has no healthy benefits.
Stabilisers: More addition of chemicals. Stabilisers help a mixer of different ingredients to form a homogenous mix. e.g. It is possible to notice fruit particles settling in glass after making a natural fruit juice. To prevent particles settling at the bottom, companies use stabilisers.
Permitted food colours and flavours: I wish they could include the exact names of the colours and flavours they use. All in all, these are just chemicals, no nutrients.
–Sodium Benzoate: is safe for most people. However, it can mix with vitamin c (ascorbic acid) in acidic conditions to form Benzene which is carcinogenic. The levels of Benzene might be small, but there is no reason to expose yourself.
–Sodium metabisulphite: When consumed in large quantities can cause allergic reaction and sometimes death. It has different effects to those sensitive to sulphites and those with Asthma.
Dangers of these squashes
These squashes have high sugar content which is not good for health. Bacteria, fungi and mould like high sugar levels to grow. However, they never grow in these squashes due to presence of preservatives. If microorganisms cannot grow in these products, it is something to worry about.
On the other hand natural fruit juice, even refrigerated and open cannot last a maximum of 3 days without going bad.
I suggest the following.
- Eat the real fruit.
- Drink water
- If you can afford, buy real fruit juice.
- Avoid squashes.