Survey of the chemical composition of 571 European bottled mineral waters

Daniela Bertoldi, Luana Bontempo, Roberto Larcher, Giorgio Nicolini, Susanne Voerkelius, Gesine D. Lorenz, Henriette Ueckermann, Heinz Froeschl, Malcolm J. Baxter, Jurian Hoogewerff, Paul Brereton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


As part of the European TRACE project (Tracing Food commodities in Europe, VI FP, Contract N. 006942), this paper provides a wide-ranging survey of the chemical composition of 571 mineral waters bottled and marketed in 23 European countries, and discusses 39 compositional parameters (specific electric conductivity, pH, hardness, total alkalinity, ammonia, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, sulphate, Ca, K, Mg, Na, Al, B, Ba, Cd, Ce, Co, Cs, Cu, La, Li, Lu, Mn, Mo, Nd, Ni, Pb, Rb, Se, Sm, Sr, Tl, U, V, Yb, Zn) mainly referring to legal limits and nutritional implications. According to European legislation 58.1% of samples could be defined as 'suitable for a low-sodium diet' while 8.1% could be defined as 'containing sodium', 13.7% could be labelled as 'containing magnesium', 10.2% as 'containing fluoride', 4.9% as 'containing chloride', 13.5% as 'containing sulphate' and 17.5% as 'containing calcium'. 2.8% of samples did not conform with European Community limits for at least one parameter (Se, NO2 -, Mn, Ni, Ba, F and NO3 -). About 9% of samples had boron, nitrate or nitrite levels above the legal limit existing in individual European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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