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Health-compromising ingredients in fizzy drinks available in the markets of Dhaka city, Bangladesh

Author(s): Golam Kibria AHM, Md Khalequzzaman, Fahmida Afroz Khan, Shahrin Emdad Rayna, Md Maruf Haque Khan, Mohammad Rashidul Alam, Thouhidur Rahman KM, Barun Kanti Saha, Md. Motalab, Syed Shariful Islam

Fizzy drinks containing hazardous ingredients may pose public health risks to the consumers. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the level of health-compromising ingredients in fizzy drinks. Fifteen top-selling fizzy drinks [ten soft drinks (SfD) and five energy drinks (EgD)] available in the markets of Dhaka city, Bangladesh, were analyzed. pH was measured by pH meter. Quantitative estimation of TSS was done by a hand refractometer. Lane and Eynon’s method was used to determine total and reducing sugar. The level of caffeine was estimated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Heavy metals were assessed using a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The pH of SfD and EgD ranged from 2.5-3.4 and 2.9-3.4, respectively. The total sugar content in one serving (250 ml) was 20.8-28.8 gm for SfD and 22.6-37.0 gm for EgD, where six fizzy drinks exceeded the maximum daily allowable limit of sugar as recommended by the World Health Organization. Caffeine levels in the EgD were higher than those of SfD. The range of lead in SfD was 0.19-0.29 mg/L and in EgD was 0.19-0.22 mg/L. Levels of chromium were 0.08-0.26 mg/L and 0.07-0.30 mg/L for SfD and EgD, respectively. Low pH, presence of excess sugar, caffeine, and heavy metals were the health-compromising ingredients found in this study. Awareness among the consumers and strict monitoring by the regulatory bodies of Bangladesh should be raised to reduce the negative impact of fizzy drinks on health.

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