Nestle, Aquafina mineral water controversy exposed
For the last couple of days, a video claiming to expose Nestle and Aquafina, two of the leading mineral water brands in Pakistan, is going viral over social media, specifically on Facebook. In that video, around half a dozen unidentified men performing an experiment for the quality-check for the mineral water of Nestle and Aquafina. On the basis of test result, a man declares that people are being given poison in the name of mineral water. But, a brief research, or at minimum, just thorough reading of the comments below the video shows that is either the story is planted controversy against these brands, specifically Nestle, or the people in video have very limited knowledge of chemistry.
A comment by Ashhad Jamal on one of the Facebook pages which shared the alleged video, briefly defines the process. Jamal posted that “this is Electrolysis Equipment to electrolyze water. Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water.” He added that, “If amount of minerals are high then conductivity of the water increases with change in minerals color. Dark color only shows that your water sample contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals and salts.”
Describing the test result, he added that, “this measurement SHOULD NOT be taken as a measurement of bacteria in water or how contaminated or polluted water is. Processing plant often use chemicals to clean and treat the water before supplying. Some minerals are added for the advantage of the consumer such as fluoride, Calcium and Magnesium. Please also note there are negative health effects of consuming demineralized or distilled water.”
Another comment by Zeeshan Sohail on same page reads as, “the video shows the process of electrolysis, which is misleading and irrelevant for determining the quality of water. The equipment displayed has positive and negative terminals. Whenever the electrolysis process will occur, it will decompose the copper electrode and copper will dissolve in water, resulting in the appearance of color in the water. All bottled water would react in this manner to varying degrees, depending on mineral composition.” Sohail’s Facebook bio claims that he is the Public Relation Manager at Nestle.
Clarifying the stance of his company, Sohail added that, “the quality and safety of our products are always the top priority for our company. In fact, microbiological analyses and quality control testing on pH and minerals is done at our water factories to conform to quality standards stipulated by Nestlé, the Government of Pakistan and the World Health Organization. Our bottled water is evaluated every three months by the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR). Nestlé bottled water has been declared ‘safe’ by the PSQCA in each evaluation since the Authority began evaluating bottled water in 2009, and the PCRWR again confirmed the safety of our bottled water in its latest report.”
Another man, Hassam Bin Akhtar, posted on the same page that, “I’m 19 years old and have been drinking Nestle water since I was born. I’m still alive, healthy, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 90kg, never had any disease MaShaAllah, this is a scheme to defame nestle probably.”
A Facebook user Ayesha Abdullah posted that, “only distilled water will not change colour.
All types of mineral water will change colour because of the content of minerals in it. This test doesn’t prove which water is good for you.”
Watch the video, shared on one of the several Facebook pages;