Instant iced tea today

Ice tea has come a long way since it was first introduced by Richard Blechynden in 1904






instant_iced_tea

 

Let's look at iced tea since it was first introduced. At that time tea was made by infusing loose leaf tea with water. The blistering hot weather at the St Louis World's Fair forced Mr. Blechynden to offer his tea in a new way. People were not interested in drinking something hot. He offered it over ice to get people's attention.

Here in America, the country always on the go, people want things fast. Thus the introduction of fast food. Tea kept pace with fast also. The Lipton tea co. introduced instant tea. Making ice tea became as easy as adding a powder to water and adding ice cubes..

I never found a powder that tasted like true tea to me. I continued to make our iced tea the old fashioned way by brewing with tea bags. Tea bags were the only choice at the time. (I now use brewed tea made with loose leaves)

Let's look at instant iced tea today

Instant tea is produced from loose leaf tea by extracting the liquor from processed leaves, or undried fermented leaves, then this extraction is concentrated under low pressure. Next the tea concentrate is dried to a powder by freeze-drying, vacuum-drying, or spray-drying.

I stopped at the local super market and purchased two types of instant iced tea mixes. I bought Lipton Peach Iced Tea and the store brand Natural Lemon Flavored Iced Tea Mix.

Store brand
List of ingredients

Lipton brand
List of ingredients


 
Note: Ingredients are listed in order of largest to smallest amounts. If sugar is listed first it has more sugar than other ingredients.
It looks like instant iced tea has a lot of ingredients that need investigating.

 

What are these things in instant iced tea powders

what is in thereAre you wondering what some of those names listed above are? I wanted to know too. Here's what I found.

Maltrodextrim is a short chain of molecularly linked dextrose (glucose) molecules, and is manufactured by regulating the hydrolysis of starch. Typical commercial maltodextrins contain as few as three and as many as nineteen linked dextrose units.

While the singular term “maltodextrin” is permitted in an ingredient statement, the term “maltodextrin” can be applied to any starch hydrolysis product that contains fewer than 20 dextrose (glucose) units linked together. This means that the term “maltodextrin” stands for a family of products, not a single distinct ingredient.

Additionally, today’s commercially important maltodextrin products are produced from corn, potato or rice. Unlike the other starch sweeteners, the undefined term “maltodextrin” can be used in an ingredient list no matter the original source of starch.

Maltodextrins are used in a wide array of foods, from canned fruits to snacks. Maltodextrins may also be an ingredient in the single-serve, table-top packet of some artificial sweeteners.

Malic acid is an organic compound with the formula HO2CCH2CHOHCO2H. This dicarboxylic acid is the active ingredient in many sour or tart foods. The salts and esters of malic acid are known as malates. Malate anion is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle along with fumarate. Ca. 1M kg/y are produced by the hydration of maleic anhydride.Malic acid, when added to food products, is denoted by E number E296. Malic acid is the source of extreme tartness in so called "extreme candy", for example Mega Warheads. It is also used with or in place of the less sour citric acid in sour sweets such as Jolly Ranchers, SweeTarts and Jimmy Johns Salt & Vinegar potato chips.

Aspartame is the name for an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener, aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester; i.e., a methyl ester of the dipeptide of the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

This sweetener is marketed under a number of trademark names, including Tropicana Slim, Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel, and is an ingredient of approximately 6,000 consumer foods and beverages sold worldwide. It is commonly used in diet soft drinks, and is often provided as a table condiment. It is also used in some brands of chewable vitamin supplements and common in many sugar-free chewing gums. However, aspartame is not always suitable for baking because it often breaks down when heated and loses much of its sweetness. In the European Union, it is also known under the E number (additive code) E951. Aspartame is also one of the sugar substitutes used by people with diabetes.

investigateAspartame is a subject of a public controversy due to possible health risks, and has consequently lost market share in recent years to sucralose (Splenda).[2] See Aspartame controversy.

Tricalcium phosphate is a compound with formula Ca3(PO4)2. It is also known as calcium orthophosphate, tertiary calcium phosphate, tribasic calcium phosphate, or "bone ash" (calcium phosphate being one of the main combustion products of bone).

Tricalcium phosphate is used in powdered spices as an anti-caking agent.

Calcium phosphate is an important raw material for the production of phosphoric acid and fertilizers, for example in the Odda process.

Calcium phosphate is also a raising agent (food additives) E341. Is a mineral salt found in rocks and bones, it is used in cheese products.

It is also used as a nutritional supplement. There is some debate about the different bioavailabilities of the different calcium salts.

BHA http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)
Antioxidant: Cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, vegetable oil.

BHA retards rancidity in fats, oils, and oil-containing foods. While some studies indicate it is safe, other studies demonstrate that it causes cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. Those cancers are controversial because they occur in the forestomach, an organ that humans do not have. However, a chemical that causes cancer in at least one organ in three different species indicates that it might be carcinogenic in humans. That is why the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers BHA to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Nevertheless, the Food and Drug Administration still permits BHA to be used in foods. This synthetic chemical can be replaced by safer chemicals (e.g., vitamin E), safer processes (e.g., packing foods under nitrogen instead of air), or can simply be left out (many brands of oily foods, such as potato chips, don’t use any antioxidant).

Soy Lecithin is a soy based emulsifier. Emulsifiers are ingredients used to keep oils and other ingredients from separating for instance, an emulsifier is generally used to keep the chocolate and cocoa 0butter from separating in candy bars.


What do you think?


What are your conclusiions here? I'm thinking making my own iced tea is just not that hard. I want my family to have the health benefit of tea from this antioxidant rich beverage. Would you rather make iced with antioxidants or antioxidants from instant iced tea with chemicals added? A good place to buy tea leaves is Adagio Teas.

If you would rather not use instant iced tea products you will find recipes for ice tea on this site.

 

References:

http://www.sugar.org/consumers/sweet_by_nature.asp?id=277
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malic_acid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricalcium_phosphate
http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm (scroll to the explaination on BHA)
http://www.celestialseasonings.com/about/faqs.html#faqid429 Soy lecithin

 

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