Reading the label of a food allows us to know its composition, nutritional values, the date on which it is recommended to consume it and the preservation methods to keep it intact and safe. Even bottled mineral water is classified by law as food and its label allows the consumer to know its physical-chemical characteristics and conservation methods. But why is there an expiration date on that label? Does the water expire? We explain why water bottles have an expiration date.
Does the water expire? We explain why water bottles have an expiration date
The label of the water bottles can be considered the identity card of the mineral water we drink and helps us understand if we are choosing a food that suits our needs. When reading it, however, we are struck by the fact that the warning »Best before» appears with a date on the cap and / or stamped on the bottle. This date would seem to warn that mineral water expires but in reality it is not . However, if incorrect storage methods are carried out then we can see how the quality of the water is lost.
Mineral water does not “expire” but the bottle does
We can then firmly say that mineral water does not expire by law, although it ages and therefore can be considered more or less safe for human use. On the other hand, we know that a date is indicated that many think is the expiration date of mineral water, when instead it is the date of preferential consumption, that is, the minimum useful life. If it were the expiration date, it would appear “Consume before the date …” while the best before date is indicated with the phrase “Best before the date …”.
The difference is only a “preferably”, a simple word that nevertheless underlines a reality: mineral water does not expire. What really “expires” over time is the bottle and the indicated date tells us when we can consume water that maintains its chemical-physical and organoleptic characteristics despite human manipulations that are often not entirely correct.
In fact, bottled mineral water should preferably be consumed within 3 years from the bottling date. In general, the best before date is estimated at 1 or 2 years for plastic bottles, depending on the company, and 3 years for glass. Various stability tests and analyzes of bottled water over time have in fact shown that its composition sometimes changes.
How Bottled Water Changes Over Time
Specifically, even after 1 or 2 years from bottling, traces of acetaldehyde released by PET or polyethylene terephthalate, the most widely used material for plastic bottles, were found. And also glass, the preferred material for preserving food, seems to release substances into the water over time. These substances alter the water and can be harmful to humans in the long term. But why are plastic or glass bottles used anyway if they can be altered? The only reason is because, under certain conditions, glass and PET are today among the best materials to contain mineral water, and that the guarantee of keeping bottled water is essential for the correct storage methods.