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Monday, March 04, 2024

When it comes to Coca-Cola Co., UF students will now have a healthier option when choosing what to drink.

“Fruitwater,” a “naturally flavored, zero calorie sparkling water beverage,” will be available April 1, said Coca-Cola Co. spokeswoman Lindsey Raivich.

The drink will be sweetened with sucralose, commonly known as Splenda, and will contain no juice.

The new drink will be “enhanced with nutrients + other natural flavors,” according the bottle’s label. These nutrients will include B vitamins, magnesium and zinc, according to The Associated Press.

Soonkyu Chung, a UF food science and human nutrition assistant professor, said she doesn’t think it’s proper for the company to promote nutrients in its drink when it doesn’t contain actual fruit.

“People usually don’t drink for their nutrition,” she said.

George Baker, a UF food science and human nutrition assistant scientist, said people might prefer the drink to fruit juice because it is “all about the calories.”

He added that Splenda, an artificial sweetener, is safe to consume.

“Moderation is the key with everything, and if that’s the case, then we do alright for ourselves,” he said.

However, the contents of the drink concern some UF students.

Chrissa Harmon, a 21-year-old UF food science and human nutrition junior, doesn’t plan to buy the new drink. “When I want fruit flavor, I just always eat a fruit. I don’t ever crave fake flavors,” she said.

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