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I used to think my Vitamin Water was a healthier option, until I read the label and researched what “crystalline fructose” is. Then I got to thinking …

They carefully ran this less well known ingredient up against the more familiar (and much preferred) “cane sugar”. Does anyone else feel they deliberately hid the second most plentiful ingredient, corn sugar, in plain sight by an unfamiliar name?

I could be paranoid and point out that the words “crystalline” and “fructose” are separated at the opposite ends of two lines — whereas “cane sugar” is front and centre on the second row, just below the word “water”, followed by “coconut water” on the third. About as far as a casual reader might go deep on a quick read of the ingredients. Is this an intentionally dishonest design?

When the eye scans down the center of a curved label, what ingredients are you most likely to read? Click on the image for a larger view of this label.

UPDATE 1/13/2013: The Dark Side of Vitaminwater wherein Coca-Cola (Vitamin Water’s owners) claim that “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitamin Water was a healthy beverage.” Oh damn, doesn’t that make a fool of me for saying I used to think of it as being healthy!? I thought Coca-Cola was making an effort to get into a healthier niche. Shame on me.

Links: Wikipedia defines crystalline fructose as “a processed sweetener derived from corn that is almost entirely fructose. It consists of at least 98% pure fructose, any remainder being water and trace minerals. It is used as a sweetener in the likes of beverages and yogurts, where it substitutes for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar. Crystalline fructose is estimated to be about 20 percent sweeter than table sugar and 5% sweeter than HFCS.”

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