Bottled water in South Africa is required by law to display the number of milligrams of certain minerals and chemicals per litre found in a bottle of mineral water on a label on the bottle. Bottled mineral water is different to spring water and other types of bottled water because the water contains natural minerals that are not added at a later stage.
In order for water to be termed natural mineral water, it needs to have an amount of total dissolved solids or minerals of at least 250 parts per million (ppm). The total amount of dissolved solids found in the water must be indicated on the mineral water bottle's label and is shown as TDS. These solids are essentially microscopic particles of the minerals that are naturally found in the water. Mineral waters sourced from different locations contain varied amounts of minerals due to the natural mineral content of the earth from which the water is taken. Labels on bottled mineral water may indicate that the water has a high or low mineral content depending on the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) naturally found in the water.
Many bottled water companies use the term mineral water incorrectly on their packaging. No additional minerals may be added to mineral water. Natural carbonated mineral water is termed sparkling mineral water. Natural sparkling mineral water should also not have anything added to it.
The most common minerals found in natural mineral water include magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, sulphate, bicarbonates and nitrates. The natural minerals found in mineral water give the water its distinct taste and texture. These and other minerals are essential in our daily diet and help to keep our bodies in an optimal condition. Drinking mineral water on a daily basis will help us to replenish these minerals as our bodies use them.