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Thursday 24th May 2018

The hidden dangers in a festive tipple

9th December 2008

Jane Clarke warns over the hidden dangers in a tempting festive tipple.


While celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall may believe we should celebrate great British food with a glass of cider, I'm not sure cider is necessarily that good for us.

While spiced cider is a classic Christmas drink, most cider is not as natural as you’d expect with just 30% apple juice and the rest is fermented sugar syrup.

Some ciders contain as little as 7% apple juice but can still be called cider because there is no legal definition of the term.

It is unclear what really goes into a barrel or bottle because producers do not have to declare ingredients on a label of alcoholic drinks over 1.2% alcohol. But it is time there was a law making them do so.

That is true with all alcoholic drinks but let’s focus on cider. There are colourings and huge amounts of sugar leading to a pint of a popular brand containing 263 calories.

While sugar that is necessary in the fermenting process is not harmful as such, some people are sensitive to sweet foods and may have a reaction.

But then there are preservatives that some people may be even be allergic to.

Without labelling, there's no way we can know which drinks have the most sugar or contain sulphites or food colourings.

At a time when there is so much concern about our alcohol intake, it's about time the alcoholic drinks industry came clean about what's actually going into its bottles.


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Article Information

Title: The hidden dangers in a festive tipple
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 9523
Date Added: 9th Dec 2008


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