UPDATED: Schweppes responds to Mazoe ingredients consumer backlash


Business Reporter
SCHWEPPES Zimbabwe Limited and Coca-Cola Zimbabwe have allayed fears the ingredients they use to produce beverages are a health hazard.

Schweppes Zimbabwe has recently faced consumer backlash following reports it added three artificial sweeteners to the Mazoe concentrated drinks, which are feared to cause cancer and brain cell damage among other diseases, if consumed in large quantities.

The sweeteners, which according to health practitioners have the same kind of health consequences as sugar that causes diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, are aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K or acesulfame K) and sodium cyclamate.

In a joint statement yesterday, Schweppes Zimbabwe and Coca Cola Zimbabwe said the sweeteners they were using to produce the beverages were thoroughly researched ingredients in the world where scientific evidence has confirmed their safety.

“The sweeteners we use to do this are some of the most thoroughly researched ingredients in the world, with scientific studies consistently confirming their use and safety. They have been confirmed as safe by globally recognised authorities and local regulatory bodies,” said the companies.

The beverages manufacturers said consumers have requested for more drinks that taste great but also with less sugar and fewer calories.

The two entities said they were committed to offering consumers the beverages that they want while helping them reduce sugar intake into their bodies.

“We take pride in what we do and listening to feedback and preferences for taste is a key element to this. As we move towards being a total beverage company and introduce more new drinks and recipes, we commit to communicating the changes we are making,” said the firms.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, is on record as saying there was nothing wrong with one of the additives although dieticians, health practitioners and online articles suggest they were all dangerous.

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  • Doctor Do little

    As long as there is a risk then one is exposed to danger. These sweeteners carry a risk of blood-related cancers

    • benjamin

      It’s better to consume real nutritive sugar extracted from cane or fruit than it is to consume some non-nutritive sweetener synthesized by some industrial or lab process. The trick lies in the mantra “Too much of an anything is bad for you”; plus the fact that people nowadays need atlease 150min of some form of aerobic exercise a week in order to ensure that despite their less manual jobs and routines, they get to burn some fat and exercise the heart, blood vessels and muscles.

      • Doctor Do little

        You are right but read the below and you will see that white Sugar has its problems as well with the products used for whitening.

        Sulphur dioxide is used at a later stage as well, after the juice has been concentrated and is being crystallised. At this point, SO2 works as a bleaching agent and is responsible for ensuring that the end product, sugar, is white in colour.Once the crystallisation process is over, the soluble sulphur compounds are drained out along with the molasses.
        But there are two problems with this process. A little bit of sulphur remains within the final product, that is the sugar that we eat. This sulphur, more than what is required by the body, is known to lead to a variety of respiratory diseases. Additionally, the molasses containing sulphur, when used to produce ethanol and biogas from distillery waste, releases considerable amount of foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide, H2S, that is a poisonous gas and needs to be removed from biogas for its use as fuel, which needs additional treatment plants and chemicals.

  • musa

    come reporter! you could have done research on your own & you will realise that those additives and sweeteners are carcinogenic. no cooperate will admit that it’s ingredients are a health hazard!

  • benjamin

    It’s better to consume real sugar than it is to consume artificial sweeteners. This whole dieting and weight loss issue has become such a fuss. People must know the main reason why they are getting obese, which is a lack of exercise. People don’t even want to leave the car parked and walk a distance of 200m across town. People will get a taxi or ET to commute a distance of less that 1km.

  • Galveston

    This reaction is obviously a deception presented in the attractive wrapper called PR (public relations). Google those ingredients and the effect they have on human health; then decide whether these are actually safe or not. Me? It’s Bulawayo water only, from now on!

  • Wellington

    l will stick to my beer, the only healthiest beverage.
    Meanwhile, schweppes go back to the original mazoe dont hide behind the finger, we know that you are trying to cut costs by introducing these carcinogens because 1mg of each is 1000 times sweeter than natural sugar

  • Kingston

    we should #BoycottMazowe till they return our tried and trusted original recipe. Zimabawean cane sugar never caused any health issues why try fix problems that do not exist in a Zimbabwean context in Zimbabwe. we say NO to this imposition.

  • Department 6

    they should not worry; because we dilute the mazoe on our own and besides we been consuming this mazowe for a long long time/