Statistics from the market research company GlobalData in 2019 show that EU bottled water has a stable market share among other prepackaged non-alcoholic beverages. The top five consumer countries are Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and Spain. And 97%of all bottled water sold in the European Union is natural mineral water or spring water. Each natural mineral water and spring water has its own unique taste, unique performance and specific mineral composition. Let us understand the classification, regulations, production and the differences between bottled water in the European Union.
1. Classification and definition of bottled water
EU bottled water can be divided into natural mineral water, spring water and other bottled water. Among them, aerated natural mineral water can be further divided into natural aerated natural mineral water, natural mineral water enriched with carbon dioxide and aerated natural mineral water. See Table 1 for specific classifications and definitions.
Table 1 Classification and definition of EU bottled water
2. Bottled water regulations
The EU 98/83/EC”Human Drinking Water Quality Directive” is formulated with reference to the World Health Organization”Drinking Water Quality Standards”, which mainly stipulates the microbiological parameters and chemical substance parameters and parameter limits of drinking water. The directive emphasizes the scientificity and adaptability of the index value, and has become the main framework for European countries to formulate their own water quality standards. The European Union requires that the water quality of its member states must at least meet the standards specified in the directive.
2.1 Natural mineral water and spring water
On May 16, 2003, the European Commission issued Directive 2003/40/EC, which determined the ingredient list, concentration limits, labeling requirements of certain ingredients, and the use of rich mineral water that may pose a threat to public health. The condition of the ozone-containing air to treat natural mineral water and spring water.
On June 18, 2009, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union issued Directive 2009/54/EC to update and replace Directive 80/777/EEC promulgated in 1980 to regulate and coordinate the mining and sale of natural mineral water The different regulations among member states stipulate the definition of natural mineral water and spring water, mining conditions, permitted treatments, microbiological standards, and packaging and labeling requirements.
On February 9, 2010, the European Commission issued Regulation (EU) No 115/2010, stipulating the technical requirements for the use of activated alumina to remove fluoride in natural mineral water and spring water.
In addition to the relevant requirements of the above directives and regulations, spring water also needs to comply with the parameter standards specified in the Directive 98/83/EC issued by the Council of the European Union in 1998.
2.2 Other bottled water
Other bottled water refers to bottled water other than natural mineral water and spring water, which needs to comply with the relevant provisions of Directive 98/83/EC in the European Union.
3. Production of bottled water
On April 30, 2004, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union promulgated Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, which stipulated the basic requirements of food hygiene, requiring food companies to comply with the contents of the hygiene regulations required by the appendix of the regulations. This is the general hygiene requirement for EU food production. At present, the European Union has not introduced GMP directives related to bottled water, but is produced in accordance with the”European Guidelines for Good Hygiene Practices for Bottled Water” promulgated by the European Union Bottled Water Association (EFBW). The guidelines stipulate general and specific hygiene requirements for the extraction, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution and sale of bottled water.
Four. The difference between natural mineral water, spring water and other bottled water
The European Union has differences and similarities in the water source, mineral source, allowable treatment, and bottled transportation requirements for natural mineral water, spring water and other bottled water. See Table 2 for details.
Table 2 The difference between EU natural mineral water, spring water and other bottled water
The above is a brief introduction of bottled water in the EU. The follow-up Food Partner Network will also bring you other knowledge about bottled water, so stay tuned!