Store bottled Lemon juice

It is amazing how much I did not care about additives in my food.  I wondered everyday why on earth I had a super hyperactive child.  I medicated him with prescription drugs for 3 years to “help” him.  When I decided to homeschool the first year we put him on a low dose of his medication and by this year of schooling we removed it.  We started changing the diet and eliminating Red Dye #40.  That was a HUGE difference.  Since then I have been on the look out for that in every food.  If it is something we occasionally eat, I will place in on the friday night menu so that it doesn’t affect his school work.

Recently I bought a bottle of lemon juice for a cooking class at a local women’s shelter.  They did not want to make real lemonade with it so I took it home.  I got it out today and made lemonade to drink.  Then I thought..just for fun, I would see what it had it in. It says on the label 100% lemon Juice  Natural Strength.  Then on the side it says Lemon Juice from Concentrate with added ingredients.    HMMMMM.. ok if it is 100% lemon juice, but has added ingredients, tell me again how it is 100% lemon juice????

The back of the bottle on the ingredients says: Lemon juice from concentrate ( water, lemon juice concentrate), sodium bisulfite (preservative), sodium benzoate (preservative), lemon oil

Ok so I decided to look this sodium stuff up.  Source is Wikipedia for both entries. I won’t copy all the stuff, but I will put on here the stuff that bothers me. I’ve underlined and placed it in red also.

Sodium Bisulfite

Sodium bisulfite (sodium hydrogen sulfite) is a chemical compound with the chemical formula NaHSO3. Sodium bisulfite is a food additive with E number E222. This salt of bisulfite can be prepared by bubbling sulfur dioxide in a solution of sodium carbonate in water. Sodium bisulfite in contact with chlorine bleach (aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite) will release harmful fumes.

Uses in food

While the related compound, sodium metabisulfite, is used in almost all commercial wines to prevent oxidation and preserve flavor, sodium bisulfite is sold by some home winemaking suppliers for the same purpose.[9] In fruit canning, sodium bisulfite is used to prevent browning (caused by oxidation) and to kill microbes.

In the case of wine making, sodium bisulfite releases sulfur dioxide gas when added to water or products containing water. The sulfur dioxide kills yeasts, fungi, and bacteria in the grape juice before fermentation. When the sulfur dioxide levels have subsided (about 24 hours), fresh yeast is added for fermentation.

It is later added to bottled wine to prevent the formation of vinegar if bacteria are present, and to protect the color, aroma and flavor of the wine from oxidation, which causes browning and other chemical changes. The sulfur dioxide quickly reacts with oxidation by-products and prevents them from causing further deterioration.

Sodium bisulfite is also added to leafy green vegetables in salad bars and elsewhere, to preserve apparent freshness, under names like LeafGreen. The concentration is sometimes high enough to cause severe allergic reactions.[10]

In the 1980s, sodium bisulfite was banned from use on raw fruits and vegetables in the United States following the deaths of 13 people who unknowingly consumed produce treated with excessive amounts of the substance.[11]


  1. My thought is..ok they are pumping sulfur into carbonated water just to make the my mind thanks.
  2. If sulfur dioxide is released when it hits water, then this lemon juice has it already in it and that is going to kill all my beneficial gut bacteria just as it does the grape juice bacteria. Not good for my gut.
  3. If it can cause severe allergic reactions and it was banned because of excessive amounts why on earth am I putting that into my body, let alone my child who already is having issues.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate has the chemical formula NaC6H5CO2; it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide (Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda,[2]   with benzoic acid.


Sodium benzoate is a preservative. It is bacteriostatic and fungistatic under acidic conditions. It is most widely used in acidic foods such as salad dressings (vinegar), carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), jams and fruit juices (citric acid), pickles(vinegar), and condiments. It is also used as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics.[2][3] As a food additive, sodium benzoate has the E number E211.

It is also used in fireworks as a fuel in whistle mix, a powder that emits a whistling noise when compressed into a tube and ignited. The fuel is also one of the fastest burning rocket fuels and provides a lot of thrust and smoke. It does have its downsides: there is a high danger of explosion when the fuel is sharply compressed because of the fuel’s sensitivity to impact.

Sodium benzoate is produced by the neutralization of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide.[4] Benzoic acid is detectable at low levels in cranberries, prunes, greengage plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, and apples. Though benzoic acid is a more effective preservative, sodium benzoate is more commonly used as a food additive because benzoic acid does not dissolve well in water.[4] Concentration as a preservative is limited by the FDA in the U.S. to 0.1% by weight. The International Programme on Chemical Safety found no adverse effects in humans at doses of 647–825 mg/kg of body weight per day.[5][6]

Cats have a significantly lower tolerance against benzoic acid and its salts than rats and mice.[7] Sodium benzoate is, however, allowed as an animal food additive at up to 0.1%, according to AFCO’s[specify] official publication.[8]

Safety and health

Main article: Benzene in soft drinks

In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300), sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate form benzene, a known carcinogen. However, in most beverages that contain both, the benzene levels are below those considered dangerous for consumption.[10] Heat, light and shelf life can affect the rate at which benzene is formed.


Research published in 2007 for the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests that certain artificial colours, when paired with sodium benzoate (E211) may be linked to hyperactive behaviour. The results were inconsistent regarding sodium benzoate, so the FSA recommended further study.[11][12][13]

Professor Jim Stevenson from Southampton University, and author of the report, said: “This has been a major study investigating an important area of research. The results suggest that consumption of certain mixtures of artificial food colours and sodium benzoate preservative are associated with increases in hyperactive behaviour in children. However, parents should not think that simply taking these additives out of food will prevent hyperactive disorders. We know that many other influences are at work but this at least is one a child can avoid.”[13]

Two mixtures of additives were tested in the research:[13]

Mix A:

  • Sunset yellow (E110)
  • Tartrazine (E102)
  • Carmoisine (E122)
  • Ponceau 4R (E124)
  • Sodium benzoate (E211)

Mix B:

  • Sunset yellow (E110)
  • Quinoline yellow (E104)
  • Carmoisine (E122)
  • Allura red (E129)
  • Sodium benzoate (E211)

Sodium benzoate was included in both mixes, but the effects observed were not consistent. The Food Standards Agency therefore considers that, if real, the observed increases in hyperactive behaviour were more likely to be linked to one or more of the specific colours tested.

On 10 April 2008, the Foods Standard Agency called for a voluntary removal of the colours (but not sodium benzoate) by 2009.[14] In addition, it recommended there should be action to phase them out in food and drink in the European Union (EU) over a specified period.[15]

In response to consumer insistence on a more natural product, the Coca Cola Company is in the process of phasing sodium benzoate out of Diet Coke. The company has stated it plans to remove E211 from its other products — including SpriteFanta, and Oasis — as soon as a satisfactory alternative is discovered.[16]


  1. OMG Yes lets make this wonderful chemical today..pass the LYE please…are you serious!!
  2. Again bad for my gut as it’s killing off all the stuff in there.
  3. Also used in fireworks, rocket fuel?? hm..I don’t want to eat anything used in fireworks or something that is a great rocket fuel.
  4. If concentrations are limited by the FDA there is a reason.  They obviously thought it sucked enough to warrant testing to find a “safe” level.
  5. If you mix it with two other chemicals, vitamin C which I know I eat and potassium benzoate which I probably eat and haven’t noticed..It causes a carcinogen..great..let me just gobble that right up! Oh wait, I just drank some in my’s ok the levels are “safe” says the FSA. I should trust them like I do the FDA.
  6. So they didn’t get any consistent data on if this chemical was bad with other colors..yet they took out the colors..why not take out the chemical too?? How do you know which it was?  If you “think” it’s the colors, that isn’t scientific enough for me. Prove it! He even says this is one that we should avoid..ok..done!
  7. Coca cola is in the process of phasing it out of the other products as soon as a satisfactory alternative is discovered..I happen to have a can of sprite. Guess what?? It’s in there.  Water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavorings (red flag MSG), sodium citrate, sodium Benoate (to protect taste)…protect taste??  Its sugar water with carbonation and fruit acid..what are you protecting?? If you look above it doesn’t look like your protecting anything!!

I don’t have many processed things left in my life.  I have kept some around for my husbands sake and my kids so they feel “normal.”  I give my kids sprite because it is caffeine free. That is why I also drink it when I want to have something other than tea.  After digging a little deeper I am going to have to pull my kids off of this totally. If my husband wants to drink it, it is his choice.  It’s in the mountain dew he loves so much.

Needless today, the lemonade has been dumped..the “juice” has been dumped and my kids are no longer allowed to drink soda pop, even for a treat.

Categories: Homesteading | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Store bottled Lemon juice

  1. Amen sister! I teach about preservatives and the dyes in my herbal class when we come to children’s care. Hyperactivity is not a disease, it is a result of our food! Thanks for sharing!

  2. maplecreekcottage

    Thankyou for this extra little push! As I read your entry, I sipped my diet Coke with extra ice and could literally feel the fireworks killing my good bacteria. Onward, tally-ho to drinking tea!

    • I drink tea ALLL the time. I have heard that we should be drinking Rooibos tea. It is a red tea. I’m going to try it. People say it is bitter, but to let it steep extra long to develop a sweetness.. It is naturally caffeinated and full of good stuff. I pulled my kids off soda that day and they haven’t had any since!

  3. Rachel

    I read somewhere that starting off my day with a big glass of water with the juice of one lemon is a great way to start the day and very good for my gut. So – to simplify the process – I go get two big bottles of lemon juice, start adding about 1/8 of a cup to my morning glass of water, then look at the ingredients and wonder what those two ‘sodium’ substances are, look them up, and whalla, here’s my answer. Thank you for doing such in-depth research.

    Is there any bottled lemon juice I can use that isn’t polluted by these substances? Or should I just go get the lemons and not be lazy about it? I’m already spending so much time/money on healthy eating, I barely have the energy to add one more thing but I am chronically sick w/colds and flus so it would probably be a very good idea.

    Should the lemons be organic, or fine to get non-org?

    Comments sorely welcomed and thanks again for doing all the research for me.

    • aumcchildren

      I would say get whatever you can afford. Those specific chemicals wont be inside any lemon. The problem then you have to worry about with organic versus non is did they spray the tree and with what and if you use the zest of the lemon as well, I’d get organic and wash it well! I have found in my area that organic lemons really arent that much different in price than regular ones.

      • Raquel

        Thanks for getting back to me! After I sent my q, I continued to read and found someone recommended Lakewood – organic – w/o additives.

        I started drinking it thru a straw but still find that my teeth feel a bit sensitive. I use Pronamal toothepaste and that helps, but unless there’s a way to mainline it, I guess doing my best drinking thru the straw by minimizing amount that gets on teeth is my best option. My teeth are already sensitive so I do worry about this. Any thoughts?

        How soon before folks notice any results? I have intermittent bouts of nausea and cold like sx’s that come every 2-3 weeks.

      • Raquel

        I had to stop using it cuz it was really making my teeth sensitive, despite my drinking it through a straw. I’d given it a month though and noticed no good benefit it that time (still getting sick all the time). But like anything else, was worth a try!

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