Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dasani differs in composition between its different markets, for example it was intended to launch it as a natural spring water in France and Germany although this never went ahead after the bad publicity in the United Kingdom.
In March 2004, it became public through an article in the Independent newspaper that the tap water of Sidcup was being treated, bottled, and sold under the Dasani brand name in the UK. Although Coca-Cola never implied that the water was being sourced from a spring or other natural source, they marketed it as being especially "pure". Hence, the public revelation of it being simply treated tap water caused a media stir.
Two weeks later, UK authorities found a concentration of bromide in the product that could be considered harmful if drunk in large quantities. Dasani was potentially carcinogenic. Coca-Cola recalled half a million bottles and pulled the "Dasani" brand from the UK market on March 19, 2004. Shortly after, plans to introduce the brand on Continental Europe were announced to have been cancelled as well.
Coca-Cola added calcium chloride to Dasani in the UK to meet laws requiring calcium in all bottled waters. The company claims that the amount of bromide in the water led to the formation of unacceptable levels of bromate during the ozonation process used in purification. The U.S. version of Dasani does not contain calcium chloride.
Parallels were made with an episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses in which the protagonists attempt to pass off tap water as spring water which fails when the local reservoir becomes polluted causing the bottled water to glow green. This is believed to have contributed to the severe negative reaction to Dasani by the press and public.
In 2004 the Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert liquid from the River Thames into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.
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