Course:FNH200/Assignments/2023/Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail - Original vs Diet

From UBC Wiki


Image 1: Original Cranberry Cocktail[1]
Image 2: Original Cranberry Cocktail Ingredients & Nutrition Facts[1]
Image 3: Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail[2]
Image 4: Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail Ingredients & Nutrition Facts [2]

Ocean Spray Original Cranberry Cocktail & Ocean Spray Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail

The Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail is a versatile addition to a wide range of beverages, from breakfast drinks to some classic cocktails. It has a rich flavour, vibrant colour and pleasant consistency. The Cranberry Cocktail is also available to diverse consumers because it is gluten-free,[3] vegan,[4] kosher and halal-certified.[5] There is even a low-calorie alternative for consumers wishing to control their daily calorie intake.

In this project, our team attempts to understand and analyze the differences between the original and low-calorie versions of the Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail.

Image 5: Original Cranberry Cocktail Label
Image 6: Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail Label

Ingredient Lists

1. Ingredients

Original Cranberry Cocktail Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail
Filtered Water Filtered Water
Reconstituted Cranberry Juice Reconstituted Cranberry Juice
Sugar Fructose
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Natural Flavour
Vegetable Concentrate for Colour Pectin
Sodium Citrate
Acesulfame Potassium (30mg/250mL)
Sucralose (19mg/250mL)

2. Substitutes and Additives Used

Original Cranberry Cocktail Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail
Sugar Substitutes None Acesulfame Potassium[6]


Fat Substitutes None None
Additives None* Pectin

Sodium Citrate

3. Role of Substitutes and Additives[7]

Original Cranberry Cocktail

Sugar substitutes: None

Fat substitutes: None

Additives: None (*Ascorbic Acid is only added as a vitamin. Vitamins are not considered to be additives under Food and Regulations in Canada. Ascorbic Acid can also function as an antioxidant. Though the intended use is as a source of Vitamin C, it could also be acting as an antioxidant in this product.)[8]

Low-Calorie Cranberry Cocktail

Sugar substitutes:[9]

  • Acesulfame Potassium[10]
  1. Sweetener: Acesulfame potassium is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar).[11] Therefore, less acesulfame potassium is needed to impart a sweet taste, which significantly reduces the caloric value of the product.
  2. Non-caloric: Acesulfame potassium reduces the beverage’s energy value. As a non-caloric sweetener, it is not metabolized by the human body and therefore contributes zero calories per gram. By substituting sugar with acesulfame K, the overall calorie content of the cranberry cocktail can be significantly reduced.
  3. Flavour enhancer: Acesulfame potassium can also enhance the flavour of the low-calorie cranberry cocktail. It can help balance any off-flavours or bitterness that might be present naturally in the cranberry juice, contributing to a more enjoyable taste experience.
  4. Stable: Acesulfame potassium can withstand a wide range of temperatures, pH and other food processing conditions that enables it to have a high degree of stability.
  5. Non-cariogenic: Acesulfame potassium is not fermented by bacteria in the oral cavity, hence does not promote tooth decay.
  6. No effect on blood sugar levels:[12] Acesulfame potassium does not contain carbohydrates or sugar. Thus, it does not increase blood glucose or insulin levels, which allows some individuals with diabetes to consume the product.
  1. Sweetener: Sucralose tastes similar to sucrose (table sugar) but is approximately 600 times sweeter. Adding sucralose to the cranberry cocktail provides the desired sweet taste without contributing significant calories.
  2. Non-caloric: One of the primary reasons sucralose is used in low-calorie cranberry cocktails is its negligible calorie content. Unlike sugar, which contains four calories per gram, sucralose is virtually calorie-free because it is not metabolized by the human body. Thus, the beverage’s energy value can be reduced significantly by substituting sugar with sucralose.
  3. Flavour enhancer: Sucralose can also enhance and balance the flavour profile of the low-calorie cranberry cocktail. It can mask any bitter or off-flavours from the cranberry juice.
  4. Stable: Sucralose maintains its sweetness over a wide range of temperatures, pH and other processing conditions that enables it to have a high degree of stability.
  5. Non-cariogenic: Sucralose cannot be fermented by bacteria in the oral cavity of the mouth. Hence, it does not promote tooth decay.
  6. No effect on blood sugar levels:[12] Sucralose does not increase blood glucose or insulin levels, permitting some individuals with diabetes to drink the beverage.

Fat substitutes: None


  1. Thickening and stabilizing agent: Pectin acts as a thickening agent in the cranberry cocktail by increasing the liquid’s viscosity and thickens it evenly.[14] This aids the dispersal of the dispersed phase throughout the continuous phase of the beverage, which stabilizes the colloidal dispersal and prevents separation.
  2. Improved mouthfeel: Pectin helps enhance the overall mouthfeel of the cranberry cocktail. The reduction of sugar content in low calorie drinks can cause the beverage to lose its mouthfeel.[15] It adds a pleasant and smooth consistency by suspending the particles evenly, making the beverage more enjoyable to drink.
  1. pH regulator: Sodium citrate is an effective pH control agent.[17] It can be used to adjust and stabilize the acidity of the cranberry cocktail, ensuring that it falls within the desired pH range. This helps to balance the tartness and overall flavour profile of the beverage.
  2. Flavour enhancer: Sodium citrate enhances the fruit’s natural tangy and zesty flavour. It can help balance any bitter taste or astringent sensation, resulting in a smoother and more palatable flavour.
  3. Preservative: Sodium citrate has antimicrobial properties that can help inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms in the cranberry cocktail. This can contribute to extending the shelf life of the beverage. Though the product claims to have no preservatives, sodium citrate can also act as a preservative in addition to its previously mentioned functions.

4. Compare and Contrast

Similarities: Both the Original and the Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktails contain the same core ingredients, i.e., filtered water and reconstituted cranberry juice. Both have zero grams of fat and protein. They have the same potassium content at 1% (50 g). They are similar in colour, consistency and flavour.

Differences: The original contains sugar, ascorbic acid, and vegetable concentrate (colour). Meanwhile, the low-calorie version contains fructose, natural flavour, pectin, sodium citrate, and sweeteners (acesulfame potassium and sucralose). These additional ingredients (sugar substitutes and food additives) in the low-calorie version are added to simultaneously reduce the caloric content of the product and maintain its sweetness and mouthfeel. The original has an energy value of 110 calories per 250 mL, while the low-calorie version is only 40 calories per 250 mL (meaning it imparts 64% fewer calories than the original). The low-calorie alternative also has a higher proportion of sodium (45 mg more) and a lower proportion of carbohydrates (20 g less) than the original version. The sugar content is significantly lower in the low-calorie version (20 g less) than in the original. As for vitamins and minerals, the original contains vitamin C, while the low-calorie version has calcium and iron.


Original Cranberry Cocktail and Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail
Common Name Ocean Spray Original Cranberry Cocktail & Ocean Spray Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail
Bilingualism Labels are written in both official languages, English and French.
Country of Origin Not present on labels because it is not mandatory information for these products.
Date Markings and Storage Instructions Best before date is stamped on the top of the products’ caps.

Products need to be refrigerated after opening because they do not contain preservatives.

After opening, “in general they may be kept refrigerated for two to three weeks.”[18]

Name and Principle Place of Business Ocean Spray International Inc.

Massachusetts, United States

Legibility and Location Labels are prominently shown (surround lower portions of containers) and legible.
Net Quantity 1.89 L declared on the principal display panel for both products.
Nutrition Facts Nutrition tables contain the required information:
  • Original (Image 2): serving size, energy value, fat, sodium, potassium, carbohydrate, sugars, protein, vitamin C
    • “not a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, fibre, vitamin A, calcium or iron”
  • Low Calorie (Image 4): serving size, energy value, fat, carbohydrate, sugars, protein, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron
    • “not a significant source of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or fibre”
Irradiation Information not present on labels because the products are not irradiated.
List of Ingredients and Allergens The ingredients lists can be seen in Image 2 & 4.

Original: CFIA made label changes for food colours in 2021 that stated that using the term "colour" in the ingredients list is no longer allowed.[19] This ingredients list includes “vegetable concentrate for colour,” which does not adhere to regulations.

There are no allergens.

Food Additives Clearly identified in the lists of ingredients, which can be seen in Image 2 & 4.
Claim and Statements Nutrient content claim: Original - “100% Vitamin C”

Negative claims (located on the sides of the containers as can be seen in Image 5 & 6):

  • Original: “no artificial flavours or preservatives”
  • Low Calorie: “no artificial flavours, preservatives or colours”

Low Calorie: does not meet labelling requirements for prepackaged products that contain acesulfame potassium and sucralose because it is missing a statement (e.g. "sweetened with fructose, acesulfame potassium and sucralose")[20]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cranberry Cocktail". Ocean Spray.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail". Ocean Spray.
  3. "FAQ - Do Ocean Spray® products contain gluten?". Ocean Spray.
  4. "Is Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Vegan?". Vegan Foundry. 2020.
  5. "Certifications". Ocean Spray.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Sugar Substitutes". Government of Canada.
  7. OpenAI. ChatGPT
  8. "Food Additives". Government of Canada.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "FDR Division 16 - Food Additives". Justice Laws Website.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "3.1.2 Types of Sugar Substitutes - Sweeteners". UBC Canvas. 2023.
  11. "Everything You Need To Know About Acesulfame Potassium". Food Insight.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Glossary of Diabetes Terms". WebMD.
  13. " Carbohydrates". UBC Canvas. 2023.
  14. "Pectin In Beverages: Everything You Need To Know". Gujarat Enterprise.
  15. "PECTIN | Food Use". Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition): 4449–4456 – via Science Direct.
  16. "Sodium Citrate". The Chemical Company.
  17. "Sodium Citrate". The Chemical Company.
  18. "FAQ - Storage". Ocean Spray.
  19. "Colour Labeling Changes Coming to Canada". Sensient Food Colors.
  20. "Labelling requirements for sweeteners and foods that contain sweeteners". Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
FNH200 Cover.jpg
This Food Science resource was created by Course:FNH200.