Okay. So, the following email was sent to Hint:
To Whom It May Concern:
My question is simple, yet I am unable to find an answer- what are you adding to the water? I am not interested in the “how” only the “what.” Let me make this clear at the commencement- I am not interested in your process. Truthfully, I do not wish to learn your coveted secrets, in order to reproduce your product. What bothers me is the all-encompassing cop-out labeled “natural flavors,” placed on every label of Hint water. I deserve to know exactly what I am placing into my body and the bodies of my two-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.
Given the obvious, it is not a fruit derivative. It contains zero calories and reminds me of an ester- though it is far from the conventional definition of an ester. Another speculations I have is that castoreum is the “natural” ingredient. Whatever the additive, I am leaning toward laboratory-manufactured over natural. Whatever it is, I will not stop until I get an answer that is entirely satisfactory. I drink water, and despise gimmicks. More than anything, I despise corporate deception.
Please answer my question entirely, without any boilerplate write-offs. If you are unwilling to inform me of your flavoring ingredient, then I request the company information who supplies said ingredient.
Thank you for your time,
That was followed by a semi-personal, but veiled response:
Hello Anthony. I appreciate your concerns. I can assure you we don’t use any ingredients from animal sources or dairy, msg, diet sweeteners or class 1 allergens (peanuts, nuts, gluten, soy, shellfish). “Other natural flavors” in our products are simply flavors from vegetable sources (fruits, vegetables and other plants) other than the one named in the flavor. For example, if we added orange essence to a tangerine flavor product to round out the flavor, that orange essence would be included as “other natural flavor. We don’t share the exact recipe, but can assure you there is nothing that you should be concerned about in any of our products. I hope that helps.
For the sake of professional journalism, I will keep the name of the replier anonymous, and shall only allude to it being someone of extreme seniority. As I am still writing this, you may assume that my question was unanswered. Sure, there’s that bit in there about “allergens and ingredients,” but there is no definitive answer to a simple question- fruit or not? All I wanted to know was whether or not the flavors were being extracted from fruit, or some chemical composition manufactured in a laboratory. When they replied with everything but the actual answer, I had to take investigation to a higher level.
Armed with my everlasting search for knowledge, I began to contact corporations who focus in aromatic extraction and flavor extraction. The first company to contact was Nash, because they sell the equipment that makes this possible. They were unable to answer my question- How do you extract the aroma and or flavor of a fruit and vegetable without capturing vitamins and calories and excess byproducts? They sent me to Sherman Engineering, who are no strangers to large projects and intricate processes, where I spoke with the lead engineer.
Sherman Engineering’s lead engineer described the process, and told me that a compressor would be essential for vapor pressure, as would a liquid ring vacuum, of various depths, which is akin to the separation of hydrocarbons. In order to extract the different products petroleum has to offer, it undergoes a process known as thermal cracking. NOTE – Do Not misinterpret this as the same thing as “fracking.” But, we are not dealing with petroleum- we are dealing with fruit. Thus, he recommended that you begin with a distillation column. What came next were various industrial solutions and home processes, outlined in great detail by Elena Vosnaki, whereby the Martha Stewarts of the world can complete this without supporting any such company.
In summation, I purchased a distillation column and have achieved 75% of the results. If you are interested to know, I obtained a 100% result soon after I began this endeavor, using old kitchen techniques. There! I gave away nothing that Hint is keeping secret, but assure you that they attest their product is harmless. Also, you have been provided with scientific research that proves that anyone willing can create the same results. Lastly, and most important, just drink water. If its plain taste bothers you, drop some mint leaves in it or a slice of lemon. Please, don’t buy into the hype and trend of companies the likes of Hint.
End of Line.