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Anal Chim Acta. 2009 Jan 12;631(2):189-95. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2008.10.032. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

Characterizing the origins of bottled water on the South Korean market using chemical and isotopic compositions.

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Division of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Korea Basic Science Institute, 113 Gwahangno, Yusung-gu, Daejeon 305-333, Republic of Korea.


We analyzed the major elements and stable isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon (dissolved inorganic carbon: DIC) in various types of bottled water (domestic and foreign) commercially available in South Korea to classify the water types and to identify their origins. Only marine waters and some sparkling waters could be discriminated by their physicochemical compositions. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes made marine waters more distinguishable from other water types. The determination of the carbon isotope composition of DIC was clearly useful for distinguishing between naturally and artificially sparkling waters. In addition, statistical analysis also appeared to aid in the discrimination of bottled water types. Our results indicate that a method that combines chemical and stable isotope composition analysis with statistical analysis is the most useful for discriminating water types and characterizing the origins of bottled water.

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