The Strange Ingredient In Kraft's MiO Water Enhancer

Liquid water enhancers are a popular way to add flavor to plain old water, but it turns out that at least one such product adds a little extra in the form of a potentially harmful ingredient. Kraft's MiO water enhancer contains propylene glycol, which is used for very different purposes in other products. The preservative also functions as a stabilizer and thickening agent, per Eat This, Not That! These qualities are why it's also used in antifreeze and plasticizers, as well as e-cigarettes. In other words, not exactly as Mother Nature intended her fruit juice to be! For what it's worth, plenty of other food-related products contain propylene glycol, like Fireball whisky, a Subway breakfast sandwich, and even certain frozen dinners.

Kraft's water enhancer isn't the only brand that includes the controversial ingredient, which is allegedly safe when consumed appropriately, according to NBC Chicago. When used according to directions, "it seems to have little toxicity in humans," University of Illinois toxicologist Dr. Peter Orris told the news outlet. To that, the internet says, "hold my water."

How not to ingest MiO and other water enhancers

MiO is a liquid water enhancer that has no calories or sugar, both good things. "Just a squeeze" is all it takes to liven up boring old H20, per KraftHeinz. However, adventurous people are pushing the envelope by taking shots of the concentrated liquid MiO, a potentially catastrophic move. Known as "the MiO challenge," this phenomenon has been documented on video across the internet.

MiO, and other enhancers, are meant to be ingested in diluted form. But when people take them without first mixing in water, the result is that they ingest roughly five times the recommended daily limit of propylene glycol. This can be toxic to the liver and kidneys, according to NBC Chicago. Also problematic is the caffeine consumption this results in, which equates to roughly 18 cups of coffee! So, avoid making an otherwise healthy choice into something toxic. Either drink water plain or use as directed.