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4C Totally Light Fruit Punch Drink Mix Review

Updated Review Date: 06/13/2017
Original Review Date: 07/17/2011

         Who knew 4C made more than just bread crumbs and parmesan cheese? I didn't until recently. Turns out 4C has quite the selection of sugar free drink mixes available and today we're looking at 4C sugar free fruit punch that's part of the "Totally Light" product lineup. Some notable features of the Totally Light products include a sucralose and acesulfame potassium blend for the sweetener, a better value than any other drink mix products I've seen and a healthy dose of Vitamin C per serving. Sugar free 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch is available at Amazon in both small and large boxes of "Totally Light 2 Go" packets, which are perfect for 16 to 20 oz. bottles of water. The 14 quart canister version with 2 quart mini-tubs has been updated to a 14 or 16 quart boxed version with multiple 2 quart packets instead of 12 quarts like 4C's competition. The ingredients are still exactly the same in the updated version. Both the 14 quart canister version and the Totally Light 2 Go packets were used for this review. As is the case with other 4C totally light products, I have not yet seen a scoopable canister version.
         Let's go ahead and see how 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch does in the review.

Nutrition Information for 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch Drink Mix

Each 8 ounces of prepared 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch, regardless of packaging, has the following nutrition values:

Calories: 0
Sodium: 0mg
Sugars: 0g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Total Fat: 0g
Vitamin C: 100%
Potassium: 15mg (less than 1% USRDA)

Ingredients of 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch Sugar Free Drink Mix

Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Potassium Citrate and Sodium Citrate (controls acidity), Acesulfame Potassium, Artificial Color (F.D & C Red #40), Sucralose, Gum Arabic, Magnesium Oxide and Tricalcium Phosphate (prevents caking), Titanium Dioxide, Artificial Color (F.D & C Blue 1) .

The Scorecard for 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch Sugar Free Drink Mix

Based on the four point rating system, 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch scores as follows in each category:

Taste: Very Good taste and on par with the likes of Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch. While it does taste as good as the competition, 4C totally Light Fruit Punch also has a slightly tart bite to its sweet flavor, similar to what happens when eating blackberries. This was an unexpected but refreshing feature that gives it a more realistic flavor rather than an over-sweetened flavor. (+1)

Packaging Waste: The packaging is as minimal as can be for these types of products. On the both the Totally Light 2 Go packets and the 14 or 16-quart boxes of 2-quart packets, only the exterior cardboard box is definitely recyclable in your area as the interior product packaging on all package sizes uses an unnumbered plastic-foil pouch to hold the drink mix. (+.5 for both package types)

Value: The value is exceptional and the best I've seen yet. The large boxes of 2 quart packets contain a total of 14 or 16 quarts instead of the industry standard of 12 quarts and the Totally Light 2 Go boxes contain 20 packets versus the standard 10 or 12 per box. For toppers the entire line of 4C drink mix products are priced less than the competition everywhere I've looked. I have no choice but to give 4C a bonus here which would bring the value category score up to 1.25 instead of the standard 1 point maximum. (+1.25)

Health Factor: Although there are quite a number of ingredients, nothing listed raises a massive red flag to me. The magnesium oxide is the same active ingredient you'd find in an antacid. The tricalcium phosphate used for anti-caking is a form of calcium that is benign and quite safe (it's used in certain types of bone grafts). Even though the titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral, there are two types: industrial-grade and food-grade. Its use in food might be controversial to some people because of possible nanoparticles in the food-grade version, but to me it's not, as its been used in food for many years with no ill effects. It's also generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the USFDA. It's unclear if the titanium dioxide is used to brighten the color of the fruit punch or as a flowing agent. It is, however, a coloring regardless of how I look at it or what its intended use is, and that puts 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch over the maximum of two colorings in a product threshold. With more than two colorings it gets an automatic .25 point deduction. There are plenty of redeeming characteristics though, such as no calories, sugars, carbs or sodium. It also has a 100% of the USRDA for Vitamin C. So overall it's a good choice for diabetics or anyone who needs to avoid sugar. For the health factor 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch gets a respectable score. (+.75)

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 4 for the both the large 14 or 16 quart boxes and the Totally Light 2 Go packets. 4C Totally Light Fruit Punch turns out to be a solid product overall and the unique taste and outstanding value is a nice deviation from the industry norm. I recommend that all fruit punch lovers give this one a try.

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