Quality of packaged drinking water along its production and distribution chain: a case of central and eastern Uganda
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Access to safe and affordable drinking water is one of core targets under Sustainable Development Goals: 6. Bottled water is a path way for such safe access as from 1990, with currently more than 40 registered brands amidst the high demand for it, mainly at functions and events in spite of the varying consumer perception. This study aimed at assessing packaged drinking water quality along its production and distribution chain. The study focused on; assessing consumer perception on bottled water quality, its quality during production processes and on local markets in Central and Eastern Regions of Uganda. Findings from the study showed that majority of the respondents from the consumer perception survey, 86% agreed to bottled water being tasty, 42% agreed that it has odour and 13% agreed that it has colour. Furthermore, during sample testing, evident results of appearance, aroma, texture and taste confirmed were recorded and guided selection of study case factories of the study. All the tested 24 samples from production and 60 samples from market for the 3 bottled water brands tested met National Drinking Water Standards. However, they all showed differences in key parameters in the four towns. The parameters also showed degree of changes depending on storage facilities. The difference mainly differed by; location; market avenue; storage all attributed to probably, travel distance, temperature difference and expiry dates. Bottled water is; safe for consumption, not coloured but bears taste and odour as related to consumer’s perception. Key words; Bottled water, Taste, Odour, Colour, parameter, quality.