Tang (drink)

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Tang Drink Packets.jpg
Tang drink mix packets in grape, orange and hibiscus tea flavors.
Product type Drink mix
Owner Mondelēz International
Markets worldwide
Previous owners General Foods
Kraft Foods

Tang is a fruit-flavored drink. Originally formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell[1] in 1957, it was first marketed in powdered form in 1959.[2][3] The Tang brand is owned by Mondelēz International.

Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight in February 1962,[4] and subsequent Gemini missions.[5] Since then, it was closely associated with the U.S. manned spaceflight program, leading to the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program.[6][7]


Tang was used by early NASA manned space flights.[8] In 1962, when Mercury astronaut John Glenn conducted eating experiments in orbit, Tang was selected for the menu;[2] it was also used during some Gemini flights. In 2013 Buzz Aldrin said: "Tang sucks."[9]

The creator of Tang, William A. Mitchell, also invented Pop Rocks, Cool Whip, a form of instant-set Jell-O, and other convenience foods.[10]

Original Tang[edit]

Tang is sold both in powdered and ready-to-drink form; they have similar tastes. The recommended usage of original powdered Tang is two tablespoons per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) of water. A single 8 US fl oz (240 ml) serving of Tang provides 9 grams (0.32 oz) of sugar; 40 calories (167 kJ); 100% RDA of vitamin C; 10% RDA of vitamin A, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, and no caffeine.[citation needed]

A sugar-free version of Tang, containing aspartame, which comes in individually measured packets, was introduced in March 1985.[citation needed]

Other versions[edit]

In 2007, Kraft introduced a new version of Tang which replaced half of the sugar with artificial sweeteners. The new packaging advertises "1/2 the sugar of 100% juice".[11] The artificial sweeteners used in the new formulation are sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and neotame. The new formula is more concentrated and distributed in smaller containers, with a 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) (348 g (12.3 oz)) making 8 US quarts (7,600 ml).

The recommended usage is two and one-half teaspoons per 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml) of water. The lid on the new smaller plastic container acts as a measuring cup which may be used to make one or two quart quantities, the same as the original Tang.[citation needed]

As of December 2009, the 12.3 US fl oz (360 ml) lower calorie Tang has been discontinued and is no longer available from Kraft.[citation needed]

In 2009, another version of Tang emerged in 20 US fl oz (590 ml) containers making only 6 US quarts (5,700 ml).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steyn, Mark (November 2004). "Tastemaker With a Sweet Tooth". Atlantic Monthly. 
  2. ^ a b "Spinoff Frequently Asked Questions". NASA.gov. 
  3. ^ "Tang breakfast drink". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). (advertisement). February 12, 1960. p. 27. 
  4. ^ Courter, Barry (May 13, 2007). "Boomers collect artifacts, memories of NASA's heyday". Times Free Press. 
  5. ^ "From Gemini to Apollo-Soyuz:". Washington Afro-American. (advertisement). August 9, 1975. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Olver, Lynne (2000). "Food Timeline : popular American foods by decade : Tang, The "Space Age" Drink". foodtimeline.org. 
  7. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (November 23, 2006). "Space Food: From Squeeze Tubes To Celebrity Chefs". Space.com. 
  8. ^ "Space Food Hall of Fame". NASA.gov. 
  9. ^ "Now He Tells Us: 'Tang Sucks,' Says Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin". The Two-Way. NPR. 
  10. ^ Muir, David (April 19, 2006). "Candy Celebrates 50 Years of Popping". ABC News.  (Video.)
  11. ^ Turner, M. (April 13, 2001). "Tang Ingredients". Everything2.com. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]