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05 09 2016
Water for Carbonated Soft Drinks
Written by: Leopold

The key to a tasteful drink and beverage starts simply from water. The composition of water in a typical carbonated soft drink (CSD) is an estimated 90% (98% for sugar free drinks). As such, the quality of water is critical on the taste, appearance, physical and microbiological stability of the product.

There are more than 50 legal quality standards ensuring the safety of drinking water. However, outside of these standards, trace amounts of various elements can directly affect taste. Some possible effects of this can be illustrated:

Characteristic Effect
Suspended Matter Visible haze/ or particles
Foaming during filling
Gushing on opening packaged product
Taste and Odour
(e.g. from chlorination/ or chlorophenols)
Alkalinity Reduced product acidity
Scaling of boilers, heaters and jets
Bacteria Spoilage
Health risk
Organic Matter Deposits in product
Neck rings

Water should have no impurities of any nature or kind to interfere with taste, colour, physical appearance and carbonation of the drink. Bottling plants use various equipments and techniques to remove impurities and standardize the water quality.

The minimum water requirement used for drinks and beverages are:

  • free from high levels of elements and mineral salts;
  • free from tastes and odours;
  • free from organic material;
  • free from dissolved oxygen;
  • free from micro-organisms (aka sterile);
  • clear and colourless.

The treated water in bottling plants should be tested for:

  • Conductivity,
  • Turbidity;
  • Microbiological levels;
  • Taste, odour and appearance;
  • Hardness: soft (<50 pp, as CaCO3) to medium soft (50–100 ppm as CaCO3);
  • Alkalinity (< 50 ppm of total dissolved solids) and chlorine-free;
  • Total mineral solids: < 350 ppm; free from iron, sulfur, manganese etc.

The target standards for treated water (for CSD)
Alkalinity 50 ppm
Hardness 100 ppm
Total Solids 350 ppm
Iron 0.3 ppm
Manganese 0.05 ppm
Taste and Odour None
Chloramines (as Cl2) None
Carbon Tetrachloride None
Nitrate 10 ppm
pH 6.5 – 8.5
Sulfate 250 ppm
Aluminum 0.05 – 0.2 ppm
Turbidity 2.0 NTU
Total Trihalomethanes 0.080 ppm
Organic Matter None
Yeast None
Moulds None

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