Case Study: The unforeseen impact of Stevia for filling carbonated drinks

5 min read

No sugar, no problem? Well, not exactly...

Reduced sugar content is becoming more and more important to consumers, and we’re sure that by now, you’re well aware of the benefits of Stevia as a natural sugar substitute in carbonated soft drinks.

You might be considering reformulation; or may have already started to reformulate your product range to introduce natural ‘low’ and ‘no-calorie’ products. This is a smart move – not only does this give your brand options for avoiding sugar taxes, but it encourages a healthier lifestyle for your consumers too.

However, despite the obvious consumer and business benefits of reformulating with Stevia, using it presents a much less publicised yet major problem for carbonated soft drinks producers:

Excess foaming during filling.

Why this happens:

Stevia has very limited solubility in water, which is a big issue given that many carbonated drinks are more than 80 percent water. When carbonating the beverage during the bottling process, excess foam is created, making it very difficult to fill into the packaging.

The result? More waste, slower line speeds, less productivity.

A new non-silicone food grade antifoam for use with Stevia


Sustain® 5002 has been developed to combat this problem – helping brands to easily produce drinks with sugar substitutes – which would usually cause the drink to foam more in the bottling process. This allows line speeds to remain fast, while keeping your loyal consumers happy!

Reduced sugar content is becoming more and more important to consumers, but causing major headaches for your Operations Managers due to excess foaming during production.
John Story, Technical Director, Sustain

What is Sustain?

Sustain® 5002 is a patented non-silicone processing aid, designed to reduce foam in carbonated drinks. A water thin dispersion of Polysorbate 65 in water, the patented technology coats the bubbles at the point of filling, to reduce foam.

Case Study: European beverage producer sees huge increase in line speeds using Sustain to combat excess foaming

In a recent trial with a leading European soft drink producer, the customer had recently switched to using Stevia as a sugar substitute, but soon discovered a major issue with filling the beverage into packaging: excess foam, increased downtime, productivity dipped, and more waste was created due to a higher number of rejects.

Having understood their challenge, we discussed using Sustain 5002 as a natural alternative to silicone antifoams, to help reduce the excess foaming at the point of filling.

Key data from the trial:

  • Maximum line speed capacity – 28,800 BPH
  • Maximum line speed achieved in previous productions – 14,000BPH

By using Sustain as a processing aid, the trial produced some extremely impressive and unexpected results:

  • The client saw filling speeds increase by 71% using Sustain 5002 with Stevia – reaching  a maximum line speed of  24,000BPH
  • Filling temperature – 18 degrees
  • Carbonation level – 4-4.25 volumes

The result

Better and more consistent filling, increased productivity and fewer rejects, with lower CO2 levels achieved at higher temperatures – saving the need for additional chilling. Ultimately, costs have been saved, productivity is back up (and even better than before), with a very satisfied Operations Director!

CO2Sustain® can help you produce CSDs with sugar substitutes, which would usually cause the drink to foam more in the bottling process. This allows your line speeds to remain fast, all while keeping your loyal consumers happy!

Like the sound of Sustain?

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