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14 August 2022

Putting more fizz into carbonated soft drinks

Posted in Press Mentions

Stand out product

At the fdt Africa 2018 expo recently, a standout product for this editor was the first public showing in SA of CO2Sustain, a new anti-foaming processing aid that creates impressive improvements in carbonated beverage production efficiencies and end-use consumer enjoyment.

So what is CO2Sustain? It’s a pasteurised, ultra fine, dispersion of polysorbate 65 in water – a new, non-silicone route to clever carbonation.

Used at very low concentrations, it reduces costs by controlling foam during the filling process, while also increasing the perception of fizziness in the finished poured beverage.

It was invented and patented by the UK’s Stephenson Group, a chemicals developer and vendor.

As I sipped the best-tasting, fizziest Coke Light I’d ever tasted, Sustain’s technical director, John Story, explained, well, the story:

“It began when we were contacted by a large global soft drinks brand who needed help to eliminate excess foaming during their soft drink filling process.

“They were looking for a non-silicone alternative to the commodity silicone-based ‘antifoams’ they were currently using. A google search had led them to our website where they could see we were producing food-grade, silicone-free antifoaming agents for washing potatoes.

“Our challenge was to develop a silicone-free processing aid that worked to reduce foam in carbonated beverages.”

After months of testing dozens of food and beverage grade additives, the company’s smart chemists ascertained that no traditional ‘surface active’ antifoam could address the known industry-wide fobbing problem – the foaming of beer/csds during processing or dispense.

“Instead, we focused on eliminating foam generation in the first place — through manipulating the bubbles in the bulk of the liquid, rather than at the surface — focusing on getting more CO2 into the drink from the start,”

explained Story.

“And so we invented CO2Sustain — our flagship, patented, silicone-free CO2 solubiliser that has many benefits – aside from the intended benefit of controlling foam production, it also has the unintentional benefit of enhancing the perception of fizziness in the poured beverage.”


Optimised carbonation level

CO2Sustain’s unique formulation controls the excess foam by discouraging bubbles from merging into larger bubbles. This reduces costs by controlling foam in the filling process whilst maintaining the “fizziness” of the drink.

With CO2Sustain, because the bubbles are smaller, the poured beverage will be perceived as tasting fizzier, so there is the option of reducing the CO2 level during the filling process without adversely affecting the consumer experience.

Easier to work with

It is added directly to the concentrated syrup without the need for heating, with minimal stirring. It’s easy to calculate optimum dosage, making the process of switching to CO2 Sustain quick and simple.

As the dosage is a tiny 0,10g/litre, there are minimal cost implications.

Reduced costs

By controlling the foam during filling, CO2Sustain can reduce operational costs.

“Adding CO2Sustain allows quicker start up time, faster speeds at higher temperatures of up to 18 degrees C, and lower CO2 levels with less rejects,”

said Story.

“Our customers have reported up to 50% faster start-up time, with filling speeds increased by up to, and in some cases, exceeding 25%.”


Meeting customer demands

Story believes their product is particularly relevant in the era of sugar reduction.

“As reduced sugar content is becoming more and more important to CSD customers, CO2Sustain assists brands in producing drink ranges with sugar substitutes, which would usually cause the drink to foam more in the bottling process.

“This allows line speeds to remain fast while ensuring customers are happy!”

asserts Story.

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