MEANING: Softdrinks are the class of non-alcoholic beverage, usually but not necessarily carbonated, normally containing a natural or artificial sweetening agent, edible acids, natural or artificial flavours and sometimes juices.
SOFTDRINK SPECIALTY There are many types of softdrink. Mineral waters are very popular in Europe and latin America. Kava, made from roots of a bush shrub, Piper methysticum, is consumed by the people of Fiji and other Pacific Islands. In Cuba people enjoy a carbonated cane juice; its flavour comes from unrefined syrup. In tropical areas, where diets frequently lack sufficient protein, softdrinks containing soybean flour have been marketed. In Egypt Carob or Locustbean extract is used. In Brazil a softdrink is made using mate as a base. The Whey obtained from making buffalo cheese is carbonated and consumed as a softdrink in North Africa. Some Eastern Europeans enjoy drink prepared from fermented stale bread. Honey and orange juice go into a popular drink of Israel.
The first marketed softdrinks appeared in the 17th Century as a mixture of water and lemon juice sweetened with honey. In 1676 the Compagnie de Limonadiers was formed in Paris and granted a monopoly for the sale of its products. Vendors carried tanks on their backs from which they dispensed cups of lemonade.
Carbonated beverages and waters were developed from European attempts in the 17th Century to imitate the popular and naturally effervescent waters of famous springs, with primary interest in their reputed therapeutic values. Jan Baptist Van Helmont (1577 – 1644) first used the term gas in his reference to the carbon dioxide contents. Gabriel Venel referred to aerated water, confusing the gas with ordinary air. Joseph Black named the gaseous constituent fixed air.
Robert Boyle, the Anglo-Irish scientist who helped found modern chemistry, published his short memoirs for the Natural Experimental History of Mineral Waters in 1685. It included sections on examining mineral springs, on the properties of the water, on its effects upon human bodies, and, lastly, “of the imitation of natural medicinal waters by chymical and other artificial wayes”.
Numerous reports of experiments and investigation were included in the philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London in the Late 1700s, including the studies of Stephen Hales, Joseph Black, David Macbride, William Browning, Henry Cavendish, Thomas Lane, and others.
Joseph Priestley is nicknamed “the father of the soft drinks industry” for his experiments on gas obtained from the fermenting vats of a brewery. In 1772 he demonstrated a small carbonating apparatus to the college of physicians in London, suggesting that, with the aid of a pump, water might be more highly impregnated with fixed air. Antoine Lavoisier in Paris made the same suggestion in 1773.
To Thomas Henry, an apothecary in Manchester, England, is attributed the first production of carbonated water, which he made in 12-gallon barrels using an apparatus based on Priestley’s, Jacob Schweppe, A jeweler in Geneva, read the papers of Priestley and Lavoisier and determined to make a similar devices. By 1794 he was selling his highly carbonated artificial mineral waters to his friends in Geneva; later he started a business in London.
At first, bottled waters were used medicinally, as evidenced in a letter written by English Industrialist Matthew Boulton to the Philosopher Erasmus Darwin in 1794: “J. Schweppe prepares his mineral waters of three sorts. No. 1 is for common drinking with your dinner. No. 2 is for nephritick patients and No. 3 contains the most alkali given only in more violent cases”. By about 1820, improvements in manufacturing process allowed a much greater output, and bottled water became popular. Mineral salts and flavours were added – ginger about 1820, lemon in the 1830s, tonic in 1858. In 1886, John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, Ga., invented Coca-Cola, the first Cola drink.
SOFTDRINK PRODUCTION INGREDIENTS
The ingredients used in softdrinks include Water, CO2 , Sugar, Acids, Juices and Flavours.
SOFTDRINK PRODUCTION PROCESS
Water Purification. Water is treated by a process known as super-chlorination and coagulation. There, the water is exposed for two hours to a high concentration of chlorine and to a flocculants, which removes such organisms as plankton; it then passes through a sand filter and activated carbon.
Carbondioxide and carbonation., Carbondioxide gas given the beverage its sparkle and targy taste and prevents spoilage. Carbondioxide is supplied to the softdrink manufacturer in either solid from (Dry ice) or liquid form maintained under approximately 1,200 pounds per square inch pressure in heavy steel containers. Light weight steel containers are used when the liquid carbondioxide is held under refrigeration. In that case, the internal pressure is about 325 pounds per square inch. Carbonation is effected by chilling the liquid and cascading it in thin layers over a series of plates in an enclosure containing carbondioxide gas under pressure. The amount of gas the water will absorb increases as the pressure is increased and the temperature is decreased.
Flavouring syrup Flavouring syrup is normally concentrated salutation of a sweetener (artificial or sugar), an accidulant for tartness, flavouring, and a preservative when necessary. The flavouring syrup is made in two steps, first, a “simple syrup” is prepared by making a solution of water and sugar. This simple sugar solution can be treated with carbon and filtered if the sugar quality is poor. All of the other ingredients are then added in a precise order to make up what is called a “finished syrup”.
Finishing. There are two methods for producing a finished product from the flavouring syrup. In the first, the syrup is diluted with water and the product then cooled, carbonated, and bottled. In the second, the maker measures a precise amount of syrup into each bottle, then fills it with carbonated water. In either case, the sugar content is reduced to 8-13 percent in the finished beverage. The blending of syrups and mixing with plain or carbonated water, the container washing, and container filling are all done almost entirely by automatic machinery. Returnable bottles are washed in hot alkali solutions for a minimum of five minutes, then rinsed thoroughly. Single service or “one-tip” containers are generally air-rinsed or rinsed with potable water before filling. Automatic filters service from 30 to 2,000 containers per minute.