Adding some fizz to the carbonated drinks sector

20-Oct-2016

Brenntag UK & Ireland is delighted to announce that the existing partnership with Stephenson Group is now extended to food and drinks industry applications

Stephenson Group has pioneered the patented formulation to increase CO2 solubility and extend shelf-life of carbonated drinks. The product, named Sustain, is used as a processing aid in the manufacturing process of carbonated beverages.

Sustain is a unique non-silicone derived CO2 solubiliser manufactured by Stephenson Group that keeps the fizz in carbonated drinks for longer by increasing the solubility of CO2.

The revolutionary new product offers manufacturers and brands the ability to retain carbonation and extend product shelf-life — giving consumers carbonated drinks with consistent fizz and flavour.

Sustain was developed by the Stephenson Group’s Technical Innovations Chemists, in direct response to a problem that has plagued the carbonated drinks market for years: CO2 loss.

Jonathan Stott, Business Manager for Sustain, said: 'CO2 loss begins during filling, and by the time a drink reaches a consumer it has lost up to 40% of its carbonation. The majority of CO2 loss occurs in PET bottles, where carbon dioxide exits the liquid usually via the headspace and the plastic packaging. More CO2 is lost when the bottle is opened. This often leads to consumer dissatisfaction with the product which is perceived as having gone ‘flat’ within a short space of time.'

The benefits of CSD producers switching to Sustain are considerable, explains Jonathan: 'With Sustain, 20% more CO2 is solubilised within the liquid from the start, so you have more carbonation in your beverage from the point of filling.'

'While it's inevitable that CO2 will leach through plastic containers, your drink will have more CO2 throughout its entire lifecycle — because it had much more to begin with! You can also use thinner plastic for your packaging, thus reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and the pollution associated with it. This means less product going out with short, waste-creating lifespans. Great news for manufacturers and retailers who can hold more stock for longer — meaning less waste, increased product lifespan and improved profitability,' he added.

In addition, carbonated drinks can be prone to excess foaming during filling, so are bottled at a much slower rate that impacts on profitability. Excess foam can cause overflow at the point of filling, meaning the bottle also requires external rinsing and many rejects - increasing maintenance costs, water usage and waste. Sustain retains more CO2 within the liquid, this reduces foam created during the bottling process and eliminates the need for rinsing which saves water.

Sustain can help to increase filling speeds by up to 25% and ensure the drink stays fizzier for much longer, explains Jonathan: 'In a recent customer Shelf Life Study, we measured the CO2 levels in cola for 20 weeks. The results show optimum carbonation in the drinks dosed with Sustain showing 20% more CO2 than undosed samples.”

Drinks brands benefit in the longer-term by providing a more pleasurable drinking experience for their consumers, with the drink maintaining the expected level of fizz, improving the product quality and brand perception.

'Ultimately, productivity is increased, production costs are reduced and this saves money. Sustain is giving soft drinks manufacturers some much needed good news through the exclusive benefits it offers with CO2 solubility, shelf-life extension and consumer enjoyment, which combined, cannot be achieved with any alternatives on the market,' added Jonathan.

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Alistair Nicoll, Business Manager for Food and Nutrition at Brenntag, added: 'The launch of Sustain is an exciting new development in the carbonated drinks market, as it has been developed to allow manufacturers and brands to maximise CO2 retention and consumers’ overall product experience, whilst also increasing profit through more efficient filling and a prolonged end product shelf-life. We are very excited to be working with the Stephenson Group on such an innovative and unique product.'

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