Whether it’s soda, sparkling water, or the more recent popularity of carbonated coffee, tea, or juice, CO2 is essential for creating those bubbles necessary to ensure a beverage is consistent and safe.
Don Pachuta, PhD, president of Airborne Labs International, Inc., Somerset, N.J., says the quality of CO2 used in beverage applications was historically often overlooked with minimal testing done. This changed radically, however over the last 20 years.
“Robust CO2 quality control not only ensures the desired pleasurable sensory impact of the beverage but also for its freedom from potential ‘health impacting’ harmful effects that can arise from various undesirable impurities in the CO2,” he says.
Moreover, as more “non-traditional” sources of CO2 are explored and employed, the issues of CO2 quality maintenance become more challenging as new potential source-specific impurities must now be carefully studied, and related impurities identified, removed, monitored, and subsequently controlled by appropriate purity standard-setting bodies. These include such as the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA), FDA, and other governmental or international standard-setting groups.
“It must be understood that all CO2 quality assurance processes involves a complex, multistep supply-manufacturing-delivery-storage-beverage manufacturing chain, which starts with the composition of the original feed gas source of CO2 through its final infusion into a beverage product,” Dr. Pachuta says. “For reasonable economics, CO2 supplies need to be produced and stored relatively local to their end users. The key is that many diverse and new non-traditional types of possible localized CO2 sources are continually being evaluated for economic, consistent, and sustainable supply reasons.”
About Keith Loria
A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is an award-winning journalist who has been writing for major newspapers and magazines for close to 20 years, on topics as diverse as food, sports, business, theater, and government. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at Rinkside, BCA Insider, and Soap Opera Digest. Reach him at email@example.com.