Concentrates and dilution of softdrinks

Measure the concentration of blended softdrinks

Soft drinks are produced and consumed in large amounts all over the world. The main ingredients of soft drinks are concentrate, water, and sugar or sweetener – and sometimes carbon dioxide. The concentrate is the ingredient which determines the specific flavor of the beverage. Mixing in the soft drink blending process takes place in two different phases: First, the soft drink concentrate is mixed with sugar solution (about 60 Brix). This premixture is blended with water into a final solution. Before the product is ready to be bottled, the blended soft drink solution is led to a container where carbonation takes place. There are two forms of blending: batch process and continuous blending. In batch process, water and concentrate are mixed in large tanks. The stirrers in the tank ensure a homogenous blend. A more advanced technique is continuous blending. The product is normally blended to a Brix level slightly higher than the one of the final product. The final concentration is reached by injecting a small amount of water. Afterwards, the solution passes a static or dynamic mixer and is ready for the final concentration measurement just before bottling.

Using the Schmidt + Haensch process refractometer in the blending process of softdrinks

The refractometer is used to measure and control the concentration of the blended product. A typical measurement range is 10-15 Brix at a temperature of 10 °C to 20 °C (50-68 °F). Depending on the blending process, the installation can vary. In batch process, the instrument can be installed directly in the tank or in a circulation line. In continuous blending, the concentration is measured after the final blender. Due to the accuracy of the process refractometer, great savings in expensive raw materials can be achieved.

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