Get Activated! Discover the power of activated carbon for your filtration process
A trend that has gained speed over the last couple of years is low-calorie, low sugar and low-carbohydrate food and beverage. Hard seltzer fits into this category perfectly. With a low-calorie count and a reduced alcohol content of between 4-5%, hard seltzer attracts health-conscious men and women of all ages. Often gluten-free, it provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages.
It is easy for manufacturers to just consider the 'better for you' appeal of hard seltzers but consumers are just as interested in their refreshing taste and flavor. FMCG Gurus research indicates that 53% of hard seltzer drinkers prefer them because they have more flavor variety than other alcoholic drinks. Therefore, it is essential to address the challenges below if consumers are to enjoy the perfect hard seltzer with the taste, look and flavor they expect.
- Clarifying Hazy Hard Seltzer - Hard seltzer can be hazy and have a slight color after fermentation. Before color removal, a clarification step is necessary to remove yeast, haze and other solids that might be present.
- Color Removal - The base product of hard seltzer is usually from neutral spirits, wine, malt or sugar. While there is some variation among hard seltzers, most are clear, colorless beverages.
- Flavor and Contamination Removal - Having only low amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol and protein levels means that developing the right hard seltzer flavor can be a challenge. Fermentation by-products can negatively affect flavor and odor. The process is also receptive to spoilage microorganisms and creates new and different yeast and bacteria issues.
Challenging Traditional Processes
Powdered activated carbon (PAC) is widely used in the food and beverage industry for adsorption application and can be effective at decolorization, odor and trace impurity removal. The use of bulk PAC has significant drawbacks relating to the handling of bulk carbon powder, cleaning of the process equipment and the time and costs associated with carbon removal from the process. Using activated carbon alleviates these concerns.
Activated Carbon - The Basics
Peat, wood, coconut, lignite, coal, and other raw materials containing carbon are used to produce activated carbon. In the food and beverage industry, activated carbon is often used for purification, flavor removal and decolorization. In contrast to bleaching processes, the substances responsible for the color are removed through adsorption. Adsorption means the uptake of physical binding of gases, vapor or particles dissolved or suspended in liquids to the surface of a solid porous material. The carbon atoms on the internal surface of the activated carbon attract molecules of gases and liquids by the so-called “van der Waals force”. As the concentration of the material to be adsorbed increases, an equilibrium is established between the phase and surface of the activated carbon. The practically non-polar surface resulting in a high affinity to the likewise mostly non-polar organic molecules is a further characteristic feature of activated carbon.
Fantastic Filtration Solutions for Hazy Hard Seltzers
The benefits of activated carbon adsorption can be used across a variety of markets within food and beverage, including hard seltzer. Because of this, we have developed solutions integrating activated carbon within a matrix of cellulosic fibers which address these challenges and allow you to create the perfect hard seltzer.
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