The importance of oxygen measurement in soft drinks

Depending on the beverage’s composition, high levels of dissolved oxygen in soft drinks may have a considerable impact on the soft drink’s quality and shelf life. Not only the drink itself, but also the package type needs to be considered.

The impact of oxygen on soft drinks

Many soft drinks contain natural ingredients such as pulp, fruit juices or vitamins. These components are subject to oxidation. High levels of dissolved oxygen (O2) in soft drinks may cause changes in the beverage’s aroma and taste, changes in color, and the loss of nutritional value. The more oxygen in the beverage container, the faster the oxidation takes place. Oxidation is also enhanced by elevated temperatures.

Air in a beverage package contains around 20.95 % of volume (% v/v) of oxygen, the other main component is 78.08 % v/v of nitrogen (N2), but oxygen is the component that may interfere with beverage ingredients. Nevertheless, O2 in a beverage container is always accompanied by nitrogen which remains in a package even if the oxygen content may decrease over time when it gets consumed due to oxidation reactions.

The solubility of both, O2 and N2, in beverages is low which means that the majority of both gases is found in the head space.

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