There are a broad range of beverage products available and this number is always increasing as consumers demand more variety. As there are so many, I’ll be focusing on a few of the most popular Non Alcoholic beverages. If there are any others you would like further information on, please let me know.
Water & Water Products –
There are a number of water beverages available. These include mineral water, soda water, vitamin water, tonic water, etc. Mineral or sparkling water is collected and often bottled straight from a natural spring producing water that contains naturally occurring minerals. Mineral water may be still or sparkling. Soda water is carbonated water (Please see the Soft Drinks section of this page). Vitamin water is purified water with additional ingredients such as added sugar, flavour, acids, vitamins and electrolytes. Tonic water is carbonated water with the addition of quinine. It has a distinctive bitter flavour and is used mainly as a mixer.
Cordials – Cordials are non-alcoholic syrup concentrates that are used to make beverages. They are highly concentrated liquids or powders and only require small amounts to be diluted in water. They come in a range of flavours, and usually contain a number of ingredients that perform different functions. Sugar is usually high on the list with ingredients such as sugars, fruit juice concentrates, reconstituted juices, artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners also used. Other ingredients include water, colours, artificial or natural flavours (including acids), stabilisers, preservatives (to prevent mould and yeast growth over shelf life) and thickeners used to provide mouthfeel to the product.
Fruit/Vegetable Juices, Fruit Drinks, Juice Nectars and Fruit Juice Concentrates –
Fruit or Vegetable Juices are produced either by packing the juice from squeezing fresh fruits and vegetables, or from reconstituting Fruit or Vegetable concentrates. The juice is then pasteurised to extend the shelf life. Fruit or Vegetable Juices contain 100% juice, no added sugar or preservatives and can either contain pulp (cloudy apple or pulpy orange juice) or are strained to remove the pulp (clear juices). Juice can also be produced from diluting a concentrate with water and/or blending with freshly squeezed juice. Juices prepared in this way however, cannot be labelled as NFC or Not From Concentrate.
Fruit Drinks are blends of a number of ingredients and usually contain less fruit juice (usually from concentrates) and have more additional ingredients such as flavours, food acid, colours, preservatives, vitamins, sugars and sweeteners. Vitamin C is commonly added to replace the natural vitamin C lost during processing.
Juice Nectars / Fruit Drinks – Juice Concentrates are reconstituted with water and additional ingredients are added including sugar, Flavours, Acids and Vitamin C. Produces a very sweet thicker liquid than a fruit drink.
As fruits grow seasonally and in different locations all over the world, Fruit Juice Concentrates are manufactured from fruits in season so consumers have access to fruit juices all year round. They are made by heating fresh fruit juice to evaporate around two thirds of the original water content. When they are reconstituted, the same amount of water is added back to equal the freshly squeezed version. Fruit juice concentrates are used mainly to manufacture fruit juices but can also be added to products to sweeten and as an ingredient in fruit preparations for yoghurt, in ice confectionary etc.
The section of our Food Standards Code that controls Fruit and Vegetable Juices is Standard 2.6.1. For more information please see the sites below.
Milk – Please see the Dairy Page. Link here.
Flavoured Milks – Flavoured milks are produced by adding sugar, flavours and colours to pasteurized fresh whole milk or skim milk. Gums or thickeners may also be added to improve mouthfeel of the product. Flavoured Milks are available as fresh milk or in a UHT (Ultra High Treated) format and include Coffee flavoured milks using coffee concentrates.
Breakfast Beverages – Breakfast beverages have been designed to provide similar nutrition to a bowl of cereal but in a liquid easy to consume format. Regular or low sugar, Dairy or Non Dairy based they contain a number of ingredients such as water, milk, milk powders (whole and skim), sugars, proteins, Inulin and fibres, vitamins and minerals, stabilisers, gums, salt, colours, sweeteners and flavours. For more information please see – https://www.sanitarium.com.au/products/up-and-go/up-and-go
Nut Milks – There is a huge range of Non Dairy milks now available to consumers. As they are plant based, they don’t contain Lactose or cholesterol as does cow’s milk. Often fortified with vitamins and minerals they are sold in sweetened, unsweetened and flavoured varieties.
A wide variety of source materials are used for non-dairy beverages and can include ingredients such as Rice, Oat, Almond, Soy, Cashew, Coconut, Quinoa etc. They can either be sold individually or in combination with each other and are available in UHT and fresh chilled options. These products can contain a variety of ingredients depending on the brand. Nut, rice and oat based products are made by blending water with the soaked whole nut or grain, ground nut or flour of the base material (e.g. ground almonds or rice flour) and straining out the liquid. For coconut milks coconut cream is blended with water. Additional ingredients are added which may include sugars or sweeteners (rice or tapioca syrups), stabilisers, starches and gums (to stabilise the beverage and provide mouthfeel and viscosity), emulsifiers (to prevent separation of the ingredients over shelf life), inulin, oils, salt, flavours, colours, and vitamin or mineral powders (calcium is often added).
For more information please see –
Soft Drinks– Soft drinks or carbonated beverages are produced by adding colour (artificial or natural), flavour (artificial or natural), food acids, sugar and preservatives to carbonated water. Water is carbonated by running carbon bubbles through filtered water under pressure. The small carbon bubbles disperse evenly in the water remaining in solution until the bottle is opened.
Coffee – Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. It is made by brewing ground roasted coffee beans with hot water. Coffee is grown all over the world with 2 varieties being the most common. These are Arabic and Robusta. The coffee seeds or beans are picked, sorted, dried and then roasted. The manufacturer develops the flavour of the finished coffee by roasting the dried beans for different periods of time to develop specific flavour characteristics. Other than its unique flavour, coffee also contains the stimulant Caffeine which occurs naturally in the coffee bean. Decaffeinated coffee is coffee that has had the caffeine removed from the green bean before processing either using water, CO2 or a chemical solvent before its dried and roasted. There is still a small amount of caffeine present in decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee is available in a number of forms for making beverages including whole beans, ground coffee, granules, powders, freeze dried, pods, syrups, and coffee bags. They come in a range of different levels of roasting, with or without additional flavours. Depending on the product being made, food and beverage manufacturers will use coffee pastes, powders, instant coffee, coffee flavours, coffee extracts or concentrates in their products.
The section of our Food Standards Code that covers coffee and decaffeinated coffee is Standard 2.10.4. For more information please see the links below –
Tea – Tea is a brewed beverage where hot water is added to tea leaves or buds taken from the Camellia sinensis plant. Tea contains caffeine that occurs naturally in the plant. Similar to coffee, this caffeine can be removed by the use of chemical solvents, carbon dioxide or water. Decaffeinated tea still has a small amount of caffeine remaining in the product. The section of our Food Standards Code that covers tea and decaffeinated tea is Standard 2.10.4-2. (link below). Herbal Infusions are teas blended with fruits, berries, seeds, flowers, bark, herbs and roots. Herbal teas are infusions of single herbs or a combination of, without the actual tea plant for example peppermint, camomile etc.
There is an ever expanding range of tea products available in bags, loose leaf, ready to drink iced tea and powdered instant tea and milk blends. The range of flavours are broad with different herbal, fruit and spice infusions available.
Manufacturers use tea in different forms in food and beverage products including concentrates, extracts, powdered tea and tea flavours.
For more information please see the sites below
Energy Drinks – Energy drinks are usually carbonated beverages that use different ingredients such as sugars (including sucrose, glucose syrups, maltodextrin and artificial sweeteners such as sucralose), with stimulant drugs such as caffeine and plant extracts including guarana to boost energy levels. Along with these ingredients they can also contain vitamins, taurine, amino acids, food acids, colours, preservatives, thickeners, salt, herbal extracts (such as ginseng), flavours and other ingredients. The section of our Food Standards Code that covers tea and decaffeinated tea is Standard 2.6.2. (link below). For more information please see –
Sports Drinks – Isotonic drinks are formulated to contain a similar concentration of salts and sugar as in the blood and cells of the human body, hence they are absorbed by the body faster than plain water alone. Sports drinks are available in either ready to drink beverages or powders which are mixed with water. They are designed to assist athletes and sports people recover faster from physical activity by providing a source of energy through carbohydrates, hydration through water and replacement of natural salts lost through sweating, by the addition of electrolytes.
Liquid sports beverages contain water in addition to the following ingredients commonly found in powdered sports beverages which are designed to be mixed into water at a specific ratio. Ingredients include sugars (sucrose, glucose, maltodextrin), acids, minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium), flavours, colours and antioxidants. The section of our Food Standards Code that covers sports beverages is Standard 2.6.2. (link below).
For more information on the different types of Beverages available, please look in the For-Consumers section in the Australian Beverage Council’s website. This is an excellent site that talks about the different types of beverages in Australia. The link to their site is below – http://www.australianbeverages.org/
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