Food Scientist for Hire

Soft Drinks Formulation & Development


There is no doubt soft drinks have been popular for years. No matter in which country you are born, everyone on earth has tasted soft drinks. Think of Pepsi, Coca Cola, Sprite and Fanta. There is hardly anyone that will not like any of the traditional soft drinks. 

A soft drink is a water-based flavored drink, usually but not necessarily carbonated, and typically including added sweeteners. Flavors can be used, natural or non-natural. The sweetener may be a sugar, syrup, fruit juice, a sugar substitute (in the case of diet sodas), or a combination of these. Soft drinks may also contain caffeine, colorings and other ingredients. Soft drinks are called “soft” in contrast with “hard” alcoholic drinks. Depending on the country they can also be referred to (soda) pops, seltzers or fizzy drinks.


In order to make them fizzy, soft drinks manufacturers add carbon dioxide (CO2). The dissolution of CO2 in a liquid, gives rise to effervescence or fizz. Carbon dioxide is only weakly soluble in water; therefore, it separates into a gas when the pressure is released. The process usually involves injecting carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is removed, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which causes the solution to become effervescent, or fizzy.

The origin of soft drinks lie in the development of fruit-flavored drinks. Sugar, syrup or honey were used as sweeteners. An early type of soft drink was lemonade, made from water, lemon juice and sugar. From the early 20th century up until the 1960s, it was common for small-town residents and big-city dwellers to enjoy carbonated beverages at local soda fountains and ice cream parlours. Often housed together with apothecaries, the soda fountain counter served as a meeting place for people of all ages. Flavoured syrups were used to be mixed with carbonated water that turned into different flavored soda pops. 


Lately the trend has grown more into low-sugar and low-calorie soft drinks. This has to do with more healthier lifestyles but also the sugar tax that’s introduced in some countries like the UK and Mexico and other countries that are looking to implement this.  In the UK, beverage manufacturers are taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import. The tax is imposed at the point of production or importation, in two bands. Drinks with total sugar content above 5g per 100mL are taxed at 18p per litre and drinks above 8g per 100mL at 24p per litre.


How to keep the delicious sweet and sour taste with that sparkle that is notorious for soft drinks but just with a little less sugar? At Food Scientist For Hire we daily deal with things like this. We can develop a healthier soft drink with less sugar and calories that still has an incredible taste. Give us a challenge, we are up for it!