It is water that is used as an ingredient and must be biologically perfect with very low turbidity. It must always be available with a consistent quality, independent of the raw water source, and there must be absolutely no risk of contamination. It must have a positive influence on the taste and also be free from color.
The main industries using ingredient water are:
- Food and beverage
- Packaged waters
- Soft drinks
- Infant nutrition
- Beers, wines and spirits
- Other food and beverage producers
The quality of the water in a food or beverage product has a direct impact on the product’s taste, safety and longevity.
There, the choice of water treatment equipment in the food and beverage manufacturing sector can impact productivity and the safety of the final product.
How Veolia is committed to helping its clients achieve high-quality, safe water
We understand the specific needs of the different markets and help you reach your goals by providing innovative water treatment solutions in-line with the highest quality standards and sustainability targets.
Our experience in these markets has led to the development of several product ranges to meet different clients’ needs. All of which are supported by our local in-house service teams.
We employ potable water certified instruments, equipment, materials and chemicals in order to be compliant with potable water directives.
Ingredient water in the food and beverage industry
Legal and client ‒ Specific requirements
Water used as an ingredient in the production of beverage products must fulfill potable water quality requirements of the highest standards such as those of The World Health Organization, European Directive 98/83/EC, EPA/FDA standards, etc. These requirements and guidelines regulate the water quality in terms of radioactivity, microbiology, inorganic substances and compounds, bacteriology, oxidants, chlorine, etc.
As well as fulfilling legal requirements for ingredient water quality, beverage manufacturers increasingly want to go further to ensure the quality, safety and longevity of their products.
Strict requirements ‒ Hygienic design
Top tier beverage manufacturers consider water a ‘food.’ These manufacturers therefore apply the practices detailed in the Food Machinery Directive (EU) — or its local equivalent — to their water treatment systems; notably designing and maintaining the systems in-line with the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) guidelines or its local equivalent.
As well as underpinning the safety of the final product, hygienic water treatment systems also contribute to environmental goals as they usually consume less water and chemicals as the frequency of CIP procedures is reduced. This also translates into increased uptime and productivity.
Compliance ‒ Potable water
The water treatment system must comply with potable water directives as the water produced by the system is intended for human consumption. As such, the water treatment equipment must employ potable water certified instruments, equipment, materials and chemicals in order to be compliant.
Supporting food and beverage producers to implement sustainable solutions
A leading multinational food and beverage company that produces a wide range of hot and cold drinks for consumption worldwide, opened a new Irish beverage concentrate manufacturing facility in 2021. The key requirement was a sustainable system that could meet food grade specifications.
Veolia Water Technologies carried out the design, installation and commissioning of their system which is capable of producing a large volume of reverse osmosis ingredient water with the capability to enable 24/7 production
Discover our technologies for ingredient water treatment
Hygienic water treatment systems ensure maximum product quality and safety in beverage production while reducing operating costs and risks.
Would you like more information about our technologies for ingredient water?
Ingredient water can even be produced from Nile river water. We have the know-how on how to design an efficient process according to the strict food and beverage specifications, with minimized cleaning times and without any risk of contamination.
Chief Technical Officer
Veolia Water Technologies Germany
Contact Thomas through his LinkedIn account
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FAQ about ingredient water
What are the legal requirements for producing ingredient water for inclusion in food and drink products?
Water used as an ingredient in food and drink must fulfill quality requirements of the highest level such as the World Health Organization and the European Directive 98/83/EC on drinking water standards. Depending on the region, local drinking water guidelines may also apply (e.g., TVO in Germany, EPA Drinking Water Standards in the USA, etc.). Materials, equipment and chemicals employed must be in legal compliance with drinking water directives or certified by recognized authorities. These guidelines are a minimum to ensure water safety and quality.
What are the quality requirements for ingredient water for inclusion in drink products?
As well as meeting legal requirements, the water must have a positive influence on the taste of the beverage, be crystal clear and biologically perfect. It must always be available with a consistent quality, independent of the raw water source, and have no potential for contamination. A typical list of important requirements for manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages and fruit juices is:
- No taste
- No odor
- Low turbidity
- Alkalinity < 85 ppm as CaCO3
- Low organic load
- Low salt content
- Microbial control
- Maximum availability
To achieve such high qualities, industry leaders consider water as “food” and follow hygienic design guidelines from the Food Machinery Directive and European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) or other local equivalents.
What are the requirements for ingredient water used in the production of infant formula?
Infant formula production requires strict food safety and quality standards. To meet the demands of consumers, producers want absolute certainty in hygiene and food safety while protecting the nutritional value of the product. Many infant formula manufacturers go well beyond the legal requirements, identifying potential risks to their products and businesses before the rest of the industry. Examples include chlorate reduction and avoidance of leachables such as phthalates.