Preservatives: Which are Permitted in Manufacturing Non-alcoholic Beverages?
The approval of preservatives for non-alcoholic beverages is regulated today in Appendix 5 of the Additives Approval Regulations. Part A of this appendix concerns sorbates and benzoates approved for use in soft drinks. The new Additives Law effective on February 6 1998 involves an important change. While according to previous legislation only "basic formulations and flavor systems for non-alcoholic beverages manufactured from fruit juice, as well as for lemonades, mineral waters, artificial hot and cold beverages were able to be preserved, now the direct preservation of soft drinks has been approved. Maximum permissible amounts are 300 mg/l of sorbic acid and 150 mg/l of benzoic acid. If preservation is brought about by a mixture of sorbic and benzoic acids, the maximum amount of sorbic acid permitted is 250 mg/l and of benzoic acid, 150 mg/l. In contrast to soft drinks, fruit juices and fruit nectars may not be preserved - as was the case in the past.
Part B of Appendix 5 of the Additives Approval Regulations governs the use of sulfur dioxide and sulfites. Here there have also been a number of changes to previous legislation. For soft drinks containing fruit juice, a maximum of 20 mg/l of sulfur dioxide is permitted, but on the condition that this amount is derived solely from the fruit juice concentrate used.
The addition of preservatives must be declared in the list of ingredients with the category name "preservatives", followed by the common name of the material (e.g. sodium benzoate) or its E number (e.g. E 211). If only the flavor system or basic formulation was preserved, no declaration is required if the preservative has no further technological effect on the end product. This is usually the case when the portion of basic formulation or flavor system containing preservatives amounts to no more than 20 g per kilogram of end product.