Beverages are a large product group, comprising both hot and cold beverages.
The selection includes malt drinks, carbonated and uncarbonated beverages, extracts, syrups and concentrate as well as dry mixtures (powdered mixtures). There are flavoured and unflavoured beverages and energy and non-energy beverages.
Sugar has an important function in many beverages, in that it adds sweetness. Sugar gives a pure, sweet taste with no tang or aftertaste. It has a positive effect on other flavours and aromas because sugar boosts the natural sweetness of fruit and berry aromas, as well as enhancing the fruit or berry flavour. Sweetened beverages often have a sugar content of 7-12%. Adding sugar always increases the energy content.
Sugar also plays an important role by giving beverages a certain body, i.e. a good mouth feel. The term body is used to describe the fullness of beverages. The difference becomes clear if sugar is replaced by another sweetener without adding other ingredients or changing the recipe.
To achieve an acceptable and pleasant sweetness in beverages, food acids such as citric acid are often added.
Sugar helps to preserve the colour of beverages and it also has a certain – limited – preservative effect, particularly in concentrates.
Soft drinks come in a number of varieties. Some products are carbonated, others are not. Some products contain energy, others do not. Some products such as cider are brewed as soft drinks, while others are mixed into soft drinks using a soft drink concentrate, i.e. a syrup. Syrup is made from a sugar-and-water mixture and a flavour mix (soft drink extract) of raw juice, other flavourings and often acid.
Juice must contain 100% raw juice or raw juice concentrate, diluted to its original strength. Thus it is possible to add sugar to this product group.
In nectar, the content of raw juice must be at least 45% in apple and pear beverages, and at least 35% for other plants. In nectar, sugar and fruit acid are often added too.
The content of raw juice in diluted juice and fruit beverages must be at least 6% in citrus beverages and 9% in other beverages.
Sports beverages often contain sugar, salts and amino acids in addition to water and sugar. Energy beverages also contain stimulants such as caffeine or guarana.