Mumbai, India (PressExposure) July 31, 2009 -- Sugar is an indispensable component of many of the soft drinks that are particularly popular at summer-time. As a rule, the beverage industry no longer uses crystallized sugar as the sweetening agent and flavor carrier, but prefers to work with sugar solutions, syrups and other liquid sweeteners. This has both technical and economic advantages. Ion exchange resins from the Lewatit product line of specialty chemicals group LANXESS help to ensure that such solutions comply with the stringent quality demands of the beverage manufacturers and their customers.
Before production can begin, mineral salts, colored impurities and other undesirable substances have to be removed from the sugar-containing raw solutions; otherwise these would change and alter the taste and color of the drinks. Hans-Karl Soest, head of Technical Marketing for the food sector in the LANXESS Ion Exchange Resins business unit, says: "Our Lewatit ion exchange resins are used throughout the world by major sugar manufacturers. This includes many companies in the beverage industry who make their own sugar solutions."
Ion exchange resins are being increasingly used not only for demineralization but also for decolorizing the usual yellowish brown to brown cane sugar solutions. Especially when the solutions are only moderately colored, they are superior to the traditionally used activated carbon filters. Regeneration of these activated carbon filters is not only much more complicated; the process normally cannot be carried out on site, which means additional costs and lower productivity. On the contrary, ion exchange units exhausted with colored impurities can be quickly regenerated on site through simply washing the resin with a sodium chloride solution. This can even be done over many cycles.
With the heterodisperse grade Lewatit S 6328 A and the monodisperse grade Lewatit S 6368, LANXESS can offer two ion exchange resins tailored specifically to the decolorization of sugar solutions. They are based on a crosslinked polystyrene matrix, and because of their macroporous structure, such resins are exceptionally stable during the process and exhibit good adsorption of the colored impurities. At the same time, they comply with the strict food contact regulations, not only in Germany and Europe, but worldwide. In combination with specially developed patented processes, Lewatit resins make it possible to obtain high-quality water-white sugar solutions in one or several process steps, depending on the level of contamination. Monodisperse ion exchange resins are particularly suitable for decolorizing concentrated, high-viscosity sugar solutions.
LANXESS Lewatit ion exchange resins are indispensable aids in the beverage industry. This is true not only of the production of lemonades and other soft drinks, but can also be used for the demineralization of whey, grape juice and fruit juices and for removing excess acid and bitter substances from orange juice. Even the shelf life of beer can be improved by removing the dissolved oxygen from the water by means of a special noble metal-coated ion exchange resin. And water â the simplest of all foodstuffs â can also be made even tastier through the use of ion exchange resins for decalcification and partial demineralization, for example for preparing tea or coffee.
Detailed information on LANXESS ion exchange resins and their applications can be found at http://www.lewatit.com.
The ION business unit is part of the LANXESS Performance Chemicals segment, which posted sales in fiscal 2008 of EUR 1,930 million.