Module 7. Beverages

Lesson 24


24.1  Definition of Beverage

Beverages are an integral part of human diet, starting from new born. The cycle starts with the infant formulas- highly complex drink, rich in many key nutrients.  As human age and their nutritional requirements change, product designer keeps pace by developing new and innovative beverages to meet these needs. 

Beverages can be defined as “any fluid which is consumed by drinking”. It consists of diverse group of food products, usually liquids that include the most essential drink “water” to wide range of commercially available fluids like fruit beverage, synthetic drinks, alcoholic beverage, milk, dairy beverages, tea, coffee, chocolate drinks etc. Despite differences in their properties one common feature that exists in all beverages is their ability to act as thirst quencher. In simple words beverages can be defined as “liquid which is essentially designed or developed for human consumption”. The beverages are rarely consumed for its food value but it is vital for life. Although their prime role is to fulfill the human need but these are part of our culture.

However there are important pre-requisite for beverages:-

·        All are made from food ingredients

·        All are subject to pure food law

·        Consumed in enormous quantities – sometimes safer than potable supply

24.2  Health Importance of Beverages

Beverages are essential for growth, development as well for carrying out various physiological processes that are critical for living a healthy life.

·        In adult individuals 70 percent of body weight, 73 percent of lean muscle, 25 percent of adipose tissues, 22 percent of bone and 80 percent of blood consists of water. Consumption of beverages help in maintaining the water content in body and prevent dehydration

·        The water assists in digestion, assimilation and excretion of foods. It also helps in removing the toxic substances produced in body as a result of metabolisms such as urea, uric acid, ammonia etc. through kidney.

·        Water in beverages help in regulating the temperature of body through the process of sweating.

·        Beverages specially the fruit and vegetable based ones are source of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and anti-oxidants (carotenoids, flavonoids).

·        Certain beverages like tea and coffee contain alkaloids which stimulate the central nervous system.

·        Consumption of alcoholic beverages specially wine is recommended for its heart healthy image due to the presence of flavonoids.

·        Fermented dairy beverages are consumed because of the beneficial microflora present in them which assist in restoration and improvement of gastro-intestinal health.

24.3  Classification of Beverages

Beverages may be classified on various ways. The classification criteria may depends on various factors as mentioned below:

·        Natural and Synthetic (Ingredients used in manufacture)

·        Carbonated and Non-carbonated (Degree of mechanical carbonation)

·        Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic (presence or absence of alcohol)

·        Hot and Cold (Temperature of serving)

·        Stimulating and Non-stimulating (Based on physiological effect)

24.3.1  Natural and synthetic beverages

The natural beverages are prepared from the naturally derived ingredients including fruit juices or milk or malt, sugar, acid, flavouring and colouring materials. The examples of this group are fruit based beverages, malt beverages and dairy beverages.

Synthetic beverages are analogue of natural beverages and may contain ingredients which are prepared synthetically like flavouring and colouring materials. These are primarily developed to offer pleasure to consumers at affordable cost. The major group of synthetic beverages is soft drinks which contain flavoured sugar syrup as base material that may or may not be carbonated. The high potency sweetener based beverages also belong to the category of synthetic beverages as they contain artificial sweeteners mainly to reduce the calorific value.

24.3.2  Carbonated and non-carbonated beverages

Carbonated beverages are the one where carbon dioxide is dissolved in syrup or water. The presence of carbon dioxide creates bubbles upon release of pressure and fizzing in the beverage.  The carbonated beverages are commonly referred as “Soft Drink”. Cola or lemonade beverages are typical examples of carbonated beverages. The process of fermentation also produces carbon dioxide in certain beverages like beer. Carbonation is done for various reasons. Consumers find the fizzy sensation pleasant, and like the slightly different taste that dissolved carbonic acid provides. Soda water is another popular type of carbonated beverage which may also be flavoured.

Majority of fruit and dairy based beverages falls into the category of non-carbonated beverages. The category also includes hot beverages and alcoholic beverages that do not contain carbon dioxide.

24.3.3  Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages contain ethyl alcohol which can be consumed for its intoxicating and mind-altering effects. Alcoholic beverages are produced by the process of natural or controlled fermentation. On the basis of raw material used and process technology used in their manufacture alcoholic beverages may be classified into three major groups:

a)    Beer

It is the world’s third most consumed beverage. Beer is prepared by fermenting the “wort” (soluble liquid of barley malt digest) with appropriate yeast to attain an alcohol level in the range of 4-8 percent. Apart from alcohol, beer is also characterized by the “effervescence” i.e. foam which is produced by carbon dioxide and bitterness. The bitterness and aroma in beer is contributed by the hops (Humulus lupulus) solids as α-iso-acids and other polyphenols.  There are many variants of beer but two are more popular. These are called as “Lager” beer which is fermented by bottom  yeast i.e. Saccharomyces pastorianus at lower temperature (7-12°C) for longer period, while the “Ale” is manufactured by using top fermenting yeast i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae at relatively higher temperature (18-25°C) (Fig. 24.1).

b)     Wine

Wines are made from variety of fruits. Such as grapes, peach, plum or apricots. However, the most commonly used one is grapes, both green as well as red grapes. The grapes are macerated to release juice which is fermented naturally by wide range of yeasts including Saccharomyces spp., Pichia spp., Stellata spp. and certain lactic acid bacteria. The duration of fermentation is also longer as compared to beer and mostly fermented wine is aged (months to year) to develop desirable sensory characteristics (Figure 24.1). There are two major type of wines i.e. white wine (made from green grapes) and red wine (from red or blue grapes). The red wine contain anthocyanin (as colouring pigment) and subjected to secondary fermentation termed as Malolactic fermentation” to mellow the flavour of wine. The alcohol content in wine ranges from 9-16% (v/v).   Sparkling wines are characterized by “effervescence” produced by carbon dioxide and clarity, example: Champagne.

c)     Spirit

Spirit is a class of alcoholic beverages which are unsweetened and produced by distillation of fermented base. The fermented base may be molasses (by-product of sugar industry), fruit juices, cereal extract or sometime a combination of many fermentable substrates. Spirits are characterized by relatively higher alcohol content which may be as high as 20 percent. The process of distillation increases the concentration of alcohol but reduced the level of congeners. Some of the alcoholic beverages belonging to the category of spirit are listed in Table 24.1.


Table 24.1 Alcoholic beverages belonging to the category of spirit

Alcoholic Beverage

Base Material

Alcohol Content

(by volume)



Fruit Juices mainly grapes


Normally consumed after-dinner, preferred for medicinal purpose. Aged in oak barrels


Molasses or sugarcane juice


Dark Coloured and quite popular in Caribbean nations. Aged for not less than three years


Wheat & rye may contain herbs


Flavoured and not aged. Mostly consumed with citrus juices


Cereal (Barley, Rye,  corn malt)


Most famous one is “Scotch Whisky”


Malted cereals, potatoes etc.


Popular in Russian federation countries, two variants white and flavoured Vodka


Apple juice and other temperate fruits


Characterized by acidic-alcoholic taste



Fig. 24.1 Manufacture technology for beer and wine 

24.3.4  Hot and cold beverages

Another criterion for classifying beverages is the temperature of serving. Certain beverages are consumed only hot i.e. temperature above 65-70°C which are termed as “Hot beverage” while those served at chilled temperature are called as “cold beverages”. The examples of hot beverages are tea, coffee, chocolate and milk. However, iced tea and cold coffee are served chilled. Most of the fruit beverages, dairy drinks, alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are example of cold drinks. Term “cold drink” is synonymous to “carbonated drinks” as well.

24.3.5  Stimulating and non-stimulating beverages

Consumption of some beverage stimulates the body systems mainly to nervous system and circulatory system. It is mainly due to the presence of certain chemical compounds like caffeine in coffee and tea, many phenolic compounds in herbal drinks and ethyl alcohol in alcoholic beverages. The chemical constituents present in these beverages influence the physiological processes as follows:-

·        Increase in basic metabolic rate (BMR)

·        Increase in blood circulation and heart beat

·        Stimulation of central nervous system (CNS) and release of neuro transmitter

·        Diuretic (increase in frequency of urination)

·        Enhancement in secretion of gastric juice

24.3.6  Other beverages

There are many other categories of beverages and it includes nomenclature like herbal drinks, mood drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks.

Energy drinks are those beverages which boost energy and mainly contain sugar and caffeine. In recent past there has been rapid growth in the demand of energy drinks. These drinks may also contain variety of stimulants and vitamins.

Herbal drinks are prepared by using the infusion of herbs in water. A wide variety of herbs may be used in preparation of such drinks. Many herbs like aloe vera, ginseng, shatavari, Arjuna, lemongrass, thyme etc. may be used for as base material for herbal drinks.

Sports beverages are also called as “electrolyte drinks” are basically designed to replenish the loss of fluid & electrolytes and provide quick energy during the exercise and sports activity. The mono saccharides such as dextrose, glucose syrup are added so that they can be transported easily into the muscle cells and produce energy apart from sucrose and maltodextrin. The carbohydrate content of sports beverage varied in the range of 4-8 percent. Electrolytes are many essential minerals such as chloride, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.  Electrolytes control osmosis of water between body compartments and help maintain the acid-base balance required for normal cellular activities.

There are three types of sports drinks all of which contain various levels of fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrate.

·        Isotonic drinks have fluid, electrolytes and 6-8% carbohydrate.  Isotonic drinks quickly replace fluids lost by sweating and supply a boost of carbohydrate.  This kind of drink is the choice for  most athletes especially middle and long distance running or team sports. 

·        Hypotonic drinks have fluids, electrolytes and a low level of carbohydrates.  Hypotonic drinks quickly replace flids lost by sweating.  This kind of drink is suitable for athletes who need fluid without the boost of carbohydrates such as gymnasts. 

·        Hypertonic drinks have high levels of carbohydrates.  Hypertonic drinks can be used to supplement daily carbohydrate intake normally after exercise to top up muscle glycogen stores.  In long distance events high levels of energy are required and hypertonic drinks can be taken during exercise to meet the energy requirements.  If used during exercise, hypertonic drinks need to be used in conjunction with isotonic drinks to replace fluids. 

24.4  Present Status of National and Global Beverage Market

In India, traditional cuisine includes drinks, which were primarily developed to provide aesthetic appeal, but they also contained certain components having nutritional and therapeutic values as well.  However, with course of time these traditional health drinks diminished.  According to an estimate Indian consumers drink 120 billion litre of marketed beverages out of which only 4 percent is ready-to-drink packaged once. The carbonated soft drink industry in India consists of more than 100 plants spread throughout the country. The current value of Indian beverage industry is around 1,049 million US$. In fact the soft drinks form the third-largest packaged food sector after packaged tea and packaged biscuits. However, the penetration of soft drinks in Indian market is still low. For a long period the Indian beverage industry was dominated by aerated synthetic drinks.  However, the situation has changed dramatically, the aerated soft drinks, which had registered a whopping 20% growth during late 90's, could manage its present share in market against possible slide.  In contrary to this last few years have witnessed a significant development in fruit based beverages newly introduced fruit beverages fall into the category of functional foods or nutraceuticals.  Energy drinks, isotonic (sport) beverages herbal and green teas, fortified waters, caffeinated drinks, recreational soft drinks are some of the functional beverages which have gained popularity in recent years. The market size for the bottled water in India had an estimated value of US$ 570 million in 2008. With annual growth rate of 14.5 percent, the market of bottled water is expected to increase rapidly in coming years.

Fruit juice market is growing at the rate of 15 percent annually and expected to reach 796 million liters by 2013 from the current volume of 624 million liters. The market of packaged fruit juice is in the range of Rs. 500-600 crores, which is quite smaller as compared to fruit drink market which is around Rs. 1300 crore. The major sale of these beverages occurs in summer months which are quite extended in India. The sale volume of beer is highest among alcoholic beverages followed by spirits. Drinking milk products constitute the largest segments among the dairy products and are growing at the annual rate of 6.8 percent. Future of Indian beverage market is quite promising and sectors that may attract processors and consumers alike include the functional dairy drinks, fruit beverages and wine. Advancement in processing and packaging technology in the form of UHT/Aseptic processes and tetrapak packaging offers newer opportunity to deliver nutritious beverages in log-life version.