The target product of this research is soft drinks


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The target product of this research is soft drinks

  1. 1. Running head: PRODUCT 1 Product An Assignment Submitted by Name of Student Name of Establishment Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Summer 2012
  2. 2. PRODUCT 2 Product The target product of this research is soft drinks. This product has been chosen due to its popularity among consumers and a big global market. Also, soft drink production has tight environmental interconnections and so, may be interesting to analyze. Another reason for this choice is the wish to understand the product’s benefits and risks in terms of its health impacts. Two thousand years ago, in Ancient Greece and Rome, and till the middle of the 19th century, soft drinks were used for medical purposes, e.g. for relaxation and therapeutic effects of mineral waters or curing effects of flavored soda waters (e.g. curing hangovers, headaches, and nervous afflictions). Further, the focus shifted to stimulating and refreshing effects of soft drinks (this is when Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola appeared), as well as its taste parameters. However, beginning from the 1960s, producers started introducing healthy changes to soft drink products, e.g. making them caffeine and preservative free and colorless (Avizienis, n.d.). Still, both healthy and unhealthy tendencies in soft drink production and consumption can be found in the modern world, balancing products’ benefits and risks. Today, soft drinks are extremely popular (especially among youth) and widely available (especially in terms of price). Herewith, the popularity and availability of soft drinks is strengthened and supported by fast-food culture. Soft drinks are non-alcoholic beverages of various types differing by the amount of sugar (caloric and diet), main non-water ingredient (e.g. tea, milk, fruit, soya, malt, etc.), kind of fruit juice, flavourings, level of carbonation (sparkling or still), and functionality (i.e. energy drinks, sports drinks, enriched drinks, wellness drinks, and nutraceuticals) (Tenge and Geiger, 2001, cited in Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, p. 18). The major industry players include the following companies: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Red Bull, Danone, Suntory, Dr Pepper Snapple, Asahi, Kirin, etc.
  3. 3. PRODUCT 3 The production of a soft drink itself is a process of dissolving sugars, sugar syrup, juices, flavorings, antioxidants, and other components in water. Herewith, non-sugar ingredients are first dissolved in water and added to syrup, and then all this is mixed with water (Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011,p p. 22-23). In case a diet beverage is made, syrup producers add artificial sweeteners to concentrates, while bottlers mix them with distilled water in predetermined proportions, which ensure correct ingredients’ quantities, and carbonate the beverage. Meanwhile, if the beverage is non-diet, a bottler can add sugar or HFCS to the syrup before mixing it with water (Fry, Spector, Williamson, and Mujeeb, 2011, p. 16). On the whole, soft drinks contain up to 98% of water, 8-12% of sweeteners, up to 10% of fruit juice, 0.3-0.6% of carbon dioxide, 0.05-.0.3% of acidulates, 0.1.-.0.5% of flavorings, as well as colorings, chemical preservatives (within legal limits), antioxidants, foaming agents, and stabilizers. Additionally, due to a growing demand for healthier products, soft drinks may contain minerals, vitamins, fibres, proteins, and other functional compounds (Fry et al., 2011, p. 6; Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, p. 19). For example, the basic raw materials for making carbonated soft drinks (CSD) include carbonated water (94%); sweeteners (6-12%), such as sugar, non-caloric sweeteners, or high- fructose corn syrup; and other components, e.g. acids, ingredients enhancing taste, aroma, appearance, and mouthfeel, antioxidants maintaining color and flavor, and preservatives (Fry et al., 2011, p. 15). Apart from basic ingredients, wellness drinks and nutraceuticals contain bioactive mixtures of berries, “superfruits” (i.e. acerola, mangosteen, acai, noni, pomegranate), and botanical extracts (e.g. ginkgo, ginger, melissa) (Gruenwald, 2009, as cited in Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, p. 22). Meanwhile, energy drinks contain caffeine, caffeine- rich plant extracts, and taurine (energizing components) and B-vitamins (Heckman et al., 2010 as
  4. 4. PRODUCT 4 cited in Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, p. 22). Sport drinks contain carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, and maltodextrin), water, salts, sodium, potassium, and other functional compounds (Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, p. 22). Thus, quality water is a key resource in soft drink production. In order to bottle one litre of soft drinks, 2-4 litres of water are used. Additionally, 1 litre of water is needed to process 1 kg of sugar (Foster et al., 2006, p. 110). This water should be of standard quality, that is why producers use various filtering (e.g. membrane filtration, ultrafiltration, and multimedia filtration) and other treatment techniques to purify and standardize it (DOW UFand RO Technology, 2009, p. 1). So, soft drink production depends on the availability, quality, and recharge of water sources, as well as producers of water filters and other purification techniques. Syrup producers are the second most crucial suppliers, as the component drives most of the downstream operations (Fry et al., 2011, p. 5). Naturally, syrup producers and bottlers depend on sugar producers and plantations, including corn plantations (Fry et al., 2011, p. 18). Thus, indirectly, they depend on weather conditions, harvests, and other agricultural issues (such as agriculture methods, techniques, or fertilizers). Herewith, this concerns not only sugar production, but also the production of other soft drinks’ components, e.g. fruit, malt, or milk. Additionally, soft drink producers depend on the manufacturers of other soft drink ingredients, such as flavorings, preservatives, colorings, antioxidants, stabilizers, etc., and various equipment and automated production systems, new technologies, and quality systems. After the drink is produced, it should be bottled, canned, or packaged in another way. These bottles, cans, and packages should be packed in specific quantities into containers, which are sealed with pressure-resistant closures, pull tabs, tinplate or steel crowns, and twist-off lids (Fry et al., 2011, p. 16). So, due to its packaging needs, the industry is dependent (directly and
  5. 5. PRODUCT 5 indirectly) on fiber, aluminium, steel, glass, plastic, paper, composite materials, ink, glue, and other materials production, as well as bottle and can producers (Aukema, 2012, pp. 11-13). Finally, beverages are shipped either directly to a merchant, who sells them to customers, or to distributors, who can send the goods to both merchants and final customers (Fry et al., 2011, p. 16). Therefore, soft drink producers depend on transportation providers (who transport not only final goods, but also raw materials and intermediate products, such as empty bottles), as well as fuel providers, fuel prices, and manufacturers of vehicles, ships, or planes. In this context, collaboration and partnership with carriers, retailers, and distributors is very important. Herewith, in terms of cost efficiency (and environmental impact), transportation distances should be as short as possible (A Sustainable Future, 2008, pp. 5-6). That is why, usually, producers locate their facilities in close proximity to raw materials and population centers, where demand is higher (Fry et al., 2011, p. 15). On the other hand, proper scheduling, routing, and loading of vehicles are crucial (A Sustainable Future, 2008, pp. 5-6). Also, during the production of final products (mixing components, heating, and sterilizing them), packaging, transporting, and performing administrative and marketing operations, energy sources are needed (Aukema, 2012, p. 14). Herewith, a growing demand for healthier products containing fewer preservatives can mean that they will require more intensive heat treatment instead, which can increase energy use (A Sustainable Future, 2008, p. 2). While being dependent on different industries and producers, soft drinks influence them by creating demand for their products. Also, the industry impacts consumer market through food service (i.e. fast-food and takeout outlets, bars, restaurants, etc.), retailing, convenience stations, etc. (Fry et al., 2011, p. 9). On the other hand, it depends on customer needs, wants, and demand (e.g. for healthier products), as well as fiscal policy (tax rates) and overall economic situation.
  6. 6. PRODUCT 6 Naturally, soft drink production involves certain environmental risks. They include decrease in biodiversity; water, air, and soil pollution with chemicals (biomaterials, organic rich and increased temperature wastewater, toxic waste, gasses, etc.); and soil degradation due to pollution (direct impact) and improper farming techniques (indirect impact) (Aukema, 2012, p. 5). In turn, environmental risks can create operational risks for soft drink production, e.g. due to the scarcity and cost of raw materials (i.e. water) or because of natural disasters. Obviously, soft drinks industry faces significant water risks due to its dependency on large amounts of high quality water. In this context, several challenges arise: ensuring access to high quality water, providing efficiency improvements, and managing wastewater (Dixon, n.d. p. 2). For example, the industry creates wastewater through various cleaning systems and thus adds to the problem of maintaining and recharging water sources. This requires the optimisation of cleaning processes and the use of grey water systems, providing additional options for saving water and reducing ecological impact. Herewith, the removal of preservatives and decrease in pack size, which customers demand, are likely to increase water use (A Sustainable Future, 2008, pp. 4-5) and threats to water supplies. The problem of water is exacerbated by climate changes, which also influences another crucial ingredient of soft drinks – sugar, namely agriculture harvests and, therefore, sugar prices. In this context, sustainable agriculture, which provides more adaptability, is of great importance (Dixon, n.d. p. 2). Also, the industry influences environment through the use of packing materials, e.g. cans and glass or plastic bottles. That is why the amount of material used in plastic bottles’ necks is being reduced, while bottles’ recyclability is being increased by addressing those plastic components that may impede the recycling process. On the other hand, the impact of packaging
  7. 7. PRODUCT 7 materials depends on proper collection and recycling of used bottles, cans, and other packages, including secondary and tertiary packaging (A Sustainable Future, 2008, p. 3). Other challenges connected to environmental risks involve the minimization of transportation impacts and optimization of supply chains (which is economically beneficial), especially in developing countries (Dixon, n.d. p. 2). In terms of energy efficiency and sustainability, soft drink production should involve the optimisation of lines, proper pressure systems, and efficient heating and cooling systems (A Sustainable Future, 2008, p. 2). Meanwhile, production wastes should be recycled, used for energy generation and fuel production, and organic wastes can be composted (Aukema, 2012, p. 15). Also, soft drinks face risks associated with microbiological spoilage, e.g. caused by yeasts, lactic acid and acetic bacteria, moulds, or alicyclobacillus spp. This leads to a decrease in product quality and appears as visual changes, off-flavors, and odours. Herewith, different beverages can support different spoilage microbes, while new ingredients and new applications may introduce new microbe species and increase microbe growth. Additionally, various bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungal mycotoxins can cause food-borne illnesses. Due to these risks, the quality and purity of raw materials, equipment, and packages, as well as hygiene of production process, are crucial (Juvonen, Virkajarvi, Priha, and Laitila, 2011, pp. 26, 38, 46-47). These are the risks connected to the production and distribution of soft drinks. On the other hand, there are risks connected to the consumption of these beverages. Today, soft drinks may contain amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and other functional compounds, which make them healthier. So, soft drink producers can provide benefits to their customers. For example, energy drinks improve performance, concentration, and endurance and prolong human activity (Gunja and Brown, 2012, p. 46), thus benefiting those who consume them. On the other hand, the over-
  8. 8. PRODUCT 8 consumption of sweetened and caffeinated beverages may lead to hypertension and increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (Vartanian, Schwartz, and Brownell, 2007, p. 672) and cause cardiac arrhythmias in children and adolescents (Di Rocco, During, Morelli, Heyden, and Biancaniello, 2011). Also, energy drinks, containing various concentration of caffeine (including high doses), can cause caffeine toxicity, which leads to gastrointestinal upset, cardiac ischemia, sympathetic overdrive, hallucinations, and seizures. Moreover, caffeine intoxication may require hospitalization and potentially cause death. Still, this is much more likely to happen when people exceed the recommended maximum levels of energy drinks consumption and misuse them by mixing with alcohol, stimulants, or other contestants (Gunja and Brown, 2012, pp. 46-48). Another risk is that soft drinks are energy dense beverages. The reason is that an increased consumption of soft drinks raises energy intake. Herewith, this added energy is not always adequately compensated by the reduction in other foods intake; thus the intake of sugar and total energy grows. Additionally, soft drink consumption may cause a growth in hunger, decrease in satiety, or “addictiveness” to sweetness, which determines preferences in other foods. Therefore, an increase in body weight and obesity are often associated with the consumption of soft drinks and added sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup (Vartanian, Schwartz, and Brownell, 2007, pp. 669, 672). Regular drinking of soft drinks, especially soda, was found to be connected to metabolic syndrome and diabetes (Ruiz, H.Gonzalez, and M.Gonzalez, 2009, pp. 21-22; Vartanian, Schwartz, and Brownell, 2007, pp. 671-672). A Singapore Chinese Health study by Odegaard, Koh, Arakawa, Yu, and Pereira (2010, p. 706) indicated that there is a positive correlation between soft drink consumption and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Herewith, the latter is likely to increase the risk of diabetes. Additionally, a research study by
  9. 9. PRODUCT 9 Dhingra et al. (2007, p. 483) showed that the consumption of at least one soft drink a day increases the risk of metabolic diseases, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure. Also, the consumption of big amounts of carbonated drinks can deprive human body of oxygen, while sugar and caffeine may cause a significant depletion of minerals and dehydration. Herewith, sugar reduces white blood cells’ ability to ingest and destroy bacteria and thus may lower immune function, and high fructose corn syrup can influence metabolic processes and the function of liver and heart. Meanwhile, sucralose breaks down into small particles similar to chlorinated pesticides, which can be harmful. Phosphoric acid has a negative impact on teeth and bones, may dissolve skeletal system, and leads to osteoporosis (Bacchione, 2010). Additionally, research studies show that frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks (once or more a day) increases the risk of dental caries, which is not observed for diet soft drinks. Also, soft drink consumption is associated with hypocalcemia, urinary or kidney stones, and decrease in bone mineral density (Vartanian, Schwartz, and Brownell, 2007, pp. 671-672), as well as a reduction in calcium and nutrient intake, as consumers are less likely to combine soft drinks with healthy food (Vartanian, Schwartz, and Brownell, 2007, pp. 670-671). So, soft drinks involve many environmental and social risks, which may harm people and ecology. On the other hand, a growing tendency towards providing healthier product options to customers may change a relatively negative image of soft drinks and their association with unhealthy fast food products. Besides, its environmental impacts can be significantly cut in case proper optimization techniques are used, especially regarding resource use and waste management. Anyway, it would be unreasonable to reject soft drinks as it is an already formed (but still developing and improving), big, and popular market. Instead, it would be wiser to focus on the possible benefits and develop them.
  10. 10. PRODUCT 10 References A Sustainable Future for Soft Drinks. Soft Drinks Industry Sustainability Strategy. (2008). British Soft Drinks Association. Retrieved from %20_3_.pdf. Aukema, J.E. (2012, January 15). Impacts and Dependencies of the Beverage Sector on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: An Introduction. The Nature Conservancy and Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable. Retrieved from Avizienis, A. (n.d.). Soft Drink. In: How Products Are Made (Vol. 2). Retrieved from Bacchione, A. (2010). The Health Risks of Drinking Soda. Retrieved from by-Anabela-Bacchione.pdf. Dhingra, R., Sullivan, L., Jacques, P.F., Wang, T.J., Fox, C.S., Meigs, J.B., … Vasan, R.S. (2007). Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Developing Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Adults in the Community. Circulation, 116, 480-488. Di Rocco, J.R., During, A., Morelli, P.J., Heyden, M., and Biancaniello, T.A. (2011) Atrial fibrillation in healthy adolescents after highly caffeinated beverage consumption: two case reports. Journal of Medical Case reports, 5(18). Retrieved from Dixon,J (n.d.). Key risks facing the beverage industry. CSR Asia. Retrieved from
  11. 11. PRODUCT 11 Key_risks_facing_the_beverage_industry_.pdf. DOWTM UF and RO Technology Used to Produce High Quality Water for the Beverage Industry in East Europe. (2009). DOW Water and Process Solutions. Retrieved from Foster, C., Green., K., Bleda, M., Dewick, P., Evans, B., Flynn, A., and Mylan, J. . (2006, December). Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption: A Research report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Manchester Business School. Defra, London. Retrieved from Environmental%20Impacts%20of%20Food%20Production%20%20Consumption.pdf. Fry, C., Spector, C., Williamson, K.A., and Mujeeb, A. (2011). Breaking Down the Chain: A Guide to the Soft Drink Industry. The National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN). Retrieved from FINAL_20110907.pdf. Gunja, N. and Brown., J.A. (2012). Energy Drinks: Health Risks and Toxicity. Medical Journal of Australia, 196, 46-49. Juvonen, R., Virkajarvi, V., Priha, O., and Laitila, A. (2011). Microbiological spoilage and safety risks in non-beer beverages. VTT Research Notes. Retrieved from Odegaard, A.O., Koh, W.-P., Arakawa, K., Yu, M.C., and Pereira, M.A. (2010), Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Risk of Physician-diagnosed Incident Type 2 Diabetes. The Singapore Chinese Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(6), 701-708.
  12. 12. PRODUCT 12 Ruiz, J.R., Gonzalez, H.F., and Gonzalez, M.Y. (2009). Metabolic Syndrome and Soft Drink Consumption. Ethnicity and Disease, 19, 21-22. Vartanian, L.R., Schwartz, M.B., and Brownell, K.D. (2007). Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 97(4), 667-675.