Water is the primary ingredient of any soft drink, making up about 90% of a conventional soft drink, and up to 99% of a diet soft drink. Therefore it is of paramount importance that the water used in the production of any soft drink is of the highest quality. On a basic level the water used must meet public health regulations, meaning it must be free from any harmful microorganisms such as various bacteria or protozoa (particularly cryptosporidium). The water used not only needs to be safe but should be removed of any substances that could affect taste or appearance, such as any visible solids or fine particles that can cause hazing, or chlorine residue that can leave a foul-taste.
Filtration is essential to remove any of the above impurities and ensure a safe, high-quality product with an ensured shelf-life. Softened water offers a popular starting place for many soft drinks manufacturers, for the removal of salts and ions through reverse osmosis, and the removal of chlorine through activated carbon, ensures safe, high-quality water that will not negatively impact the taste, appearance, or microbial stability of the soft drink when blended with the fruit syrups.