Water Filtration and “Better for You” Beverages There’s no sugar coating it ― sugar is a growing concern for consumers. Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults report trying to reduce the amount of sugar in their diets, and it’s named as the number one priority when checking labels, according to this infographic from NPD Group. One category that has grown, partially in response to this trend, is “better for you” beverages. The options range from flavored and sparkling waters to coffees and teas to smoothies and other blended drinks. We’re even seeing lower-calorie and natural sugar soft drinks from both craft and big name manufacturers. In order to offer customers the best-tasting beverages with this trend, the water used in those beverages also needs to be high quality. There are four main types of water challenges that can prevent operations from achieving this goal: Health and safetyTurbidity (sediment and particulates)Chemical taste/odorScale/hardness The VZN water filtration system from Antunes was designed to address these challenges and consistently ensures the highest quality ingredient water at the lowest cost of ownership. The VZN’s .015 micron ultrafilter ― 33 times finer than the industry standard of .5 microns — removes any sediment or particulate matter from the water, along with cysts (microorganisms that can cause health issues). The presence of a carbon element in a water filtration is of vital importance when it comes to offering customers “better for you” beverages that taste as good as their associated health benefits. The VZN system’s carbon filtration eliminates the unappetizing taste and odor from the chlorine of incoming water. For smoothies and other drinks that incorporate blended ice, the quality of the ice and the functional integrity of the ice machine are of paramount importance to the operator. Scale buildup can be significantly mitigated with the combination use of the SI-XL Scale Inhibitor with the VZN system, providing ice that lets beverages taste their best. For beverages that are served or brewed hot, such as coffees or teas, water hardness plays a pivotal role in the lifespan of the equipment, as well as the quality of the water. The Antunes HRS-200 Hardness Reduction System, when used with the VZN, both prolongs hot beverage equipment life and reduces costly maintenance and down time while ensuring a quality product that encourages repeat business. So, when it comes to a water filtration system, what should operators consider when expanding their beverage offerings? Capacity is one key consideration. Antunes offers VZN ultrafiltration systems in three different maximum flow rates, or how much water can pass through the system in a time frame: four gallons per minute, eight gallons per minute and 15 gallons per minute. A restaurant that currently has several beverage machines and a flow rate near seven gallons per minute who is looking to expand their beverage offerings might consider a higher volume system to cover all their filtration needs. Making sure that the filtration system’s capacity can assist in adding in new machinery, like a smoothie machine, is a great way for operators to stay flexible while meeting increased consumer demand. With a lower total cost of ownership with fewer cartridge changeouts and maintenance concerns, the VZN system offers operators the financial flexibility they need to implement new beverage programs and a leading edge in quality that can help their “better for you” beverages take off. Have more questions about water filtration? Get answers from the Antunes experts in this article.