Mineral water treatment: Individually suitable system technology from EUWA
What is mineral water and how can it be treated?
Mineral water envolves for instance from rainwater, which gradually seeps through sand, gravel and rock layers into the underground springs. As a result, it is cleaned, filtered and enriched with minerals and trace elements. Depending on the nature of the soil, this results in an individual composition of the water. The limit values and ingredients of spring, table and mineral water as well as the legally permissible methods of mineral water treatment are laid down in the German Mineral Water and Table Water Regulation (based on the EU norm 2009/54/EG). The requirements of the Mineral Water Regulation are summarized as follows:
The mineral water must come from an underground water source that is protected against contamination. (The mineral water sources are usually 100 to 1,000 meters deep.) If the mineral water source is under pressure high enough that water rises to the surface on its own, it is called an artesian well.)
The mineral water must be free of germs, parasites and harmful components at source. It must also be characterized by its natural content of minerals, trace elements or nutritional components. If the mineral content is less than 1,000 micrograms and carbon dioxide below 250 milligrams per liter, the nutritional effects must be verified by a scientifically recognized procedure. In addition, the composition and concentration of the ingredients must be constant within natural fluctuations.
Mineral water must be of original purity and texture. Thus, only a few methods of mineral water treatment are allowed, for example, to remove volatile or undesirable ingredients or to regulate the carbonic acid content.
Which mineral water treatment processes are legally permitted?
In mineral waters, a high level of calcium and magnesium as well as a low sodium level is generally desired. A preparation in this regard is not allowed. In principle, mineral water may only be treated to a limited extent.
In addition to iron and manganese removal to prevent visible discoloration in the water, toxic sulfur and arsenic compounds may also be removed. In addition to classic sand and multilayer filters, EUWA also offers special adsorbers that guarantee reliable removal of unwanted heavy metals and trace elements, especially in critical pH ranges.
In addition, only the carbon dioxide content which determines the concentration of carbonic acid in the mineral water may be adjusted within treatment. If necessary, CO2 can be removed from the water and added again before bottling. Here, above all, attention must be paid to a hygienic design of the treatment. On the basis of the raw water analysis, EUWA evaluates the need for carbon dioxide removal and, if necessary, integrates it into the treatment.
Apart from the above, the natural mineral water must not be changed by the treatment process in its essential composition that determines the properties of the water.
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What types of mineral waters and mineral water treatments are there?
For natural mineral waters five different labeling are allowed:
Natural mineral water
Natural carbonated mineral water (the mineral water, which after conditioning and bottling, has the same carbon dioxide content as at the source. CO2 escaping during the manufacturing process may be added to the water again in the same amount as it was present at the water source)
Natural mineral water mixed with carbonic acid of its own source
Carbonated natural mineral water (the CO2 added during treatment does not originate from the mineral water source)
Acidulous or sour-well (water with over 250 mg/l of carbon dioxide that its own carbonic acid causes the water to bubble)
EUWA: Over 50 years of experience in industrial water treatment
With over 50 years of experience in industrial water treatment for the food and beverage industry, EUWA is the specialist for individually tailored overall solutions for water treatment. For product and mineral water treatment EUWA offers optimal and efficient treatment processes - Made in Germany.
Our further product portfolio also includes brewing water treatment and beverage water treatment (e.g. for soft drinks and fruit juices).