Polyclar™ stabilizers

Ashland, the maker of Polyclar stabilizers, is the first patent holder on crosslinking polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and was first to market with polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) in the beverage industry, launching Polyclar AT beer stabilizer in the late 1960s.

Since introducing the technology to the beverage industry, Ashland has established Polyclar stabilizers as the leading brand in clarification and stabilization technology. Polyclar stabilizers are recognized around the world among brewers and vintners as the first name in clarity, and we continue to build on our success.

Our flagship brand, Polyclar, is also being expanded to enhance ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and concentrates, RTD coffees, functional beverages, fortified sodas, and fruit and vegetable juices.

In addition, Ashland is the leader in technical service and support, offering not only beverage expertise to our customers but also spearheading efforts to develop industry standard testing methods.

Clarifying with Polyclar Brewbrite clarifier and stabilizer

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Application Information





Prevents the development of haze and thus the onset of colloidal instability for the duration of the required shelf life in a beer.

  • Prevents the development of haze
  • Prevents the onset of colloidal instability
Non-alcoholic Beverages

Can significantly enhance the quality and reliability of your fruit juice, teas and concentrates. They are the ideal method for improving the clarity, color and taste of your products throughout the required shelf life. These highly effective stabilizers are used to either prevent or remedy haze and oxidative problems caused during the production process, as well as to improve shelf-life quality.

  • Improve clarity and shelf life by removing polyphenols involved in colloidal haze formation and oxidative color change
  • Removes astringent flavors
  • Gentle controlled de-colorization
  • No adverse effect on flavor, color or aroma
  • Easy to use
  • Completely removed by filtration or sedimentation

Provides effective and highly selective reduction of polyphenols which cause oxidative discoloration, haze or loss of fresh aroma and flavor characteristics.

  • Prevention of pinking and browning reactions in white and sparkling wines
  • Improved wine clarity in bottle
  • Enhanced aroma and flavor in red wines – preserving more of the highly desirable fresh, fruity character
  • Reduction in excessive astringency or color when needed

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Technical Information


Specialist services

Ashland has been a leading participant in the beverage industry for more than 30 years, originating with the Polyclar™ (polyvinylpolypyrrolidone) stabilizers product line to help ensure the quality and extended shelf-life of beer, wine, fruit juices and teas. Ashland has made significant contributions to advancing the science of stabilization and has been routinely consulted by some of the foremost breweries and wineries to resolve colloidal and flavor stability problems.

In response to customers’ needs for more advanced specialist support services in the core competency of beverage stabilization and related clarification technology, Ashland has developed its specialist service capability on a global basis.

We provide our beverage customers with a holistic approach to beverage stabilization, utilizing advanced science and technology and state-of-the art instrumentation. Our brewmasters prioritize key business values, working with customers as their strategic problem-solver to attain sustainable solutions. Along with our technical specialists, our brewmasters also provide on-site training on tailor-made topics.

This dedicated team of brewmasters and technical specialists employs the latest stabilization technology and analytical procedures to achieve operational cost-effectiveness.

Ashland’s technical service capabilities include plant visits to:

● breweries,
● wineries, and
● tea plants.

Our technical service experts work with end users of our Polyclar stabilizers on site to:

● identify the most appropriate, cost-effective stabilization regime to meet customers’ specifications for technical and commercial shelf-life of products, and
● establish a preferred partnership with Ashland to provide long-term reliable delivery and specialist services.

Ashland provides leading-edge technical support which makes us different from our competition including:

● PVPP first-fill assistance;
● on-site colloidal tests for beer samples with our haze tester, and
● analytical tests for PVPP slurry health care at our laboratories.

Additional Information


Ashland is the leading supplier of PVPP stabilizers to the beverage industry.

Polyclar PVPP stabilizers from Ashland are internationally recognized as an effective treatment against colloidal instability in beer and are used by many brewers globally to protect against development of haze formation and thus prolong shelf life.

Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizer is an insoluble process aid, similar in structure to acid proteins such as proline, which adsorb polyphenols. Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizer can be removed by settling or is totally removed by filtration.

Ashland aims to provide quality technical support to customers and is pleased to work with them towards enhancing beer quality and improving operating efficiency in breweries.


Polyclar PVPP stabilizers are the highest-quality products in the beer industry, and as the first producer to market more than 40 years ago, we remain the most proven and recognized global brand. Safety, performance and ease of use are our most important attributes, so each batch is manufactured under the most rigorous standards to meet compliance requirements set by regulatory and industry organizations around the world, including:

• U.S. FDA - Title 21 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Part 173.50, Secondary Direct Food Additives for Human Consumption – polyvinylpolypyrrolidone.
• European Union Commission Regulations No. 3220/90
• EU Directive 95/2/EC
• EU Regulation NO. 1935/2004
• The 2010 Japanese Food Standards
• The German Purity Law - Reinheitsgebot
• Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizer products are classed as process aids and, therefore, label friendly


Polyclar 10 beer stabilizer

Polyclar 10 beer stabilizer is a highly effective, 100% PVPP beer stabilizer optimized for single use on its own or with other stabilizers. It offers a highly effective means of preventing non-biological haze in all types of beer. Polyclar 10 beer stabilizer complexes with specific polyphenols in beer via hydrogen bonding and is removed during filtration. The bonding occurs between the carbonyl groups of Polyclar 10 beer stabilizer and the hydroxyl groups of polyphenols.

Polyclar 10 beer stabilizer represents a significant development in preserving the quality and character of beer after packaging. Benefits include:

• Completely insoluble in beer
• Applicable to all types of beer
• Very high efficacy means low dosage rates
• No capital outlay - can be used in existing brewing plant
• No negative impact on foam, flavor or other quality parameters
• Protection against chill and permanent haze development
• No additives labeling required
• Completely removed by filtration
• Offers protection against oxidation of flavonoids into more polymerized polyphenols, which contribute to haze formation, astringency and staling in flavor
• Effective and highly selective removal of haze-producing polyphenols
• Compatible with all filter technologies including cross-flow

Polyclar Granules low-dust beer stabilizer

Polyclar Granules low-dust beer stabilizer is a highly efficacious, large-particle PVPP stabilizer for beer. Polyclar Granules low-dust beer stabilizer is a compacted aggregate of PVPP stabilizer. The granules are considerably larger than powder particles, very low-dusting and produce a cleaner slurry for addition to beverage


Video: Polyclar Granules demo

tanks. Extremely easy to handle, disperse and hydrate, Polyclar Granules low-dust beer stabilizer requires just a few minutes of contact time for selective hydrogen bonding to remove undesirable tannoids. This fast-wetting characteristic is due to its large surface area, which helps to accelerate the slurrying process and create efficient dispersion and hydration.

Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer

Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer is 100% PVPP. It is optimized for regeneration. Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer has low swelling characteristics in aqueous conditions and high adsorption capacity for haze-forming polyphenols. High-volume-throughput filter runs are balanced with maintaining an excellent rate of polyphenol removal.

Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer achieves high efficacy of polyphenol removal through optimized morphology and particle size and its ability to withstand repeated regeneration cycles (high mechanical strength). The brewer can achieve a high degree of stability and clarity from optimized dosage of PVPP, and yet, at the same time, it can be regenerated and used for repeated cycles. Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer is compatible with most PVPP regeneration filter systems.

Use of Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer does not adversely affect foam, flavor or other quality parameters.

Thus, products that have been treated with Polyclar Super R beer stabilizer are protected against the development of chill haze and permanent haze.

Polyclar Plus 730 beer stabilizer

Polyclar Plus 730 beer stabilizer is a composite of Polyclar PVPP and a specially developed grade of silica xerogel. It benefits from the synergism between these two components by extending beer shelf life and beer filtration. A dual-action stabilizer, it offers highly effective reduction of both haze-forming polyphenols and haze-forming proteins.

The use of silica gel is the most common method of reducing haze-forming proteins. The gel adsorbs the proline-rich, haze-forming protein onto its surface. Hydrogen bonding between the silanol groups on the surface of the silica and the carbonyl group of the proline creates a strong complex, allowing the filter’s insoluble silica to easily remove the haze-forming proteins.

The inclusion of PVPP in the admixture of Polyclar Plus 730 beer stabilizer provides efficient and highly selective removal of haze-producing polyphenols, thus preventing the formation of insoluble protein and polyphenol complexes responsible for chill and permanent haze.

Features and benefits:

• A one-step solution for balanced stabilization
• Easier handling that is more cost effective than sequential treatments
• Improves dispersion and slows sedimentation of xerogel, resulting in more uniform dosing and efficient removal of haze components
• Prevents colloidal haze formation through insoluble protein/polyphenol complexes
• Has optimal pore structure and particle size characteristic for adsorption of haze-forming components
• Has produced filtration advantages from longer filter runs, lower differential pressures and increased throughput
• Requires no additional capital costs
• Approved under the German purity law (Reinheitsgebot)

Polyclar Brewbrite wort clarifier and beer stabilizer

Polyclar Brewbrite wort clarifier and beer stabilizer is an optimized composite of purified food-grade carrageenan and specially modified PVPP. It is a highly effective wort clarifier and PVPP beer stabilizer used upstream in the brewing process. It is added to wort usually 10 minutes before the end of the boil. Polyclar Brewbrite wort clarifier and beer stabilizer is used directly as a powder or as an 8% to 12% slurry in de-aerated water. Hydration and mixing are achieved by the vigorous boiling action in the kettle and during re-circulation in the whirlpool; it can be added directly at the cast stage.

Kappa-carrageenan, a hydrocolloid extracted from red seaweed, is very effective at reducing the size of non-microbiological particles (NMPs) in wort and hence clarity. NMP is comprised of protein, polyphenol, polysaccharide and other materials.

Polyclar Brewbrite wort clarifier and beer stabilizer advantages:

• Very high efficacy means low dosage rate
• Does not leave residue in beer
• No pre-slurrying requirements
• Applicable to all types of beer
• No negative impact on foam, flavor or other quality parameters
• Additives labeling are usually not required
• Effective and highly selective reduction of haze-producing polyphenols (tannoids)
• Reduces particulate size distribution in wort
• Brighter wort with improved trub compaction in the whirlpool
• Increased wort collection
• Improved fermentation characteristics
• Longer filter runs with enhanced beer clarity
• Protection against chill and permanent haze development in beer
• No capital outlay – can be used in existing brewing plant

Polyclar Brewbrite wort clarifier and beer stabilizer provides an option for upstream stabilization of beer, which negates the need for specialized dosing equipment.


What is Colloidal Instability?
The main cause of colloidal instability in beer is the interaction between haze-forming polyphenols – namely tannoids – and haze-forming proteins. Both the haze-forming polyphenols and the haze-forming proteins are derived from two main ingredients in beer: malt and hops. Haze-forming polyphenols are largely flavonoid dimers (e.g., prodelphinidin), trimers and their polymerized products – namely tannoids (Figure 1).

Examples of polyphenols implicated in haze formation

Figure 1

Haze-forming proteins are rich in the amino acid praline (Figure 2), which is not taken up by yeast during fermentation.

Structure of Praline

Figure 2

The reaction between the proline groups present in haze-forming proteins and the hydroxyl groups present in the haze-forming polyphenols causes a haze to form (Figure 3). Polyphenols build bridges between the protein molecules, which results in the production of a permanent haze.
Haze-formation Model

Figure 3

Haze-forming tannoids over time react with haze-forming proteins to cause a cloudy appearance. Initially weak hydrogen bonds occur between the proline sites within the haze-sensitive proteins and the hydroxyl groups inherent to the haze-forming polyphenols. This results in chill-haze formation, a phenomenon in which hazing appears when the beer is chilled to near-freezing temperatures. This haze quickly dissipates when the temperature rises.

As the beer ages further, polymerization of the polyphenols, larger molecules – tannoids – appear in the beer. The nature of the polyphenol-protein bonds also changes to much stronger ionic and covalent linkages that are not affected by temperature. The result is a permanent haze to limit a product’s shelf life.

The Action of PVPP to Control Haze Formation in Beer
The building block of Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers is PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone). PVP is an analog of proline, and as such has strong affinity to complex with haze-forming polyphenols. PVP is soluble and therefore crosslinked to make the insoluble Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizer, which is easily removed by filtration.

Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers have a greater affinity to bond with haze-forming polyphenols due to having far more binding sites than there are proline sites in the haze-forming proteins (Figure 4). Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers make strong bonds with the haze-forming polyphenols through π orbital overlap, hydrogen bond formation and polar and hydrophobic interactions (Figure 5). Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers favor the tannoid fraction of the haze-forming polyphenols but will also reduce the levels of flavonoid dimers and trimers present.

Figure 4
Bonding mechanism between Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers and haze-forming polyphenol
Figure 5


For Polyclar PVPP stabilizers to work effectively, it must be thoroughly dispersed and hydrated in a homogenous slurry. The most popular method for preparation is in de-aerated water at a concentration of 8% to 12% with continuous mixing.

Important Notes for Addition:

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can be introduced to the process at various points depending on the brewer’s preference.

• A traditional application point for Polyclar PVPP stabilizers is just before filtration. The PVPP is dosed in-line to the beer stream, where it fully mixes with beer. A minimum of five minutes of contact time is recommended, though increased contact time improves the PVPP performance. The PVPP is then removed from the beer stream by the means of the filteration.

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can be added in-line to diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. It is either added through a separate vessel or mixed with the DE slurry. Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can also be added with the pre-coat. To achieve better dosage control, it is worth considering passing Polyclar PVPP stabilizers through a separate dosing pot prior to DE addition. If added in combination with the DE, consider adding more Polyclar PVPP stabilizers when making up additional bodyfeed. A trap filter (five microns) is recommended after the DE filter.

• When used in conjunction with silica stabilizers, Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can also be made up in the same vessel and dosed with the silica. In this case, the PVPP slurry should first be made and allowed to fully hydrate prior to silica being added to the vessel. A separate make-up and dosing pot for achieving better dosing control is the preferred option.

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers are also compatible with crossflow membrane filtration technology. Depending on the system employed, the PVPP is either removed at the centrifugation step prior to the filter or it is removed with the retentate.

• Adding Polyclar PVPP stabilizers at the filter allows flexibility in choosing which beers should be stabilized and also how much to dose.

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can also be applied upstream in the process. Another traditional addition point is at maturation. Addition is preferably made in-line during the transfer from fermentation to ensure thorough mixing. Advantages of addition in maturation include increased contact time and also settling of the product, resulting in less solids being carried over to the filter. A potential disadvantage is that compared to addition at the filter, there is a loss of flexibility with regards to dose rate variation and choosing which beers should be stabilized.

• When added at maturation, PVPP is removed from the process by a combination of sedimentation and filtration. Seven days are usually required to achieve complete in-tank settling.

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can also be added upstream in the fermenter or the kettle. This is a break from tradition but is increasingly preferred by brewers who desire a powder-free filtration room.

• The bonds between the reactive polyphenols and Polyclar PVPP stabilizers are strong and equally effective across a variety of temperature ranges; Polyclar PVPP stabilizers will work as effectively at boiling, ambient and 0°C.

• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers can be added in combination with most process aids such as DE and silica gel but not tannic acid with which it reacts.


Reaction Time
Polyclar PVPP stabilizers are most effective when thoroughly mixed with the beer stream, where it forms very strong hydrogen bonds with the polyphenols present.

Filtration literature suggests that a contact time of five minutes is sufficient to complete most of the adsorption (over 70%), but typically an adsorption rate of more than 95% can be achieved after 30 minutes. Mixing and contact time, rather than reaction time, is most likely a limiting factor on the adsorption rate.

Time of Hydration
Polyclar 10, 730, Granule and Super R PVPP stabilizers have the same swell volume(<6); this means 1kg of Polyclar, when fully hydrated, will occupy a maximum of 6 liters of volume. This is an important consideration in determining the sludge capacity volume in a filter.

It is also important to give Polyclar PVPP stabilizers sufficient time to become fully dispersed into a homogenous slurry and fully hydrated before it is dosed into beer. Hydration of the particles takes only a matter of minutes but a minimum dispersion time of 15 minutes is a must. Failure to fully suspend the Polyclar PVPP beer stabilizers may result in reduced adsorption efficiency and cause disruption of the filter bed. It is important that the slurry during preparation and once prepared receives continuous agitation to prevent settling.

Safe to Use
Because the stabilizers are completely removed by filtration and kept from being ingested, there are no known safety hazards. Because Polyclar stabilizers are non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing, they are safe to handle. They also have excellent storage stability properties.

PVPP has a long history of use in pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food industries supported by:

• Extensive studies that have demonstrated human and animal safety
• That PVPP is chemically inert and lacks biological activity
• That PVPP cannot bio-accumulate
• That crosslinked polymer cannot cross cell membranes

Regulatory Status
The current FDA regulation covering Polyclar stabilizers is found in Title 21 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Part 173.50, Secondary Direct Food Additives Permitted in Food for Human Consumption - polyvinylpolypyrrolidone.

The food additive polyvinylpolypyrrolidone may be safely used in accordance with the following prescribed conditions:

• The additive is a homopolymer of purified vinylpyrrolidone catalytically produced under conditions producing polymerization and crosslinking such that an insoluble polymer is produced.
• lt is used or intended for use as a clarifying agent in beverages and vinegars followed by removal with filtration. The current United States BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) ruling permits the use of Polyclar stabilizer in beer.
• Polyclar PVPP stabilizers is supplied and tested in accordance with the European Union Commission Regulations No. 3220/90 and is approved for use throughout the EU. It also complies with the following:

• EU Directive 95/2/EC (on food additives other than colors and sweeteners)
• EU Regulation NO. 1935/2004 (materials and articles intended to come in food contact)

Market Information



Product Types or Functions

Food and Beverage
Beer, Non-alcoholic Beverages, Wine
Colloidal Stabilizer, Oxidative Browning and Pinking Preventative, Polyphenol Adsorbent Agent, Shelf-life Extender