Why Are Soft Drinks Carbonated ?  

Soft drinks are refreshing and signature for style statement in many adolescents. In the US alone, the annual consumption of aerated beverages totals up to 10 million gallons. However, there are some people who may wonder why are soft drinks carbonated. The reason behind this is extremely interesting and you may actually get surprised.


It was believed in ancient times that consuming and bathing in mineral water from springs was good for curing many ailments. The reason was the naturally available carbonation in spring water. Scientists and inventors worked towards producing such carbonated water artificially for the same benefits. For many years, mineral water was sold without flavors as just a carbonated drink.

It was Townsend Speakman who made the first ever flavored carbonated drink way back in 1807 in the US. The additive was not intended only to enhance the flavor but also for increasing curing ability due to the property of such ingredients. Some such additives were lemon, dandelions, ginger, birch bark, kola and coca. It was Dr. John Styth Pemberton who combined coca and kola to make the ever-famous drink Coca-Cola and first sold on 8 May 1886.

Carbonating a beverage implies addition of carbon dioxide in to the beverage under pressure. This will make the beverage acidic with carbonic acid. The effects of such an addition are sharpening the taste and producing a slight sensation of burning. This also acts as a preservative to keep the drink from going bad. As a preservative, carbon dioxide helps to enhance the shelf life of soft drinks. Universal Industrial Gases Inc states that the carbon dioxide which is used in industries is made use of in aerating beverages as well. This gas is obtained from plants which are fuelled by coal producing ammonia or natural gas. Other sources include plants which make automobile fuel or ethanol for industries, fermentation processes in breweries and so on.

Carbon dioxide is introduced in to the beverage at a pressure of approximately 1200 pounds per square inch. Since the beverage is pressure filled in a container like a bottle or can, the carbon dioxide remains in a dissolved state. When the can is opened, this energy gets released and the gas bubbles get pushed to the surface of the drink. In order to increase the energy, one can shake the can or drop it down before opening. With the passage of time, the dissolved carbon-dioxide gets released and the beverage becomes flat.

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