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Why Do Carbonated Drinks Taste Good?

restaurant co2 new yorkCarbonation – a solution of carbon dioxide gas in liquid water – makes drinks fizzy. But why does “fizzy” taste good?

The science behind carbonating drinks with beverage grade CO2 is simple: When dissolved in liquid water, carbon dioxide gas will produce bubbles for as long as it is kept under pressure. One the pressure is removed (by taking the top off the soda bottle, for example), it goes “flat.”

But that still doesn’t explain why some of us crave carbonated drinks, including unflavored seltzer and club soda. Why does fizzy mean delicious?

Again, we come back to science: when a bottle or can of a carbonated beverage is opened, the carbon dioxide gas reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). Carbonic acid actually has a taste that your tongue can detect – one that accents the flavor of the beverage. In other words, carbonated beverages are built to taste better in their carbonated form!

The chemistry lesson doesn’t stop there: drink manufacturers add more and stronger acids (and often boatloads of sugar) to further enhance the taste of the drink, while carbonation bubbles in the nose and mouth trigger other pleasure sensors in the brain.

Of course, this doesn’t inherently mean that all carbonated beverages taste better than non-carbonated beverages – but it often does mean that when CO2 is removed from a previously carbonated drink, the flavor falls…well, flat.

Other Fun Carbonation Facts

  • The carbonation process was invented by Joseph Priestley in England in 1767; it was commercialized 19 years later by Jacob Schweppes.
  • Carbonated beverages were first bottled for sale back in 1835; this is also when people began adding flavoring to their carbonated drinks.
  • Originally, carbonated beverages were only stored in bottles, because cans would explode when left in storage.
  • Interestingly, few guidelines for ideal levels of carbonation exist. Sodas tend to be highly carbonated – sparkling drinks and champagnes less so.

Need bulk beverage CO2 to keep your drinks fizzy and delicious? We’ve got it! Contact Irish Carbonic today to learn more about bulk CO2 deliveries in Buffalo and Rochester, NY!

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