What Gases Are in Bottled Soda & Bottled Water?

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One of the most obvious characteristics about soda is that it is fizzy, a feature that most soda drinkers enjoy. But this fizz is not something that occurs naturally; rather, gas is added to the soda by the soda producer during the manufacturing process. This gas is not present in standard bottles of water, but it is present in sparkling water.

Soda

  • Soda would be little more than a sugary, flavored drink without carbon dioxide, or CO2. Typically, the liquid itself is made up of water, flavorings, sugar and food coloring. After the soda solution is made, the soda company injects each bottle of liquid with carbon dioxide. This process is called carbonation, and it is what gives soda its characteristic bubbles and fizz. Typically, the colder the soda stays during the carbonation process, the more CO2 that can be dissolved in the liquid. A soda's dissolved carbon dioxide levels remain relatively the same while the bottle is sealed; however, as soon as this seal is broken, the soda begins to lose its carbonation, losing all of its fizz within hours.

Bottled Water

  • Bottled water, on the other hand, is not injected with any kind of gas. Instead, bottled water is simply water plus regular air (made up of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and CO2) at the top. These gases are not dissolved in the liquid as CO2 is dissolved in soda. Bottled water is much the same a few days after it has been opened because it has no gas to lose. However, you should still drink opened bottles of water within a few weeks.

Sparkling Water

  • Sparkling or carbonated water is unlike regular water because gas enters into solution with the liquids of these bottled beverages. Just like soda, sparkling water has carbon dioxide injected into it during a carbonation process. This is true even of most waters labeled "naturally carbonated mineral water" because adding CO2 minimizes the chance that the water will develop an unpleasant taste. This type of bottled water is also under pressure and will, like soda, retain its carbonation until opened. When it is opened, its fizz will slowly diminish.

Non-Dissolved CO2

  • Besides of the CO2 dissolved within the liquid, carbonated drink bottles often also contain CO2 in gas form that prevents the liquid from losing its dissolved CO2 before the bottle is opened. Bottlers often include this carbon dioxide "head" at the top of the bottle, pressurizing the bottle to about double normal atmospheric air pressure. Bottlers include this highly-pressurized CO2 gas so that the soda or liquid will dissolve and retain a maximum amount of CO2 within it, dissolved CO2 being unable to escape the liquid because the pressurized gas keeps it in solution. As soon as the bottle is opened, however, the pressurized CO2 escapes and the CO2 dissolved in the soda forms bubbles. This gives your soda its fizz as the dissolved CO2 bubbles out of the liquid.

References

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