Have You Ever Thought…
- What distinguishes fountain drinks from bottled drinks?
- Soda fountains have been around for how long?
- What substances do soda fountains combine to make soda?
Libby from Boomer inspired today’s Wonder of the Day. “Why is soda fizzy?” wonders Libby. Libby, thank you for WONDERing with us!
Have you ever been stuck in the rear seat of your family’s automobile during a long road trip? Your constant pleas of “Are we there yet?” go unanswered. You have read. You are staring out the window. You make drawings. You take a snooze.
Finally, you notice the car slowing down. You look up to see that you’re approaching a petrol station for a fill-up. Yes! Even though it’s only a regular convenience shop, it appears to be an oasis to your tired eyes.
You’re thirsty after your long travel, and you know there’s only one way to quench it. So you dash inside, looking for that brightly coloured dispenser of effervescent beverages known as the soda fountain!
You grab a cup and wonder, “Will 32 ounces suffice?” You place it against the ice dispenser. Frozen water nuggets fall into your cup and ricochet off its sides. Then you press the cup’s edge on the tab beneath your chosen beverage (root beer!) and watch as a spectacular fountain of frothy refreshment fills your cup to the rim.
You begin to WONDER about the soda fountain while you sip your root beer. How does it function? Is it possible that it’s magic? Is the root beer you’re drinking different from the root beer in the store’s coolers?
The science of carbonation is the key to sodas. To give sodas their bubbles and the tangy bite that soda drinkers crave, flavour and sweeteners are combined with carbonated water.
Water supersaturated with carbon dioxide gas is referred to as carbonated water. However, because carbon dioxide and water do not mix well, it took some time to figure out how to manufacture carbonated water.
People eventually discovered that pressure and temperature were the two most essential factors in producing carbonated water. In a pressured setting, combining carbon dioxide with very cold water results in carbonated water. Johann Jacob Schweppe, who built a hand-cranked carbonator in 1783, was among the first to realise this.
Modern devices can produce carbonated water much more swiftly and efficiently. For example, the ingredients are blended with carbonated water when soda bottles and cans are manufactured and then pressure-sealed.
The pressure is released when a can or container is opened, allowing carbon dioxide to escape from the solution as fizzing bubbles. When carbon dioxide reacts with water, it produces minute amounts of carbonic acid, which gives sodas their distinct and sour flavour.
Fountain soda is prepared on the spot when you press the Sodastream dispenser tab. A pressurised carbon dioxide tank and a water pump deliver pressured carbon dioxide gas and cold water to a carbonator, where the gas dissolves.
When you touch the rim of your cup against a dispenser tab, the carbonator releases carbonated water while a secondary pump mixes in flavoured syrup to create the desired soft drink. The most recent soda fountains, such as the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, can combine fruit flavours and soda flavours to generate hundreds of different soda combinations.
The soda fountain carefully controls the syrup-to-carbonated-water ratio, but these settings can vary from location to location. As a result, a drink from a soda fountain may taste slightly different than bottled or canned soda. Of course, it is a question of personal preference whether you prefer soda from a can, a bottle, or a soda fountain, but there will always be admirers of the super-bubbly soda fountain!