The Chemistry Of Soda

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The chemistry behind soda is very interesting. Soda is made of four main ingredients: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup phosphoric acid and in most cases caffeine. Carbonated acids are a main part of soda they help make the fizz of the soft drink carbonated acid is made by pumping carbon gases into water (H2CO3). The carbonated acids are then combined with Water and Carbon Dioxide to make Carbonic Acids which is the full makeup of the fizz of the soda.

The sugar of the soda is made from of fructose which is written as C6H12O6 the liquid is broken down and passed through activated carbon and is filtered. What result is High fructose corn syrup which is added to another isotope of high fructose corn syrup to make it usable as a sweetener. Most diet sodas use Aspartame instead of high fructose corn syrup. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. It is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid.The sweetness of aspartame has more of a lasting sweetness than sucrose, so it is often mixed with artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium to make more of a sugar like taste..

Caffeine is also a main part of most sodas. Caffeine or C8H10N4O2 is a stimulant that acts by blocking adenosine from combining with the receptor in the brain that causes drowsiness. This makes it so that soda can give people a feeling of alertness and awakeness, however too much caffeine can be lethal. For caffeine to become lethal you would need to consume about 50-100 cups of coffee, so a couple of sodas a day won’t kill you.

Artificial colors give sodas there signature color. Sodas like Coke and Pepsi use a caramel color which is a brownish color. Before it was changed, the caramel color in coke and pepsi contained a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) which was found to cause cancer in the state of california. Later it was changed to a similar compound of ingredients just without the 4-methylimidazole.

As many people may know by now if you leave soda in a hot place or even shake it then open it, it will explode. The soda can explodes because of the pressure of the contents of the can.. When companies put carbon dioxide gas into the water that will eventually become the soda, they make sure the water is cold so they can fit more gas than normal they also use pressure to force more gas into the water.due to a buildup of heat, whether it is from being shaken or from the temperature outside, the gas expands which causes the gas to want to leave the can so when you open it, it causes pressure to build up which leads to an explosion.

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When you pour soda into cold cold things like ice or ice cream it will bubble. The bubbles are made because the small crystals on the ice and ice cream attract and gather the gas that is still in the soda when its opened and when the crystals gather the gases it forms the iconic bubbles. The carbonation of water is a complex and essential part of making the soda.the base process of the carbonation is forcing Carbon dioxide to dissolve into the water at about 45° F.

The burning sensation you get when drinking soda isn’t caused by the bubbles its caused by carbonic acid while hikers were drinking champagne (a soda like alcohol drink) they noticed that if they took altitude sickness medicine the champagne would go flat and lose the burning sensation. This results from the altitude medicine blocking the enzyme that converts carbon dioxide to carbonic acid. While a group of researchers were testing time it took for the carbon dioxide to dissolve into water with different additives such alcohol and sugar. The researchers found that additives like alcohol and table sugar would reduce the rate of diffusion. When the additives were added they decreased the number of hydrogen bonds which affected the taste of the drink.

Another part of soda is phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is a crystalline liquid that is colorless and give soda a taste that is tangy. Phosphoric acid also prevents the growth of bacteria and mold which will multiply in a solution with lots of sugar in it. Sodas acidity is caused in part by the phosphoric acid. phosphoric acid is made out of phosphorus. To make phosphoric acid you must first take phosphorus and turn it into phosphorus pentoxide through a manufacturing process of chemicals then it is treated for a second time to make phosphoric acid. Phosphorus in to big of doses can cause osteoporosis and heart disease. You can drink a few sodas a day but if you drink to much you could gain heart problems.

Although soda is loved by many people there are many chemicals in it that could potentially harm them, such as citric acid. Citric acid can weaken tooth enamel and cause tooth erosion. Sodium benzoate or E211 is a preservative in many sodas that may cause damage to cells and accelerate cell aging. E211 may also cause dizziness, and hyperactivity. Some sodas have fruity flavors like cherry of orange, these flavors come from natural and artificial flavors such as cherry, orange and grape flavorings and extracts. Artificial cherry flavoring in soda is made from mostly benzaldehyde, a chemical compound containing hydrogen carbon and oxygen when combined they emit an almond odor.

Many people say that soda and various other drinks taste better cold, the reason they think this is because when you drink a cold liquid your brain makes you think that you are rehydrating which effectively makes it taste better for you. As many people know putting mentos into certain sodas makes the soda explode. The soda expodes because the mentos allow the carbon dioxide bonds to break eaiser witch causes the bubbles to form and make the explosion of the sticky substance

Overall soda is a very unique drink that has many interesting chemical changes and reactions. To conclude soda is formed by citric acid, carbonic acid, phosphoric acid, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and natural flavors.

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The Chemistry Of Soda. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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