Carbonated drinks have become a part of our staple diet. The fizzy drink is loved by most and often when you are thirsty you would reach out for a carbonated soft drink. To create a carbonated drink the process that is involved is called as carbonation. The gas that is passed through water or the aqueous solution is carbon dioxide. Pressurized carbon dioxide is usually passed through the liquid to create the carbonated drink.
Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water or an aqueous solution. The result of carbonation is formation of carbonic acid which has the chemical formula H2CO3. The process gives the fizz to carbonated water, beer, champagne etc. The amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in soft drinks affects the quality of carbonated beverages. The amount of carbonation in beverages is measured in volumes or grams/liter. The main reason is that dissolving carbon dioxide causes change in weight of beverages. If you compare the weight of the bottle before opening it with its weight after opening it and allowing the gas to escape, then the weight of bottle is reduced after the gas escapes.
When carbon dioxide gas is passed while making carbonated soft drinks like Pepsi, Fanta, Coca-Cola etc, it gives the drinks the bite. The fizzy taste, however, comes from the dilute carbonic acid that is created after the carbonation process. The carbonic acid gives the slight burning sensation. In Cola drinks like Pepsi and Coca Cola the bite is mainly due to the phosphoric acid. Contrary to popular belief the bubbles and fizzing is not due to these acids but due to change in pressure. Moreover after carbonation the amount of free oxygen in soda is reduced, which also causes reduction in pH to some extent.
When the effect of infusing water with carbon dioxide was first discovered Joseph Priestley had suspended a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery. It gave the water a pleasant taste and made a refreshing drink. Later, method to pass pressurized carbon dioxide through water was developed to make carbonated water. The pressure increases the solubility. More carbon dioxide can be dissolved. When the bottle is opened the gas comes out of the liquid forming the bubbles that we see. Similarly flavored carbonated water is made by adding fruit flavors but no sweeteners.
When creating carbonated soft drinks, carbonated water forms the base. Concentrate flavors are added along with other ingredients like sugar syrup, HFCS, citric acid, etc. Some experts and nutritionists are of the opinion that consumption of carbonated drinks with sweeteners is harmful for dental health. Some even say that it is the major cause of weakness of bones due to calcium depletion, dental carries, etc.
Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide gas which gives it the fizzy quality. Effervescence is escape of gas from the carbonated drinks when carbon dioxide is decompressed. In other words the chemical reaction that occurs produces the gaseous product. You can try doing it by shaking a closed carbonated drink bottle and then opening it to find CO2 escape with increased effect.