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Soda Goes Flat After It Is Opened


Soda is a drink that is made by mixing flavored syrups that are put under pressure and dissolved under carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is usually mixed to the drink when it is at very low temperatures. The colder the drink, the more carbon dioxide can be mixed into it. Adding carbon dioxide to the soda and storing it under pressure keeps the soda free from any kind of contamination as well as adding test to it. To keep the pressure intact, soda companies will bottle them when they are under pressure and also when the carbon dioxide is still mixed (Toossi, p. 92). Immediately the sodas are bottled, they are sealed and put under room temperature before they are packed into boxes to be distributed in stores for sale. The pressure inside the drink is usually higher than the pressure outside and hence making it whiz when opened. The mechanism at which the soda goes flat after it has been opened is still a mystery to some people who wonder the chemical reactions that are behind such an occurrence.

Mechanical processes involved

Before a soda is opened, it is mainly observed as a plain drink. It is hence hard to imagine that it could be containing certain gases that have a direct influence on its taste. The reason why there is no observation of bubbles in a sealed bottle of soda is because the carbon dioxide is completely mixed in the soda and that the inside pressure is equal (Kotz, John et al, p. 82). There is usually no room from the bubbles to escape and some of the atmospheric pressure is sealed in the empty space of the bottled drink. From the time the bottle cap is removed to that time when it completely goes flat, there are certain chemical reactions that take place. At the start, there is usually a whizzing sound that can be heard which is accompanied by some bubbles. The whiz is due to the escape of carbon dioxide that was under a lot of pressure in the bottle. There is also some external pressure that interferes with the stability that was in the drink and hence making it to react.

The pressure inside the bottle is usually higher than the pressure outside; there is hence a need for the drink to attain equilibrium. As more air gets into the bottle, more carbon dioxide is released from the drink to the atmosphere. The whole procedure may take quite sometime because the carbon dioxide was completely mixed in the drink. The bubbles that are usually observed in the bottle are small and enlarge as they approach the top. This is because the topmost surface is more exposed to the atmosphere than the drink that is still deeper (O’Brien, p. 56). At this juncture, when the soda has just been opened and taken, there is a whiz taste. The tingle taste is because the carbon dioxide is converted into carbonic acid when it is in the mouth. It is usually this tingling taste that makes sodas be preferred rather than the other soft drinks. However, as the soda is exposed for longer, the atmospheric pressure inside and outside will be similar and hence making it to have a flat taste.

The sweetness of a soda lies in its whizzing nature even though there are a number of people who prefer it in its flat taste. Most people will prefer to take a soda to quench their thirst rather than taking water. They feel that the soda will enhance their tastes and give them a more satisfactory feeling than the water would. A soda that is flat is almost similar to water only that the soda will have additional flavor. A flat soda means that the external and the internal pressure are similar and that there are no traces of carbon dioxide in it. A soda in its whiz form has lots of gasses that at times make the people that have just taken it feel very full. In fact many people will go for a soda rather than any other drink because they feel that the soda will make them more satisfied than the other drinks. After a few minutes of taking the soda, an individual may belch ought the gases and hence feeling almost the same way they felt before they took the soda. The bubbles that are usually produced from the soda are usually moist. This may be observed when a person places their nose on the mouth of the just opened bottle. Moistures liquid will be observed to signify that the gases take a liquid state when they condense.

Maintaining and reducing the whiz

Due to the different tastes of the people who take sodas, there is a need for the sodas to either maintain their whizzing nature or to become flat faster. On average, a soda may take three hours to completely go flat. There are certain people who would want to take the soda flat without having to wait for such longer hours. There are also other categories of people that will want the soda to maintain its whiz no matter how long it may take for them to finish the bottle. There are certain mechanical experiments that can be done to make the soda retain or loose its whiz (Brown, p. 64). When using a glass bottle, it may be difficult to retain the gases as the caps may not perfectly fit back after they have been opened. However, it is possible to retain the whiz when using a plastic bottle as they can easily be sealed back after opening. Another suggestion for making the soda go flat faster is to shake it. The shaking can be done on a regular basis as the bottle is opened to release the gasses faster.


Despite the chemical and mechanical procedures that are involved in making the soda maintain its whiz or loose it faster, there is no instant mechanism. There must be some efforts that are to be employed in getting the desirable texture of the drink. Different beverage drinks are concentrated with varying amounts of carbon dioxide. For instance alcoholic drinks and wines have more carbon dioxide concentration compared to nonalcoholic beverages. All this depends on the temperatures at which the carbon dioxide was mixed and the desired purpose of the drink. The colder the drink is, the more the ability it has to be mixed with the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide concentration in the soda bottles will remain as long as the bottle remains sealed. There is yet to be discovered a mechanism that will ensure that the soda retains all its fizz after it has been opened. Some fizz can only be retained if the soda is kept from any shakings and sealed immediately after sipping it.

Works cited

  1. Brown, Larry & Holme, Tom. Chemistry for Engineering Students. London: Cengage Learning, 2006.
  2. Kotz, John et al. Chemistry and chemical reactivity. London: Cengage Learning, 2008.
  3. O’Brien, Thomas. Brain-Powered Science: Teaching and Learning With Discrepant Events. California: NSTA Press, 2000.
  4. Toossi, Reza. Energy and the environment: resources, technologies, and impacts. New York: Energy and the Environment, 2008.

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