Carbonated drinks add a fun and fizzy feel to beverages like water, juices, and even wines. If you’ve ever wondered why carbonated beverages are bubbly, it has to do with the chemical makeup of the drink. Carbonation is a solution of the gas, carbon dioxide (Co2), and water. The pressure of the Co2 gas causes the molecules to build and thus form bubbles, creating an effervescent soda. Carbon dioxide is safe and occurs both artificially and naturally. Other than creating fizz, carbonation improves the flavor of carbonated beverages.
What Are Carbonated Drinks Today?
In the past, the most popular carbonated drinks were soft drinks. However, carbonated beverages have been shifting away from high fructose corn syrup with the increasing demand for healthier drinks. Today, healthy carbonated drinks are headed towards becoming functional beverages, like kombucha and teas.
For years, beverages with carbonation have been adding a bit of sparkle to our lives, so it’s no wonder why we love them so much!
The Process of Drink Carbonation
Home carbonation appliances make it easy to add a tangy fizz to a few drinks. But if you’re interested in producing hundreds of carbonated drinks, it’s best to work with a bottling and canning facility, like Newport Bottling & Canning. Our team of experts will tell you everything you need to know about beverage carbonation, such as which levels are safe, how much carbonation in drinks is needed to improve flavor, and if you should pasteurize your carbonated beverages.
For larger-scale drink production, there are two methods used for beverage carbonation: premix and postmix.
The premixing method requires the mixture to be completely prepared. Then, the final volume of the mixture is chilled and carbonated before making its way into cans or glass bottles.
The post-mixing method requires all ingredients, except carbon dioxide, to be prepared and chilled in a tank. As the mixture makes its way into the cans or bottles, it is introduced to a little carbonation at a time with an industrial carbon chiller. At Newport Bottling & Canning, we use the postmix method and conduct regular pressure and temperature testing on the cans.
Can I Use Glass Bottles for Carbonated Beverages?
Carbonation can be added to glass bottles and aluminum cans. Glass bottles allow for a higher Co2 level than aluminum cans to achieve a strong fizz similar to carbonated sodas or champagne. A higher carbonation level will change the body of your drink and produce an overall better mouth-feel for consumers.
However, when choosing your glass bottles and lids, be sure to purchase bottles and lids suitable for drink carbonation. Glass bottles and lids not made to undergo beverage carbonation will burst and leak during tunnel pasteurization.
Do Carbonated Drinks Need to Be Pasteurized?
The process of beverage carbonation naturally produces carbonic acid, which is slightly acidic. Because of the acidity levels of carbonated drinks, many beverage producers believe pasteurization is unnecessary. However, bacteria can still grow in acidic environments.
Carbonation does not inhibit the growth of microorganisms as well as tunnel pasteurization. During tunnel pasteurization, the cans or bottles enter a stainless steel tunnel where each can is sprayed with hot water. This process prevents and reduces the growth of microorganisms. At Newport Bottling & Canning, our team goes the extra mile to pasteurize and cool your carbonated drinks to ensure optimal quality and taste.
Should I Carbonate My Drink?
Beverage carbonation adds texture and complexity to custom drinks, which enhances flavors and aromas. The process of adding carbonation to beverages helps to give colas their classic crisp taste and flavored sparkling waters that bubbly sensation consumers feel as they sip the drink.
Of course, some consumers may be more sensitive to carbonated drinks than others. If you’re creating a functional beverage to support digestion, then you might have to consider lowering the carbonation levels. Beverage consultants, like those at Newport Bottling & Canning, can guide you throughout the entire process to create your ideal custom beverage that fits the needs of your target audience. Newport Bottling & Canning’s team of flavor chemists has over 40 years of experience helping carbonated drink brands by combining science and the art of flavor in the beverage creation process.