MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why does carbonation change the taste of soda

Date: Wed Feb 24 18:35:39 1999
Posted By: Kieran Kelly, grad, Darden School of Business Admin., University of Virginia
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 919782469.Ch

Good question!  Carbon dioxide is the gas that coined the term 
'carbonation'.  When present in water, CO2 reacts with water to form 
carbonic acid - granted a very weak solution, but it happens.  The carbonic 
acid changes the pH of the solution and alters our taste perception of the 
water or soda or whatever it was in in the first place.

Think about it - mineral water and soda water do not taste the same as tap 
water or other non-gaseous (still) waters.  While there are probably some 
mineral content differences that impact the taste, the big distinction is 
the presence of the carbonation.

So, thanks for the question and enjoy your soda!


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