Sunday, 17 March 2013

Unfizzzzzzzz the Cola

Even before some funny kids, I don't know who and where, decided to propel Coca-Cola bottles by adding Mentos, I was already interested in removing much of the gas from this drink. Maybe it's just my Mediterranean constitution, my vegetarian culture or just the idea of respecting my body, but fizzy drinks are not my thing.

I could name several health problems caused by fizzy drinks, but I believe you all are familiar with caries and acid dental erosion; if not, at least check this post I wrote back in April 2011. Excessive drinking of fizzy drinks could cause dental problems as the two named before [1]. I am ever more worried because it is also publicly known that Colas, specifically, are associated with bone decay and low bone mineral content. Women [2], children and teenagers [3] should be particularly aware of this issue. Of particular worry are the phases in life where there is a real increased risk of osteoporosis, or when the bone is in process of formation/development.

I always had to shake the hell out of the Cola bottle/can to get rid of that excess of gas in my Cola. Even though, very rarely I drink it, when I do it I don't want to go through the pain of having to deal with ever growing quantities of CO2 in my drink. Sometimes I can't even feel the taste just because my nose and teeth are fighting those creepy bubbles. When it comes to Colas I like to unfizzzzzz the drink. How I do it without having to shake it and wet my hands whilst playing some magic trick to the kids around? I just pour in it two teaspoons of granulated white sugar. But do not mix it, just pour it and watch the gas come out. You don't want to make your drink even more sugary by dissolving the sugar completely. The sugar will occupy space by slightly dissolving in the drink, or just by setting down in the bottom of your cup, can or bottle. The carbon dioxide dissolved in the drink will be physically forced out of the liquid onto the air surface and your drink will be less fizzy. You can then transfer this drink to yet another glass avoiding the sugar on the bottom to be dragged along, or just drink it carefully to avoid dissolving the sugar even more and make your drink exaggeratedly sweet.

You can do all that while saying to your toddlers that you are a magician or, if they are grown enough, explain why this happens.

Other people believe this effect could also be due to nucleation (a change of state occurs in a substance in the vicinity of localized points known as the nuclei) [4]. Whatever your belief is, the practical knowledge and functionality is here present in The Toxicologist Today.

And now I'll say goodbye with a good image for you guys to work out your science - the solubility of CO2 in water from a very interesting webpage presenting the solubility of many gases in water. Have fun...

[1] Cheng, R., Yang, H., Shao, M-Y., Hu, T., Zhou, X-D. (2009). "Dental erosion adn severe tooth decay related to soft drinks: a case report and literature review". Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 10(5), pp. 395-399.

[2] Tucker, K. L., Morita, K., Qiao, N., Hannan, M. T., Cupples, L. A., Kiel, D. P. (2006). "Colas, butnot other carbonated beverages are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham osteoporosis study". American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 84(4), pp. 936-942.

[3] Whiting, S. J., Healey, A., Psiuk, S., Mirwald, R., Kowalski, K., Bailey, D. A. (2001). "Relationship between carbonated and other low nutrient dense beverages and bone mineral content of adolescents". Nutrition Research, 21(8), pp. 1107-1115.

[4] The engineering toolbox - siolubiliyy of gases in water, [], last update unknown, last visited on the 17th of March 2013.

1st image taken from Wise Geek, clear answers for wise questions, [], last update unknwon,  last visited on the 17th of March 2013.

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