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Wired magazine ran an article this month on carbonation in soft drinks.

If all soft drinks are manufactured effectively identically, why do some types fizz more than others?

For example, root beer is always extremely fizzy (and laces well).

In similar fashion, lemon-lime drinks like Sprite and Sierra Mist are very fizzy - but do not lace like root beer.

Compare those to diet colas, which fizz slowly and/or minimally, and one is left to ponder.

What is it about some types of drinks that make them hold and release their carbonation differently?

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I cannot see in the linked article that "all soft drinks are manufactured effectively identically". They contain different amounts of carbon dioxide and different amount of detergents, so your "question" in fact is not a question, but a (wrong) statement –  Georg May 18 '11 at 22:08
    
@Georg - the first line seems to indicate that to me: "When soda is manufactured, CO2 gets pumped in at pressures of around 60 pounds per square inch." –  warren May 19 '11 at 2:06
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In this context, "soda" clearly means "soft drinks," so I can't make any sense out of your suggestion to look it up. To me, the key word in that sentence is "around," meaning "approximately." I see no reason to assume that there are differences in amount of CO$_2$ that are sufficient to explain the observed variation. –  Ted Bunn May 19 '11 at 13:46
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Lacing has rather less to do with the carbon-dioxide (fizz) content, than to the actual chemistry of the drink. In beers (and brewed root beers, sarsaparilla, etc), the formation of the head and the lace depends rather strongly on polypeptides that came from the ingredients like malt that "hold the foam together". So while if you don't have the carbonation, you won't get bubbles either (and hence no head and lace), having carbonation is far from enough for lacing. –  Willie Wong Jun 30 '11 at 1:30
    
@Ted Bunn, ""In this context, "soda" clearly means "soft drinks," "" Aha, "clearly" :=) This wording is maybe practice in the land of Cokes, but not in civlized ones. If You use the Soda to mix it with some Scotch, You would not accept some Coke instead. –  Georg Jun 30 '11 at 10:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Principally, the Solubility of carbon dioxide in the solution.

Different pressures and temperatures will affect the rate at which the carbon dioxide comes out of solution thereby giving the illusion of different "fizziness" of a given drink.

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protected by Qmechanic Dec 11 at 21:40

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