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Carbonated water

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**Composition and Health Effects:**
– Carbonated water may contain minerals like sodium chloride, sodium citrate, and potassium bicarbonate for flavor and acidity balance.
– It has minimal impact on health and is considered a food of minimal nutritional value in the US.
– Some varieties may contain added vitamins, minerals, or artificial sweeteners.
– Tentative evidence suggests it may help with constipation post-stroke.
– Sparkling mineral water is slightly erosive to teeth but significantly less than soft drinks.
– Flavored carbonated waters with citric acid may impact dental health.

**Chemistry, Physical Properties, and Production:**
– Carbonic acid bonds break more easily at high temperatures, releasing gaseous carbon dioxide.
– pH levels of carbonated water range between 5 and 6.
– Alkaline salts like sodium bicarbonate can increase pH levels in the body.
– Commercially, carbonated water is made by injecting pressurized carbon dioxide into water.
– Various methods, including chilling water and adding alkaline compounds, are used in the production process.

**History and Innovation:**
Joseph Priestley pioneered carbonation in the 18th century.
– Alcoholic drinks like beer and cider were naturally carbonated through fermentation.
– Priestley’s discovery led to the founding of companies specializing in artificial mineral water.
Johann Jacob Schweppe developed a process to manufacture bottled carbonated mineral water.
– Marketing-driven terms like sparkling water gained favor in the 1970s.

**Varieties and Uses:**
– Plain carbonated water is known as soda water or seltzer water in the US.
– Club soda may contain added sodium salts for flavoring and acidity regulation.
– Carbonated water is used in soft drinks, cocktails, and as a base for flavored drinks.
– It is a key ingredient in alcoholic beverages and is essential in cocktails like whiskey and soda.
– In cooking, carbonated water is used for deep-frying batters and to create a lighter texture in doughs.

**Commercial Production and Applications:**
– Modern restaurants and bars use carbonators to make soda water on-site.
– Carbonated water is commercially produced by pressurizing carbon dioxide into water.
– It is a key ingredient in soft drinks and can be used as a stain remover, particularly effective for red wine stains.
– Various products like seltzer, club soda, tonic water, flavored sparkling water, and mineral water cater to different preferences.
– Carbonated water can be produced at home using carbonation systems like Sodastream.

Carbonated water (Wikipedia)

Carbonated water (also known as soda water, bubbly water, sparkling water, fizzy water, club soda, water with gas, in many places as mineral water, or especially in the United States as seltzer or seltzer water) is water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas, either artificially injected under pressure or occurring due to natural geological processes. Carbonation causes small bubbles to form, giving the water an effervescent quality. Common forms include sparkling natural mineral water, club soda, and commercially produced sparkling water.

Sparkling water showing its carbonation, which may be either natural or artificially introduced
External audio
audio icon "Fizzy Water", Distillations Podcast Episode 217, Science History Institute

Club soda and sparkling mineral water and some other sparkling waters contain added or dissolved minerals such as potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, or potassium sulfate. These occur naturally in some mineral waters but are also commonly added artificially to manufactured waters to mimic a natural flavor profile and offset the acidity of introducing carbon dioxide gas giving one a fizzy sensation. Various carbonated waters are sold in bottles and cans, with some also produced on demand by commercial carbonation systems in bars and restaurants, or made at home using a carbon dioxide cartridge.

It is thought that the first person to aerate water with carbon dioxide was William Brownrigg in the 1740s. Joseph Priestley invented carbonated water, independently and by accident, in 1767 when he discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide after having suspended a bowl of water above a beer vat at a brewery in Leeds, Yorkshire. He wrote of the "peculiar satisfaction" he found in drinking it, and in 1772 he published a paper entitled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. Priestley's apparatus, almost identical to that used by Henry Cavendish five years earlier, which featured a bladder between the generator and the absorption tank to regulate the flow of carbon dioxide, was soon joined by a wide range of others. However, it was not until 1781 that carbonated water began being produced on a large scale with the establishment of companies specialized in producing artificial mineral water. The first factory was built by Thomas Henry of Manchester, England. Henry replaced the bladder in Priestley's system with large bellows.

While Priestley's discovery ultimately led to the creation of the soft drink industry—which began in 1783 when Johann Jacob Schweppe founded Schweppes to sell bottled soda water—he did not benefit financially from his invention. Priestley received scientific recognition when the Council of the Royal Society "were moved to reward its discoverer with the Copley Medal" at the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society on 30 November 1773.

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