Carbonated Water: Is It Better to Have a High Volume of Carbonation?

12 Mar 2019

Category: Educational

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What is Carbonation?

Great carbonation is the key to great sparkling beverages. The tingly, tiny bubbles add to the experience of flavour and feel in your mouth, but how are they created?

Maximum carbonation is made possible by the technology used to create the teeny bubbles. Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide or CO2, is absorbed into the still water. Cold water is able to absorb more CO2, so in order to create bubbly sparkling water – it’s best that the water is cold.

Cold water absorbs the CO2 when it is pressurised, and the carbon dioxide is kept in the water through the pressure of a bottle, container, or a natural spring. Once the pressure is relieved, CO2 bubbles will form and bubble to the top of the water, where the gas will dissipate when it reaches the surface. This is why fizzy drinks start to go flat as soon as you open them. The ‘fizz’ created by the CO2 bubbles is gradually leaving the water, eventually leaving you with a still water or liquid.

Have you ever noticed that sodas or sparkling water on a hot day goes flat faster? That’s because warm liquids release CO2 quicker. You may have also noticed that canned drinks seem to taste fizzier, or have more bubbles than sparkling water from a tap or fountain… This is owing to the level of carbonation in the drink as a result of pressure. Canned drinks have a sealed, higher pressure than soda water or soda from a fountain, which is exposed to atmospheric pressure.

Why Do We Carbonate Drinks?

There are three main reasons for carbonation. Firstly, the bubbles give a pleasant feel in the mouth. The tingly sensation can really help ‘hit the spot’ if you’re thirsty, and give you a sensation you can’t get from anything else. Combine the bubble feel with the slight acidic taste created from the carbonic acid and it’s clear to see why carbonated drinks are so moreish. Finally, the way the tiny bubbles lift the scent to the nose helps improve the perception of flavour. Next time you’re drinking a carbonated drink, try and notice how different the experience is to drinking a still drink.

Volume of Carbonation

Volume of carbonation can be tested in terms of the volume of CO2 per volume of fluid. Moderate carbonation is found starting at around 3.00:1. Strong carbonation is found starting at levels 3.50:1 and above.

When it comes to sparkling or carbonated water, every water varies in terms of volume of carbonation. This following results are from an experiment carried out testing the carbonation of various carbonated waters; San Pellegrino, Sodastream and Perrier Water.

  • San Pellegrino is generally known as a moderately carbonated sparkling water and the results were approximately 13 PSI at 35F. This results in 3.00:1 carbonation rating which is consistent with moderate carbonation.
  • The Sodastream system resulted in approximately 15 PSI at 35F. This results in 3.20:1 carbonation rating which is moderate carbonation, although more carbonated than the San Pellegrino.
  • Perrier is generally known as a full carbonation sparkling water and the results were approximately 18 PSI at 35F. This results in 3.53:1 carbonation rating which is consistent with strong carbonation.

With Billi taps, you can adjust the level of sparkling to suit your taste. With adjustable controls up to 5 bar of CO2 pressure, this offers the world’s best carbonation system. So, if you’re looking for a water system for your workplace that provides carbonated water, look no further.