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Most Popular Soda

based on 45 ratings
Author: Judee Shipman

Objective

This project involves experiments with carbonated beverages.

The goals of this project are:

  • To examine the differences between commercial brands of soft drinks.
  • To invent a new kind of soda.

Materials and Equipment

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/craft supplies (paper, pens, poster board, glue, etc.)
  • Club soda
  • Clear-colored carbonated beverage such as 7-Up
  • Various other soft drinks
  • Food coloring
  • Flavorings such as blended fruits or flavored extracts
  • Clear plastic drinking cups
  • Clear plastic drinking straws

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Introduction

Carbonated soft drinks have been popular since ancient times, when societies placed great value on the supposed healing properties of sparkling mineral waters found in natural springs. In the 1700s, scientists invented a method of carbonating water, and the soda pop industry was born.

Research Questions

  1. How are carbonated soft drinks made?
  2. How are carbonated beverages packaged to keep the bubbles in?
  3. Which are the most popular commercial brands?
  4. What are the health effects of soft drinks?

Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research

  • Carbonation
  • Molecular Gastronomy

Experimental Procedure:

  • Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  • Collect unopened soft drink samples.
  • Photograph the samples, and continue taking photos throughout the experiment.
  • Do a survey of everyone you know to find out which are the most popular soft drinks.
  • Create your own soft drink recipes, by adding various flavorings to ordinary club soda.
  • Arrange a taste test experiment, using at least 20 volunteers. Find out which of your soft drink inventions is the most popular.
  • Prepare two cups of clear-colored carbonated beverage (like 7-Up).
  • Tint the liquid in one of the cups with food coloring.
  • Run another taste test, without telling the subjects anything about the ingredients of the drinks. Ask which one they prefer.
  • Carefully record all observations.
  • Analyze the data.
  • Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  • Include interesting photos and refreshing soft drink samples in your science fair display.

Bibliography

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink (Wiki topic: Soft drink)
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonation (About fizz)
  3. http://inventorspot.com/articles/ten_bizarre_japanese_soft_drinks_5225 (Weird soft drink inventions)
  4. Internet searches of your choosing. Search any of the words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases to search. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!  
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