General Question

arnbev959's avatar

Why does seltzer taste like seltzer even when it goes flat?

Asked by arnbev959 (10888points) August 29th, 2008

I would think that once seltzer goes flat it should taste like regular still water. But it doesn’t. It still tastes like seltzer. Why?

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3 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

I am guessing that it’s because it really has NOT “gone flat,” yet. You only think that it has.

August 29, 2008, 7:26 AM EDT

Harp's avatar

The flavor of seltzer comes from its carbonic acid content. Carbonic acid is a mild acid formed by the solution of CO2 in the water.

When the seltzer is under pressure, it’s able to hold far more CO2 in solution. Once the pressure is released, the solution becomes super-saturated, and much of the gas is released from solution, forming the fizz.

Eventually, the solution will no longer be super-saturated, and the agitation of drinking it will no longer provoke the release of gaseous CO2. At that point, the seltzer has gone flat. But that doesn’t mean that there is no longer CO2 in solution. Even un-pressurized water can hold a fair amount of CO2 in solution, and that will still be tasted as carbonic acid.

JackAdams's avatar

Shaking the sealed bottle releases more CO2 within the closed container.

August 29, 2008, 8:10 AM EDT

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