There’s nothing quite like the first sip of soda from a glass bottle, and for some reason it tastes much better than it would from a plastic bottle or an aluminium can. This brings us to the question, is it all psychological effect or is there some kind of scientific reason behind it?
Many soda companies insist that their drinks don’t taste any different in a glass bottle and that their carbonated beverages taste exactly the same no matter what packaging it comes from. They also claim that it is often just the emotion and preference attached to the packaging, which can affect perception of taste. But could it be that the difference we taste is something a little more than just a psychological effect?
You might be relieved to know that there could be two scientific reasons behind your soda tasting better from a glass bottle… carbon dioxide (CO2) and polymers!
CO2 is used to carbonate beverages which gives soda its distinct fresh and bubbly texture that we all know and love. As glass is a less permeable material than plastic and aluminium, it is much harder for the CO2 to escape. This means that in a glass bottle, soda will stay fresher and fizzier for longer.
It might be true that the formula of the beverage will always stay the same, but the packaging could potentially react with the beverage! Glass is the least reactive material used for containing soda, whereas cans and plastic bottles use polymers in their packaging. Polymers are molecules that line the inside of the container which can react with the liquid, subtly changing its flavor.
The polymers in aluminium can react with the liquid meaning it could absorb soluble flavours, this can result in the flavour being slightly adjusted, explaining why your soda doesn’t quite taste like it would from a glass bottle.
The polymer in plastic bottles is called acetaldehyde which reacts differently to those in cans. Acetaldehyde reacts in a way that it migrates into the beverage, this could explain why your soda might have a slight plastic-like taste when drinking it from a plastic bottle.
Psychological or Scientific? You decide
For the most unaltered and freshest taste, your best bet is to drink soda from a glass bottle. Although beverage companies claim that there’s no difference, science proves that glass is the least reactive and least permeable material used for containing soda!