If you’re a millennial, perhaps you’ve been at the receiving end of a parent/grandparent reminiscing/lecturing you about how Coca-Cola (i.e Coke) tasted so much better when it was sold in little glass bottles. Well, a recent study has found that this taste preference has less to do with your parent’s nostalgia for carefree childhood days than you thought, and more to do with the actual taste of Coke.
But, let’s back up a little. Sara Risch, the founder of Science by Design, which is a consulting firm for food, flavour and packaging companies, explained that fizzy drinks like Coke change depending on how they are stored, by virtue of being carbonated.
The carbon dioxide in drinks (which gives them their fizz) reacts with polymers (tiny molecules that make up materials) in the packaging. Carbonated drinks stored in plastic bottles may absorb the polymer acetaldehyde found in plastic, while the polymers in aluminium cans of the drinks may actually absorb some of the flavours of the drink. In both scenarios, the taste of the drink is affected.
Glass Over Plastic and Aluminium
On the other hand, glass causes less reactions than aluminium and plastic, which allows the drink to stay in its purest, most delicious form.
“While packaging and food companies work to prevent any interactions, they can occur,” Risch commented.
In the time that lapses between the manufacture of the drink, transportation, distribution and storage, Coke in plastic and aluminium cans would become more and more likely to have its flavour altered.
We know that glass bottles of Coke are a bit difficult to find nowdays. However, when you next find yourself craving a bottle of fizzy, why not try pouring it into a glass rather than a plastic cup? Can you taste the difference?