The Coca-Cola Challenge: Plastic, Glass Or Cans?

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognised beverages in the world today. Tracing its history back for over 100 years, there are very few individuals on earth who have not enjoyed the carbon-induced flavour that this treat offers. Thanks to modern technology, this tempting drink is available in a variety of containers. This is very convenient for the consumer, for it is not always possible or convenient to enjoy Coca-Cola within a traditional glass bottle. What are some of the drawbacks of other containers and why do many feel that cans (surprisingly) offer the best taste of all?

A Bit of Science

Before examining which container is the best, it is important to appreciate a bit of basic science. Coca-Cola is a liquid and like any liquid, it will tend to absorb the properties of a container over time. We can view this principle in the very same way as a bottle of water that has not been opened for more than a year. Although the integrity of the water itself is not compromised, many will state that a decidedly "plastic" taste has permeated what would have otherwise been pure water. Science actually reinforces this observation. A recent study carried out by a university in the United States has come to some interesting conclusions.
First, there is the issue of permeability. As we all know, the appeal of a typical glass of Coca-Cola is derived from its taste. A portion of this attraction is due to its fizzy sensation within the mouth. Not all containers are made equally in this respect.
Another consideration is commonly referred to as "flavour transfer". In other words, certain containers are better at preventing the liquid from becoming tainted with foreign particles. Now that we have examined these two basic concerns, when will Coca-Cola taste the best? You may very well be surprised to learn the answer!

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