How Soft Drinks Are Made and Bottled




Video Transcript:

“The soft drink was born of the drug store soda fountain where pharmacists would serve up various flavours of carbonated water initially considered a medicinal drink. These sodas became so popular that customers wanted to be
able to buy them in bottles to take home. That demand spawned the soft drink industry.

In 2003 almost 195 billion litres of soft drinks were sold around the world. That’s 30 litres for every person on earth! These 2 litre plastic bottles have just arrived from the bottle factory. Even though they’re brand new bottles, the soft
drink plant still has to clean them before filling them. This rinsing machine turns the bottles upside down, the flushes them with water the plant filters on site. Once the water drains out, the machine turns the bottles right side up again and they make their way to the filling station.

Meanwhile in the mixing room, technicians prepare whatever soft drink they’ll be bottling in this production run. Each recipe begins with filtered water. It makes up 86% of the drink. The rest is syrup. Each syrup recipe is a combination of carefully measured ingredients, natural and artificial colouring and flavouring and one of more of various types of sugar such as glucose or fructose, extracted from beets, corn or cane. This machine releases the right proportion of syrup to filtered water creating the final soft drink, minus the bubbles. The drink now travels to a pressurized tank called the carbonator.

There, an injection of carbon dioxide infuses the drink with gas bubbles. The carbonated soft drink now travels to the reservoir of the bottling machine. The bottles arrive and travel it’s carousel. The machine removes the air in each bottle then fills it with, in this case, 2 litres of Cola. Now onto the capping machine. The caps come down the chute, propelled by filtered air. The machine twists a cap on the part of the bottle, called the crimp, intertwining the
threads of the cap and crimp tightly to hermetically seal the bottle.

Next stop, labeling. The machines roller applies cold glue to one metal plate after another. Each plate then grabs a label and applies it to a bottle. Brushes smooth edges down ensuring the labels adhere well. Elsewhere in the plant, a machine called the uncaser, unloads cases of refillable glass bottles that have come back to the factory. The cases continue toward a case washing machine. The dirty bottles head toward the bottle washing machine where devices called cells, line them up in rows of 16. Each bottle tilts and enters the washer neck first. Inside a combination of powerful water jets and soap remove dirt and germs. Then water jets rinse off all traces of soap. As they exit, they pass in front of a neon inspection light. Workers pull any problem bottles off the line.

Now the bottles head to the same bottling machine as before, only now it’s been adjusted to fill each bottle with 300 milliliters of drink, in this case, orange soda. This factory takes a sample from each production run for quality control testing. The lab technicians test such things as the dilution ratio of syrup to water, the carbonisation level and the airtight seal. They also analyse the purity of the drink and container by running the sample through a paper filter. They put the filter into a petri dish containing the nutrients needed to grow micro organisms. Then they incubate at a precise temperature and observe if any bacteria grow.

These glass bottles have old-fashioned bottle caps – not the twist caps the plastic bottles have. As each cap drops down onto a bottle the machine squeezes it tightly, creating an airtight seal. Once the bottles are filled and capped they go into shipping cases.”


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