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Today we found out why soda bottlers stamp an expiration date on their products

November 6, 2004, 11:41 PM

Yeah, on my way to work today, I found out why sodas carry an expiration date. I had always thought it was more of a marketing gimmick than something real.

Well, I was wrong.

When I was on my vacation to Virginia Beach, I bought a six-pack of Pepsi in the 24-ounce bottles. This was August 11 – day one of my vacation. While on that two-day vacation of mine, I enjoyed four of the six bottles. The remaining two bottles came home with me unused. I took them home and kind of placed them somewhere out of the way.

Now fast-forward to last week. I re-discovered those bottles under some stuff, and threw them in the fridge to get cold again.

Fast-forward again to today. Bottle #5 comes out of the refrigerator and into the hand. I took it with me to enjoy in the car on the way to work. Going down the street, I opened that bottle. And then I took a taste. My reaction: Yuck. That soda was flat. It was definitely NOT sharp and fizzy like it was supposed to be. Instead it was flat as a pancake. Then I realized the bottle had that “for best taste” thing on it, and to look at the date stamped on the bottle. This soda expired on November 1. I was surprised. But that explained a lot.

Also taught me something about soda – it doesn’t last forever. Especially with plastic being a somewhat porous material, the carbonation probably went out right through the bottle itself. Or something like that (osmosis, maybe?). I’m not an expert on these things. But still, this is one soda that essentially “died in the can”.

Serves me right for waiting three months to drink it. Since the four bottles I drank while on vacation were sharp and fizzy like they were supposed to be. Fresh product at its best. Wait three months, and you’ve got something that’s not quite Pepsi running around masquerading as Pepsi.

Now the next thing to do is figure out what to do with that sixth bottle. Will I end up having it on my way to work? It’s not a bad idea, but again, it probably will be flat as well. Who knows. The caffeine’s still just as potent, though, which is a good thing.

Categories: Food and drink