The Real Reason Canned And Bottled Sodas Don't Taste The Same

Canned sodas or bottled, what's your preference? Cans are undeniably lighter, more portable, easier to open, and also kind of fun to crush once you're done drinking them. But there's something satisfying about a bottle, too... they're nicer looking, and they just feel better to drink from — oh, and they can also be repurposed into cool DIY salt and pepper shakers depending on what they're made from, according to this YouTube video.

But what about the taste? Is it just you, or is there a subtle difference in flavor between the two types of soda? Relax, everyone else has noticed this, too. But how can it be, when it's the exact same soda that goes into both bottle and can? As a spokesperson for Coca-Cola told Business Insider, the company uses the same recipe regardless of the package type, and yet it seems that the packaging does affect the taste of the product. One specific element, namely a liner used on the inside of aluminum cans, may well be changing the taste of your soda.

How polymer can liners change the taste of soda

While some people prefer bottles due to a perception that cans can make soda taste "metallic," in most cases it isn't the metal itself that is affecting the taste. The only place at which the soda contacts bare metal is as it passes over the can opening and into your mouth, and in this brief moment, it's not possible for the soda to pick up any flavor from the metal — although, if you are really sensitive to metal, you may detect a slight metallic taste as your lips touch the can. Ironically, the factor most likely to be altering your soda's flavor profile is the polymer can liner that keeps the soda away from the can's outer metal layer.

As food chemist Sara Risch told Popular Mechanics, it is possible for the polymer lining to absorb some of the soda's taste, which means there could be less flavor reaching your taste buds. If you want to experience your soda in its purest form as the manufacturers intended it to be, your best bet is going to be to drinking it from a glass bottle — although, even then, if your soda has been exposed to light or has been sitting in storage for a long time, it may also have experienced some flavor loss.

So, yeah, maybe just get a SodaStream? Or perhaps it's time to consider giving up soda altogether. Sure, it may be difficult at first, but your body will really thank you.