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Optionally Diet Soda Fountain

Unsweetened Soda Flavors + Sweetened CO2 Water
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Modern soda fountains use sweetened, flavored syrups, combined with unsweetened, unflavored, carbonated water.

If the sweetener were moved from the flavoring agent into the carbonated water, the flavoring agent could be made much more concentrated (saving money on shipping), and the soda fountain could readily switch between sugar-sweetened carbonated water, and artificially sweetened carbonated water.

goldbb, May 12 2009

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       there was once an idea to sell a carbonated sugar-water bottle with 3-4 "squeeze-pouches" in it's shell. Each fingernail-sized pouch contains a different flavor and coloring. Squeeze the pouch and the soda gets flavored... This way you can choose your soda flavor "on the fly" ! Since flavoring substances constitute only ~0.2% of the total volume of a regular soda, this is entirely doable. Of course, a psychological barrier exists, for you actually get to see how much "added value" you get for your money when you buy a soda, and realize how much you are being ripped off.
supershnitzel, May 13 2009
  

       is the sweetener such a big percentage of the whole additives? do you have some numbers on that?
loonquawl, May 13 2009
  

       So you're switching the sweetening factor from the syrup to the carbonated water?   

       What benefits are there in doing that?   

       Is this like instead of buying bread that's been pre-buttered (or pre-margarined), buying butter (or margarine) with bits of bread in it?
zen_tom, May 13 2009
  

       You don't save any money on shipping as exactly the same number of pounds of stuff is shipped. The water is carbonated at the nozzle, not before. Some drinks are still. Concentrates are generally manufactured at 5/1 ratios, Diet and regular, for even blending. The recipes for diet and regular concentrates are dramatically different, they cannot "swap" sweeteners.
WcW, May 13 2009
  

       The same number of pounds are shipped, however, the soda fountain operator buys his sugar from a sugar manufacturer, rather than from the soda company. If the distance from the sugar manufacturer to the fountain operator is shorter than the sum of the distance from the sugar manufacter to the flavor maker, and the distance from the flavor maker to the fountain operator, then the sugar is shipped a shorter distance. Plus, you avoid a middleman (the flavor maker can't mark up price of the sugar, if you don't buy it from him).   

       To make the fountain simpler, the unsweetened flavor concentrates could be made at 50/1 ratio, the fountain would have one carbonated sugar-sweetened water reservoir, and one carbonated chemical-sweetened water reservoir, and one unsweetened carbonated water reservoir.   

       The water in the two sweet reservoirs would taste equally sweet: specifically, sweet enough to taste good in the most sweetened drink that the fountain will dispense.   

       Installed together with the flavor containers would be special mixing cartridges (one cartridge for each flavor), which would mix sweetened and unsweetened carbonated water in the appropriate proportion for the corresponding drink. The cartridges would be changed whenever the flavors are changed.   

       So if I push the button for non-diet root beer, the soda fountain would direct sugar-sweetened carbonated water, unsweetened carbonated water, and root beer flavor into the root beer mixing cartridge, and out would come perfectly mixed root beer soda.   

       (The soda fountain would be "ignorant" of the proportions needed; it would all be handled in the mixing cartridges.)
goldbb, May 13 2009
  

       As a consumer, I like this because I could control how much sugar or sweetner. I think 25% plain, 50% chemical, 25% sugar would be good for me for most softdrinks.
Zuzu, May 14 2009
  
      
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