Have you ever eaten fruit that tasted as if it has been carbonated and is effervescent?
That is what we call a fizzy taste, which is typically a characteristic of carbonated beverages and drinks.
Most likely, if a fruit tastes fizzy, it indicates that the process of fermentation has started in the fruit.
In simpler words, the fruit has started to go bad.
This phenomenon is more common in tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, etc.
It is also observed in other fruits such as berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
The real science behind the fizzy fruit is discussed below.
To make the fruit fizzy, take some fresh fruits, and carbonate it.
If the fruit freezes up, it won’t be fizzy. Sweet fruits tend to work extraordinarily well with this.
The flavor and sweetness are controlled by carbonic acid, which evolves from carbon dioxide, and by the coldness given to the fruit.
The solubility of carbon dioxide within the fruit is determined by dry ice.
Dry ice slowly undergoes sublimation, thus increasing the pressure within it.
This results in the freezing of the fruit. Higher pressure and low temperatures help to make the fruit fizzier.
What Causes The Fruit Fizzy Taste?
Microorganisms such as yeast are naturally present on the surface of fruits.
These microorganisms act as the process starters and are crucial for the process of fermentation.
The more you wash/rinse fruits, the less likely they are to ferment and taste fizzy.
Some fruits contain a small amount of citric acid in it, which acts as a microbial product.
Although many fruits have citric acid in it naturally, artificially synthesized citric acid is made by the surface process and the submerged process.
In surface techniques, the microorganisms are refined on the surface of the liquid or the solid substrate.
The surface technique is kind of a complicated one, so this process is not used frequently in industries.
In the submerged process, enzymes and other reactants are immersed in a liquid.
This process is not that much complicated as a surface process, and it is frequently used in industries.
Fizziness is the result of ‘natural fermentation’ in the fruit.
Typically, there are two types of natural fermentation, depending on the availability of micro-organisms and oxygen.
Alcoholic fermentation simply breaks down the sugar into alcohol (ethanol) and carbon dioxide.
The other type of fermentation is called lactic acid fermentation.
This one usually occurs in microorganisms like bacteria and yeast in the absence of oxygen.
Lactic acid is produced from the breakdown of sugar and starch.
Most of the fermentation that occurs in a fruit/beverage is alcoholic fermentation.
Here, the sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, thus causing the effervescence and sour taste of the fruit.
However, some fruits also undergo the process of lactic acid fermentation and produce lactic acid along with carbon dioxide.
3. Contact With Bacteria
The natural ‘alcoholic fermentation’ is the contact of yeast with bacteria and the sugar present in the fruit.
Naturally, this happens when either the fruit is too ripe, or there is any physical damage to the fruit like fruits falling off the tree.
Once the skin is damaged, the yeast/bacteria find it easier to access the sugar in the pulp and thus start the process of fermentation.
4. Chemical Reactions
The next step is a series of chemical reactions between the yeast/bacteria and the sugar.
The microbes break down the sugar present in the pulp into a series of intermediary chemical compounds.
These are, in turn, broken into ethanol and carbon dioxide or lactic acid and carbon dioxide, depending on the type of fermentation.
In an ideal environment, there would be no oxygen.
Thus the process would lead to the formation of a higher quantity of pure ethanol or lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
In the end, there is no significant amount of ethanol and carbon dioxide produced since there is an adequate amount of oxygen that interferes with the process.
Fizzy Taste As An Outcome
The carbon dioxide together, along with the lactic acid or ethanol, stays in the fruit and gives a ‘carbonated and sour’ taste to the fruit.
Some people also describe the fizzy taste as an effervescent and bubbly appearance, which is the result of all the carbon dioxide accumulating in the fruit from the reactions.
If this state keeps continuing, the fruit accumulates a greater amount of ethanol or lactic acid and thus goes completely bad.
In the fewest possible words, the inhalation of carbon dioxide causes an intense burning sensation within the lungs.
This sensation is initiated by a responsive system of our body, which further stimulates the sensation of pain due to increased carbon dioxide intake.
When we take any fizzy food or drink, a large amount of carbon dioxide accumulates in our oral cavity and is forced into the nasal cavity.
This triggers a painful sensation in our nasal cavity.
Eating frozen fruits also causes the burning of the tongue.
The phenomenon of fizzy fruits can also be related to some of the funny ‘drunk animal’ scenes you may have witnessed.
If you have ever seen a deer or a squirrel acting funny, most likely it is that the animal has eaten fruits that have started fermentation.
The fermented alcohol (ethanol) present in the fruit is consumed by the animal and causes ‘drunk’ behavior.
This can be shown in the animal’s loss of balance or continuous unconsciousness.
Besides carbon dioxide, there are plenty of things that could make fruits taste fizzy.
Although it is considered normal to consume the fruit at such a stage, it is recommended that any fizzy tasted fruit should be avoided from consumption.
Fruits like this, as stated above, are rich in strong probiotics, leading to side effects such as gas and bloating.
Moreover, fermented fruits might also be harboring many disease-causing microbes.
Therefore, it is best to avoid them as much as possible. This was all about the factors/parameters, which causes fizziness in fruits.
It also briefs about some applications of fizzy fruits as well.