Why Does Root Beer Foam So Much?

What is Root BeeršŸ»

Root beer is a sweet North American beverage traditionally made using the root bark of the sassafras tree Sassafras albidum or the vine of Smilax ornata (sarsaparilla) as the primary flavor.

person holding white labeled bottle
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Root beer is typically but not exclusively non-alcoholic, caffeine-free, sweet, and carbonated. It usually has a thick and foamy head when poured.

SinceĀ safroleĀ was banned by theĀ U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationĀ in 1960 due to itsĀ carcinogenicity, most commercial root beers have been flavored using artificial sassafras flavoring, but a few use a safrole-free sassafras extract. Major producers includeĀ A&W,Ā Barq’s,Ā Dad’s,Ā Hires, andĀ Mug.

ā€œGive a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll sit in a boat with a fishing pole and drink beer all day.ā€

Lorena McCourtney, ‘Invisible’

Why Does Root Beer Foam So Much?

Root beer was originally made partially with sassafras root bark (and sarsaparilla, etc) which naturally foamed.

Did you know
Did you know

Carbonated beverages form bubbles – in seltzer water, the bubbles dissipate quickly. When flavoring ingredients are added, the bubbles frequently form an extended-lasting foam.

If you add a substance that acts as a ‘surfactant,’ (lowers the surface tension) the bubbles will last even longer. Almost like dishwashing detergent foam.

Sassafras naturally acts as a surfactant – the dried, ground leaves are called gumbo file, or simply file, and are wont to thicken Creole gumbo. 

Equivalent mucilaginous properties that thicken gumbo, made soft drink form an extended-lasting foam. (The amount and sort of carbonation – natural or artificial – also affects the dimensions of the bubbles).

Did you know , Why Does Root Beer Foam So Much? I have found good article for it .Follow @foodmady for more like interesting facts about food and beverages. #facts

Sassafras root bark contains safrole, which the FDA determined was a possible carcinogen and banned within the 1960s. Root beer manufacturers turned to other flavoring combinations as a substitute (sarsaparilla, ginger, juniper, wintergreen, licorice, anise, cinnamon, lemon oil, orange oil, cloves, vanilla, and artificial flavors, in various combinations.).

But none of those have equivalent foam-enhancing qualities as sassafras root bark. So other surfactants are added, including an extract from the yucca plant.

The particular brands of Root beer that foam tons do so because that is the way the manufacturers make it – foaming characteristics became a part of the marketing campaigns.
Not all Root beer foam an equivalent – as an example Barq’s soft drink is more highly carbonated and Dad’s root beer has more long-lasting foam.

Author: FoodMady

Just mad about food, real inspiration for Foodamdy :D

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