Root Beer Foam

What makes root beer more foamy than other sodas? The suds seem foamy as opposed to the “fizzy” nature of other sodas (pops).

Isn’t all carbonation created equal?

  • Jinx

Natural detergents derived from desert plants supply the foamy head on root beer. Sarsaparilla was the source of these saponins until the early 60’s, when the FDA declared that it contained too much carcininogec saffrole to be fit for human consumption. Now (see link) the detergents in root beer come from Yucca plants, or quillaja bark.

Mmmm… detergents!

The liquid portion of Root Beer is somewhat thicker than that of other carbonated beverages, and therefore allows for more tenacious bubbles which accumulate into a large, long-lasting head that dissipates comparitively slowly. It’s the popping of these bubbles that, in colas and other sodas, make them seem “fizzy” (as they explode at a high rate) while Root Beer seems "“foamy” because its bubbles grow larger and last longer.