New High-Tech Sprite Makes Its Own Ice When Opened

Do you like half-frozen Sprite? Move to the UK. That’s where Coca-Cola Company is debuting “Sprite Super Chilled.”

Apparently, the drink is stored in special custom vending machine that keeps it at a certain temperature. When the drink is opened, some sort of “mechanism” inside causes the drink to form ice out of the Sprite inside. We do not understand this, but if its successful, expect to see Coke and Diet Coke as well.

Coke plots ‘Sprite with ice’ with help of new technology [Marketingweek via Buzzfeed]
(Photo:Abandoned In Place)

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  1. kimsama says:

    Must be some sort of mechanism that triggers an endothermic reaction (like those little instant cold-packs, in which you twist some metal and a chemical reaction cools the pack). It’ll be interesting to see how they are going to implement it. Will the cap twist introduce a chemical that reacts with the carbonic acid? Hmm…cool.

  2. kimsama says:

    @kimsama: D’oh, wait…metal disks are only used as a starter in exothermic heat packs, not cold packs. Well, chemicals are mixing it up. Yes. It’s still chemistry ^_^

  3. surfacenoise76 says:

    I thought they hated ice in the UK? That’s been my experience.

  4. stre says:

    They could be just keeping the drink just above its natural freezing point. When it’s opened, the expanding gas would cool off the surface of the drink, jump starting the freezing of the rest of it. My college roommate left a beer in the freezer too long one night and when he opened it, the same thing happened. It just needed that extra cold kick start from the expanding gases.

  5. edrift101 says:

    Pretty interesting innovation, but is it safe for consumers?

  6. ChrisC1234 says:

    This almost seems like it would turn into an instant slushee of sorts. Why do they have to do it in the UK though. Coca-Cola is an AMERICAN company… they should debut it here.

  7. scoopy says:

    @edrift101: No, consumers will most certainly drop dead from using this product. It is only safe for non-consumers.

  8. rmz says:

    This is a great idea. I love half-frozen slush-type drinks. When I was younger I would often stick my drink the freezer for 10-15 minutes so it would end up just like this. Great during the summer :)

  9. Beerad says:

    Perhaps it only works with sugar-based, and not corn syrup-based soda? Not sure what the UK uses, but that’s my rampant speculation.

  10. markrubi says:

    I think this is just the sprite is at a certain temp. When the can is opened ice will form. This is how the Icee drink was first invented. Omar Knedlik would put pop into a freezer and he noticed it would not freeze until after opening. I do this all the time with pops in the fridge.

  11. markrubi says:

    STRE IS right. This is how the Icee drink was invented by Omar Knedlik. Keep and carbonated drink at the right temp after opening it will start to form a slush. This is nothing new. It’s rather old and Coke is just using it to sell more product. Nothing wrong there I like my drink super cold but not frozen solid. I do this in my fridge with pops all the time.

  12. markrubi says:

    well hell. I didnt think my first post got published. oh well…

  13. CurbRunner says:

    I’d like to know what chemicals they use, that we would be swallowing, to get the chilled reaction.
    It must be some kind of catalyst. It’s probably proprietary so it won’t be in the ingredient list.

  14. Veeber says:

    For those who remember high school (I think, maybe it was undergrad) PV=nRT For this application we would generally just be looking at the relationship of P (pressure) to T (temperature) To keep this equation in balance, as pressure decreases, temperature must decrease as well. (a complicated way of saying what Stre already noted)

    They could probably enhance the effect by increasing the gas pressure in the bottle and allowing it to escape in a controled way by changing the bottle design, but as long as they chill it to just above freezing you would see the same effect with a normal bottle.

  15. vanilla-fro says:

    How about putting ice in it? that’s been working for a long time now hasn’t it? I don’t need any extra chemicals in my already malnutritious and chemical ladin soft drinks.

  16. emona says:

    Wouldn’t it be simpler just to crank up the cold in the ‘special’ vending machine? I have slushy soda all the time just by storing my drinks at the back of my fridge closer to the air vent. I’m not sure I’d be too psyched to drink anything that froze on its own.

  17. maevro says:

    I was the same way RMZ…..

    I think this is a good idea.

  18. rmz says:

    @CurbRunner:
    @vanilla-fro:

    How about actually reading the comments before jumping on the “OMG CHEMICALS” paranoia bandwagon? It’s very possible to do this with no chemicals whatsoever.

  19. Maurik says:

    Probably the sa

  20. Maurik says:

    Please remove my above comment, don’t know what that was submitted.

    Maybe it’s the same mechanism as the corona ice trick, check it out by searching that on youtube.

  21. blue_duck says:

    That is the coolest thing I have ever seen. Well, not really… I saw a dog dressed up as a Krispie Kreme dougnut guy earlier.

  22. Piri says:

    There’s no mechanism. It’s physics. Fluids under pressure freeze at a lower temperature than fluids at one atmosphere of pressure. If it’s kept in it’s sealed carbonated bottle at 30 F when you remove the cap and release the pressure it will almost instantly slush-over.

    I’ve done this in my own freezer many times, it’s perfectly safe.

  23. ksevcik says:

    Hate to break it to the “physicists” in these comments, but this has absolutely nothing to do with gas pressure. PV=nRT only applies to gases, and that amount of chilled gas isn’t going to do a thing to the temperature of the liquid. And liquids under pressure have a HIGHER melting point, so they’d be more likely to freeze.

    This process is entirely about nucleation sites. Ice doesn’t spontaneously form without some imperfection to build around. The insides of glass bottles are highly smooth, so there’s nowhere for ice to form until you disturb the top of the liquid with air from the outside. Or just give it a really good thump. If you don’t believe me, try the freezer trick with a bottle of Sobe or something. No pressure, no carbonation, no chemicals, just sugar water. The only trick Coke is likely employing is the super-chilling and some extra smooth cans.

  24. themediatrix says:

    Well, this is almost as exciting as the original Boddington’s widget…! (Of course, I bothered to comment, so I guess that’s saying something.)

  25. AskCars says:

    I would think until they figure out a way to do this for room temperature sodas it wouldn’t be a big deal. Imagine if you could take two cokes on a road trip (or for the to and from commute) and open them at any time and they’re cold. No need for those silly glovebox coolers.

  26. fryfrog says:

    My mother works for coke and when I ran across this I emailed her and this is what she replied:

    [quote]
    Yes, but the way it works is not something in the bottle or product. We’ve developed a piece of cold drink equipment we call SuperChill. It keeps the beverage (has to be a sugar beverage, doesn’t work on diet given the lower vicosity, or at least not yet). When you open the bottle, ice crystals begin to form, all through the beverage – it’s really cool (no pun intended). I’ve had this happen with the old fashioned glass bottles that are really cold. We’ve figured out how to make it happen on purpose and consistently. I love going to our KO Lab, just to get one! Equipment just beginning to go in some markets, think Mexico first. Cool Coke innovation at work!

    love, mom
    [/quote]

    Dan of dansdata.com has a great “expose” on this phenomenon at [dansdata.blogsome.com]

  27. arcticJKL says:

    Finally cold drinks in London!

  28. vanilla-fro says:

    @rmz: I didn’t know that all the people commenting worked for coke. Anyway, they’re saying mechanism in the actual article. If it is just the pressure relaese turning it to ice fine, still no need for excitment and if they charge more…certainly no need for the product. if it is something in the bottle (solid/liquid/gas), I still don’t want it.

    By the way (sorry I mean BTW) thanks for being so much smarter than I am and jumping my sh*t for it.

  29. Buckler says:

    @DAVID THOMAS

    “I would think until they figure out a way to do this for room temperature sodas it wouldn’t be a big deal.”

    They did, at least for astronauts. As I recall, NASA challenged the major soft-drink manufacturers to create a self-cooling soft-drink for space use. IIRC, Coca-cola came up with a design that included a cone full of CO2 that dipped down into the liquid. To open it, you first released a seal that vented the CO2, thus instantly chilling the cone, and thereby chilling the soda. A nifty idea, but the cone took up too much of the product space, and a can for consumer use would have cost about ten bucks.

  30. BrockBrockman says:

    @vanilla-fro: OMGWTFLOLBBQ That’s what you get for being so stupid! Just kidding. Some people like to rub the whole “I’m RIGHT, you’re WRONG” self-righteous deal on these comments, try not to take it personally.

    Otherwise, addressing what I think is the Consumerist’s concern, is that the process of super-freezing your drink is entirely safe (until some grandma unexpectedly loses a digit from frostbite), but requires sugary beverages (i.e. no high-fructose corn syrup).

    I think it’s a pretty neat “technology”, but I’m kind of a sucker for soda-gimmicks. Crystal Pepsi, Coke Blak, sure they suck, but I admit to having been an early adopter of new soda technology.

  31. Bloberry says:

    I’ve been doing this for years. Simply stick a bottle or can of pop in the freezer, take it out after about 45 minutes, and open it. Voila! Instant ice. No biggie.

  32. no.no.notorious says:

    yum. chemicals.

  33. Canadian Impostor says:

    @fryfrog: That’s what I thought, I remember throwing glass bottles of coke in the freezer as a kid. If you wait too long they explode, but if you time it just right the soda is liquid until you pop the top and it all instantly freezes.

  34. Scooter says:

    This could be interesting if it is a success, but I have the distinct feeling that this could be another Crystal Pepsi.

  35. mac-phisto says:

    wait. so if coke patents this…mechanism, am i going to be punished for patent infringement when this inadvertently happens to my beer?

  36. Whtthfgg says:

    Doesnt this instafreezing tend to make the soda go flat?? I swear I remember that from when I was younger.

  37. Dervish says:

    @BrockBrockman: Unless I’m missing something, it would work with HFCS coke too – just not diet. At least, that’s what I’ve been able to find.

    And we’re not trying to adopt the whole “I’m right/you’re wrong” attitude, so please don’t get up in arms about it. I think some of us are just sick of all the uninformed “OMGWTFBBQ CHEMICALS=BAD!” comments that seem to accompany any article about food. See [en.wikipedia.org] for more on this.

    With that said, I’d try something like this in a second and I really hope they start selling coke like this in the states. I loves me a coke slurpee, but I live about two states from the nearest 7-11. If I can satisfy that fix with slushy coke I’d be a happy person.

  38. rickhamilton620 says:

    Sweet, why cant we have this kind of stuff in the US?

  39. killavanilla says:

    Awesome.
    Now bring it to the US and make it coke.
    Frozen Coke, mmmmmmmmm.

  40. vanilla-fro says:

    @Dervish: uninformed??? you just used wikipedia to make a point. HA. you know people make that shit up right? it’s not a real encyclopedia, you know that?

  41. squikysquiken says:

    I’ve had that happen in my little fridge in my office that I use to keep soda. I guess the fridge is just really cold and when I open a can out of it, the liquid slush-over almost instantly. It’s pretty tasty too. Also, it seems to work with diet soda just fine.

  42. Dervish says:

    @vanilla-fro: Yes, I know that it isn’t an acutal encyclopedia in and of itself. I also know that if something is wildly wrong or biased, someone will usually edit it to be closer to accurate. I also know that in addition to being very accessible and understandable (as opposed to a scientific or technical journal) it is a good starting point for gathering other references on a subject, so please do feel free to check any of the supporting references at the end of the entry. Or even take a glance at the discussion page, which usually sheds some light on how valid a particular entry is. All of the above are reasons why I didn’t claim that wikipedia was the be-all-end-all definitive source on this subject.

    It’s necessary to do your own legwork on these things so that you don’t end up blindy believing someone’s opinion or bad science, which was the point of my original post.

  43. mac-phisto says:

    @vanilla-fro: you know “real” encyclopedias are also biased, right? encyclopaedia britannica is not without its own critics – & has never been. perhaps EB deserves more credence b/c they have survived centuries of criticism, but credence is simply an acceptance of truth, not truth inherent.

  44. AbstractConcept says:

    MMMM

  45. MarvinMar says:

    Mabey they are using this Self Chilling can
    [www.tempratech.com]

  46. @fryfrog: That is freaking awesome!

    Insta-Slushy!