How Coke is Made and Bottled
The composition and bottling process is a complex and interesting process. It takes a lot to make every single bottle of Coke taste the same. The World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta has a special room dedicated to the bottling process. It is a room full of robotic arms, machines and so on. I actually got to see the bottling process while I was in Atlanta, so here is my recount of the Coca-Cola bottling process.
The exhibit is a replica of an actual bottling plant. The process is just slowed down for guests to see what goes on. Everything is robotic; nothing is done by the human hand.
First off, the Cokes are taken to the cleaning unit. Here, the bottles get cleaned, steamed and sanitized to rid them of any dirt and debris. This is done by jet streams and water. Then, the bottles are picked up by something that can only be described as an overhead conveyer belt. It's not a traditional conveyer belt, though. Individual clamps pick up a bottle, and they are transported from station to station above the room.
It is time for the Coke to be put into the bottles.
The soda is not all put in at the same time. The mixing process actually has more steps now than it did when it was first bottled. Before, the syrup would go in first, and the carbonated water would go on top.
Now, in a room full of bags of sugar and buckets of caramel coloring, Coke is bottled using four different steps. First, pure water is put in the bottle by a machine, after that, refined sugar is added to the mix.
Then, the sugar water gets the Coke's secret formula mixture and some caramel coloring. A machines shake the bottles up a bit to make sure everything is mixed together well.
After everything is mixed together, carbon dioxide is added to the mix to make the drink fizz. After all, who wants a flat bottle of Coke? The machines then sent the bottle down another conveyer. In any Coke bottling plant, this would be the point where drinks would be checked by a person for quality, but since this was an exhibit, this step was not shown to visitors.
The exhibit continues to the back of the museum, where visitors exit. The eight-ounce glass bottles of Cokes come off the conveyer belt, and they are available for visitors to take home.