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Pop! Fizz. Ah-h! It happens millions of times a day, every day. That feeling of thirst hits, someone opens a Pepsi and the magic begins. Cold. Effervescent. Delicious. Each time, every time.
Of course, that's what you expect from a great product like Pepsi-Cola. Or from Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew or any of our other popular soft drinks and other beverages.
But how do we do it? How can the people at Pepsi be sure that every single bottle and can of Pepsi-Cola is always great-tasting, sparkling and fresh?
Actually, there's no secret to how to make Pepsi (except for the recipe). But there is a system. And that system, plus a lot of hard work, is what enables Pepsi-Cola and the independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers all around the world to bring you that high-quality, consistently refreshing Pepsi taste each time you open one of our products.
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The system starts with the finest ingredients available kola nuts, vanilla beans, flavor oils, citrus, sweeteners and the purest waters we can distill. Then we add the best technology and all the care we can muster to blend our ingredients.
And during the 100-plus years we've been making soft drinks, we've also created our own exacting production and quality standards, monitored with constant testing to guarantee quality and consistency in our products.
Finally, we have our own local distribution system. It's designed to make sure that the Pepsi you open at home is as fresh and delicious as it was when we sealed it at our plant. And it serves every city and town in the United States.
Complicated? For sure. And expensive, too. But there's no other way we can be certain that Pepsi-Cola products you buy are the highest quality, best value products we can make.
Now, here's what all of those steps look like:
Flavor concentrates are shipped from special Pepsi-Cola manufacturing plants in heavy-duty, air-tight containers. Liquid sweeteners are transported in special tanker trucks. All ingredients and food products are stored in clean, sanitary areas, and items requiring refrigeration are kept in temperature-controlled areas.
The bottles and cans that will eventually be filled with Pepsi are manufactured elsewhere, and shipped to Pepsi plants wrapped and sealed for protection. Labels, cartons, caps, the carbon dioxide used to carbonate soft drinks and other supplies are also produced for Pepsi by other companies. On arrival, everything is subject to careful inspection to make certain all of the ingredients and materials meet high Pepsi standards.
Special equipment is used to uncase and depalletize incoming shipments of bottles and cans. Cans are by far the most popular package with consumers because they're lightweight and easy to store. Though bulky, the cartons and pallets on which the empty packages arrive are also relatively light in weight, so it's easy for the machines to automatically remove the cans from their shipping containers at high speed. The machines then transfer the individual packages to a conveyor belt.
Once on the belt, cans are part of an enclosed, controlled environment that keeps them sanitary and helps ensure quality throughout the filling process. They travel rapidly through a printer that applies a production code to each can. Then they're automatically turned upside down, and rinsed thoroughly with filtered water before proceeding directly to the filler.
Water is a key ingredient in all soft drinks. Pepsi-Cola takes special care to purify the water it uses a procedure that involves careful treatment, filtration and purification. Pepsi standards are precise and closely monitored at every step of the process. The result of this kind of painstaking attention to detail is that the water used in Pepsi-Cola and all of our beverages is among the purest available anywhere.
Pepsi-Cola flavor concentrate is carefully combined with sweeteners and other ingredients in large stainless steel mixing tanks. Quality control audits performed by specially trained technicians are a critical part of the manufacturing sequence for each batch, and are typical of the attention to detail that's necessary if the highest possible quality standards are to be maintained. Cleanliness is also vital, so all internal and external surfaces of the production system, including syrup lines, proportioning, cooling and carbonating equipment, are meticulously sanitized.
In the last step of the manufacturing process, as the now-rinsed cans reach the filler, they're reinverted, immediately filled and the lid is applied at an average speed of 1,200 cans per minute. The filler is where the syrups from the mixing tanks are combined with the purified water from the filtration process. The liquid is then carbonated. This carbonation process gives soft drinks the special sparkle fizzy bubbles that adds to their quality of refreshment.
All Pepsi cans and bottles are imprinted with a freshness date, which is a date code that tells you your soft drink is fresh. A final quality check ensures that the package is properly filled, sealed and labeled.
As products leave the manufacturing line, they're combined into a variety of packages six- or 12-packs, 24- or 30-can cases or cases of individual two-liter bottles. The finished packages are stacked on shipping pallets and moved to temporary holding areas or to a central warehouse for shipping.
The storage is purely temporary, since freshness is an important part of delivering the best possible product to our consumers. Some of our products will be quickly transported by large trucks to outlying districts and towns. Most, however, are loaded into Pepsi-Cola delivery trucks you see calling on food stores in your own neighborhood. Other trucks deliver Pepsi-Cola syrup to restaurants and fountains. To make sure there's always enough Pepsi for everyone who wants one, our trucks are on the road every single day. Many individual stores actually receive deliveries several times per week a big reason why the Pepsi products you buy and use are always fresh and great tasting.