On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans eat more food in one day than on any other day of the year, after Thanksgiving. So whether you’re preparing to host a bash or just a quiet evening with a few snacks and drinks, you may be interested to learn how much of your Superbowl fare is brought to you by some amazing gases.
Here’s a rundown of some Super Bowl favorites:
Just wingin’ it: Where would the game be without chicken wings? Nowhere, says the National Chicken Council. Americans are expected to consume 1.3 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl 50, up 37.5 million from last year. That’s four wings per person. Ever wonder how those palatable pops of protein end up so mouthwateringly delicious? Thank the two billion pounds of carbon dioxide or nitrogen that cryogenically chilled the meat just after processing, or cryogenically froze it after marinating or even frying.
Pour me a cold one: Want a beer? Sure you do, it’s the SuperBowl! You’re not alone if you tip back one, or a few, on Super Bowl Sunday. Americans reportedly consume some 325 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday – more than one gallon per person. But that sudsy brew would be awfully flat without the help of carbon dioxide. While most beer bubbles are naturally produced carbon dioxide from fermentation, beer makers often add a bit more CO2 during bottling or packaging– especially for light beers that contain more water – to make sure your favorite drink doesn’t fall flat. The same holds true for another game favorite -- soft drinks -- which also get their effervescence through carbonation.
Say cheese: On your pizza. Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza sales at restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. And don’t forget to stop at the store in case you’re planning to bake a frozen pizza instead of having it delivered.
Bet you can’t eat just one: Chip, of course. And we don’t. In fact, as a nation, we’re eating nearly 20 tons of chips that day – everything from the old standard, potato, to tortilla to pita – in one day. But have you ever wondered how those bags stay puffy so the chips don’t get crushed? Chip makers often add a puff of nitrogen – a process called modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, to the bag before it’s sealed to make the bag rigid and eliminate residual oxygen, which contributes to rancidity.
Sometimes you feel like a nut: Roasted, toasted, shelled or salted? It’s up to you. We’re expected to eat some 3 million pounds on Sunday. And if you’ve ever noticed the little hissing noise when you peel back the foil from a can or jar or nuts, it’s the air rushing in, as the nitrogen – added using MAP – to prevent rancidity – exits.
You’ve got lots of delicious choices to enjoy, thanks to some amazing gases. So now just sit back and enjoy the show!
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