How Does Popping Candy Work?

How Does Popping Candy Work?

In 1975, Popping Candy (also known as Pop Rocks) shocked people across the globe as it was introduced to the Sweet World by Pop Rocks Candy Company.

Popping Candy was first invented by a chemist called William Mitchell, whose job was to create innovative food products to capture consumers' attention. Mitchell conducted a science experiment with sugar, lactose, and corn syrup. By exposing this mixture to pressurised carbon dioxide gas, Popping Candy was born: a sweet treat that crackles and pops in your mouth.

This candy faced widespread popularity across the world because of the novelty and fun experience it provided both adults and children! That candy pop sensation was so unexpected, and it created conversations about this sweet treat, with it appearing in movies, TV shows, and even sparking some urban legends.

The Science behind Pop Rocks

Popping Candy, also known as Space Dust, is made up of three main ingredients: Sugar, flavouring and pressurised carbon dioxide.

During the making process, the flavouring and sugars are mixed together and exposed to the carbon dioxide gas. This exposure allows a chemical reaction to take place and the gas to mix with the mixture and it forms tiny bubbles throughout.

Once this part of the process is done, the mixture is cooled rapidly quickly so that it becomes hard candy, as the cooling traps the bubbles.

Popping Candy

The Activation of Popping Candy

Now, let's explore the activation of Popping Candy. As the candy comes into contact with moisture, such as saliva in the mouth, a fascinating transformation occurs. Sugar dissolves in water, causing the candy's structure to weaken.

This weakening allows the trapped gas to escape from the bubbles, resulting in the characteristic popping sensation and crackling sounds that excite both children and adults alike.

Popping Candy Myths

One of the most common myths surrounding Popping Candy is that consuming it with soda can lead to stomach explosions. This urban legend likely originated from concerns about mixing carbonated sweets with carbonated beverages. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. While combining Popping Candy with soda may result in a fizzy reaction, it poses no danger of causing explosions in the stomach.

Some rumours suggest that Popping Candy contains harmful chemicals or additives that can be detrimental to health. In reality, popping candy is made from common food grade ingredients, such as sugar, flavouring, and carbon dioxide. When consumed in moderation, Pop Rocks are safe for consumption and does not pose any significant health risks.

Another misconception is that the popping sensation produced by Pop Rocks can damage tooth enamel. While it's true that sugary candies can contribute to tooth decay if consumed in excess, the popping action of Popping Candy itself is unlikely to cause significant harm to dental health. As with any sugary treat, it's essential to practice good oral hygiene and enjoy popping candy in moderation.

Some individuals believe that popping candy contains explosive compounds or ingredients commonly found in fireworks. However, this myth is entirely unfounded. The "pop" in Pop Rocks is created by the release of carbon dioxide gas when the candy comes into contact with moisture, not by explosive chemicals.

There have been rumours circulating that Popping Candy is banned in certain countries due to safety concerns. While regulations regarding food additives vary from country to country, popping candy is generally considered safe for consumption when produced according to established food safety standards. There is no evidence to suggest that it is illegal in any particular country.

Popping Candy

Fun Facts about Popping Candy

  1. Popping Candy was invented by chemist William A. Mitchell in 1956 while working for the food company General Foods. Mitchell was experimenting with ways to create instant carbonation for soda, but instead, he stumbled upon the unique popping effect of popping candy.

  2. Popping Candy has made its way beyond Earth's atmosphere! NASA astronauts reportedly enjoy popping candy in space as a special treat during missions. The sensation of popping candy is said to be even more intense in micro gravity.

  3. Popping Candy isn't just for snacking - it's also a popular ingredient in culinary creations. Chefs and mixologists have incorporated Popping Candy into desserts, cocktails, and even savoury dishes to add a surprising pop of flavour and texture.

  4. Popping Candy has made appearances in various forms of popular culture, including movies, TV shows, and music. It's been featured in films like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Santa Clause," as well as TV shows like "Breaking Bad" and "The Simpsons." Additionally, musicians like Aerosmith and Coldplay have referenced Pop Rocks in their songs.

  5. In 2017, students from Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York, broke the Guinness World Record for the largest Pop Rocks packet. The giant Pop Rocks packet contained a whopping 8.6 pounds of Popping Candy!


Popping Candy

Fun ways to eat popping candy

Add it to Your Desserts:

Sprinkle Popping Candy over your favourite desserts like ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, or even pancakes for an extra burst of flavour and excitement. The combination of creamy textures and popping sensations creates a delightful contrast that will leave your taste buds tingling.

Popping Candy in Chocolate:

Indulge in the irresistible combination of chocolate and Popping Candy. Many popular chocolate bars and confections incorporate Popping Candy for a surprising twist. From chocolate bars to truffles, the playful pop adds an extra layer of fun to your chocolate treats.

Retro Sweet Hamper:

Relive nostalgic memories with a retro sweet hamper that includes Popping Candy among other beloved childhood favourites.

Whether you're gifting it to a friend or treating yourself, a retro sweet hamper is sure to bring joy and nostalgia. Popping candy is just one of the many treats that will evoke fond memories of childhood sweets and snacks.

Popping Candy Cocktails

Add a playful twist to your favourite cocktails by rimming the glass with Popping Candy. Dip the rim of the glass in a simple syrup or citrus juice, then coat it with Popping Candy for a festive and fizzy garnish. The popping sensation will complement the flavours of your cocktail and add an element of surprise to every sip.

Popping Candy