What makes Popping Candy pop?

As part of our MAD Blog award from Seagate we received an amazing box of retro sweets, including this Fizz Wizz popping candy which we couldn’t resist using for an experiment and to find out what makes popping candy pop.

 

Popping Candy experiment

 

We all tried the popping candy first and giggled as it burst tickling our tongues.

We decided to see what else would make the candy burst, so placed some in oil, water and vinegar.

What you need:

  • Popping candy
  • 3 bowls
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Anything else you want to try

Instructions

  • Open the popping candy and place a small amount in each bowl.
  • Add water to one, oil to another and vinegar to the third.
  • Observe what happens.

 

We found the candy in the oil didn’t do anything.

 

Popping Candy in  oil

The candy in the water fizzed and bubbled.

 

Popping candy in water

The candy in the vinegar fizzed and bubbled faster than that in the water.

 

Popping candy vinegar

 Why does this happen?

Popping candy is made by heating the ingredients and then exposing to Carbon Dioxide ( a gas ) at very high pressures before allowing to cool. Tiny bubbles of gas are trapped in the popping candy.

When you put the candy in your mouth, saliva breaks it down and releases the carbon dioxide, which makes a popping sound.

The water acted like saliva to break down the candy and release the bubbles.

The oil didn’t break down the candy, therefore it remained intact.

Vinegar is acidic, and so reacted faster than the water with the candy.

 

Extension activity

Can you think of another popping candy experiment? How about a fizzy drink?

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Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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10 Comments

  1. That’s a pretty clever activity, love the introduction to chemisty (which I’m rubbish at!)

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  2. I bought some popping candy a while ago to use in baking but I don’t know what to use it in to make sure it doesn’t pop…I think the only thing is chocolate – I wasn’t sure why, maybe the oil content? never was much good at science!

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  3. My son would love to try this. Thanks for sharing it.

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  4. My son had Pop rocks for the first time. The look on his face was priceless! I would definitely want to try the fizzy drink. It was a myth when I was growing up that if you ate the candy while drinking soda, your head would explode.

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  5. What a fun science experiment! I love popping candy and have always wondered how they make it. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I have an experiment about putting Pop Rocks in water on my website, and I love the ways you’ve extended it with the oil and vinegar.

    Post a Reply
  7. Oooh thank you! Now there is a question that I WILL Have be answering!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy

    Post a Reply

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