New Pop Rocks Candy ExperimentsWednesday, June 19th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop
by Loralee Leavitt
When you pop them in your mouth, Pop Rocks fizz, sizzle, and explode. These experiments show you why–and how to have fun with them.
Bubbling Pop Rocks
Why do Pop Rocks pop in your mouth?
It’s because they have a secret ingredient.
You’re looking at the secret ingredient — carbon dioxide that’s pumped into the candy when it’s still melted, trapping bubbles.
Do Pop Rocks Bubble, Or Don’t They?
Pour water into one glass, and pour cooking oil into a second glass. Then add Pop Rocks to each glass. Do the Pop Rocks in water bubble and fizz? What about the Pop Rocks in oil?*
Pop Rocks are made of sugar, which dissolves in water. As the Pop Rocks dissolve, they release tiny trapped bubbles of carbon dioxide, which make the bubbles and the noise. But sugar doesn’t dissolve in oil, so the Pop Rocks in oil don’t dissolve or release bubbles.
This is why Pop Rocks can be mixed with chocolate and still keep their bubbles, such as in S Chocolate’s Exploding Chocolate Frogs, or in Chocolate Pop Rocks (sometimes available from www.candyfavorites.com). They don’t dissolve until you eat them!
Jumping Pop Rocks
To see Pop Rocks in action, pour a small amount of hot water (about 140 F) into a clear soda bottle. (If you use a glass instead of a soda bottle, prepare for a mess and wear safety glasses.) Then dump in Pop Rocks and see if any of them jump!
Why do the Pop Rocks pop up?
The hot water dissolves the candy so fast that the air bubbles explode, making the Pop Rocks shoot up like popcorn.
Whether you soak your Pop Rocks, drop them in oil, or explode them like popcorn, candy experiments help you enjoy Pop Rocks in all sorts of ways. There’s only one thing left to know: why are the “Blue Razz” Pop Rocks green? That’s a question not even candy experiments can answer.
Loralee Leavitt destroys candy for the sake of science at www.candyexperiments.com. Find more crazy experiments, like growing giant gummies, making candy crystals, or turning cotton candy into slime, in her book Candy Experiments.
*Experiment adapted from the Science Sparks blog