Bulk Candy Reviews, Candy Bar Reviews, Candy Reviews

Taste the Fresh and See the Glow With Wint-O-Green Lifesavers

November 18, 2009 by
Life Savers Wint-0-Green

Life Savers Wint-0-Green

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 9 (if you aren’t just using it as a breath mint)

Convenience: 10

Novelty: 6

Overall: 9

Wint-O-Green Lifesavers are more than just a sweet wintergreen taste-bud-tingler, and they are more than just a breath mint, this candy is a science lesson.

If you take these lifesavers into a pitch-black room (a bathroom usually works the best) you can watch science in action. I find it works best with a friend because then you can share the feeling of amazement, but it also works if you are by yourself and look in the mirror.

In the darkened room chew the lifesaver with your mouth open and if you get the right crunch your friend will see sparks of blue light making your mouth glow.

The reason you see these sparks is because of an effect called triboluminescence. Triboluminescence is emission of light as a result of something being crushed or torn, in this case, crystalline sugars. When the candy is crushed electrons are released and these electrons collide with nitrogen molecules in the air, which causes a vibration that results in an ultraviolet spark.

The ultraviolet light that is produced is mostly non-visible, but a small amount is visible which is why sometimes other sugar candies create faint sparks when you bite into them.

The Wint-O-Green lifesaver creates a bright flash because the flavoring, methyl salicylate (a.k.a. wintergreen oil), is florescent. We don’t have to go into wavelengths and all that, but basically the wintergreen oil absorbs the ultraviolet (invisible) light and takes it over, emitting sparks of visible blue light. Crazy, isn’t it? So, before you plop one of these minty sweet lifesavers into your mouth just for the mere taste, share one with a friend, turn off the lights, and show them the magic of science.

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3 Comments

  • Reply John Tomlins May 17, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I live in abbotsford BC Canada and I would love to know where I can buy wint-O-green life savers as they are the ones I love Thank You very much John Tomlins

  • Reply Rochelle February 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hello, I experienced the triboluminescence of Wint-o-green Lifesavers when I was really young and thought I\’d experience it again, but for some reason, no matter how dark the room is or how many times I crunch, sparks aren\’t emitted. How do I make the Lifesavers spark?

  • Reply sam May 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I did it at science camp and it worked!

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