Freshly Baked Science

cherries underwater in bubbling carbon dioxide fizzy black and white with colour

Popping the Question

7th July 2018

It's time to pop the question! Will you... explain how popping candy works?


Popping candy is a sweet experience like no other. Think Rice Krispies, but 100x sweeter, 100x more active and 100x more exciting. As cool as this is, we’d like to know what we’re eating and why they go wild as soon as they enter our mouths!


The ingredients of popping candy are simply sucrose, lactose and flavouring. These ingredients are heated until they melt into a syrup. The hot, syrupy mixture is then exposed to very high-pressure carbon dioxide, which dissolves into the mixture.


The mixture is then cooled, during which the carbon dioxide wants to escape, but it is trapped in tiny, high-pressure bubbles. This effect is like the bubbles in a fizzy drink, however, when you open it, the bubbles are released into the air. In popping candy, the bubbles are encased in a hard sugar coating, so to release them, the coating must shatter!


When you place the popping candy into your mouth, your saliva will dissolve the sugar, releasing the carbon dioxide bubbles. This is what causes that popping, sizzling sensation!


If you ever get the chance to, take a look at a piece of popping candy under the microscope and you’ll be able to see all the bubbles! 


Do you want a fun snack to make with popping candy? Head over to Kitchen Chemistry to take a look at our Popcorn Marshmallows recipe!


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