Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Making Pop Rocks candy at home

Here I show how I made gassified candy (eg Pop Rocks) in my home shop. The basic procedure is to heat sugar water up to 280*F, carbonate it with 600 psi CO2 and vigorous mixing, then cool the mixture while it is still under pressure. After the mixture has solidified, rapid depressurization causes the candy to burst apart into small fragments. Each fragment has lots of tiny CO2 bubbles embedded in it. When placed on the tongue, the bubbles burst open as the candy dissolves and a popping sensation is felt.

The main difficulty is building a high-pressure chamber that allows precise temperature control as well as thorough mixing of its contents while under pressure. I've built something that meets these requirements, and I've finally made a batch of candy that would pass as Pop Rocks, but they are pretty weak. I still need to adjust the temperature and mixing times to get a better product.

Link to recipe: http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/recipe-lollipops.html


  1. Hi Ben,

    Perhaps your liquidy batches failed because they were in a sealed vessel and no moisture could get out?

  2. Just discovered the blog... I'm in college to become a high school science teacher and I hope that one student in 1000 is as interesting as you are man. Keep it up!


  3. Hi Ben, I was wondering if you might be able post the dimensions of your mixing chamber. I was hoping to replicate your pop rocks experiment. Thanks!

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