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Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2000

Playing with their food

August 31, 2000

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Here's the scientific explanation for how the Xploder bar get its bang:

The popping crystals are made by superheating sugar to 186 degrees Celsius, which turns it into a gooey liquid, according to Willy Wonka Candy Factory executive Chuck Dodson. Then, the sugar is bathed in a supercold nitrogen gas.

"That turns the sugar into tiny pellets that explode all over the place," Dodson said.

The pelletizing process traps carbon dioxide gas. (This is basically the same as carbonation, the process that makes soda fizzy.) When they're crunched by teeth or dissolved by a wet tongue, the gas bubble escapes with a pop.

Xploders are reviving an old trend. Your parents probably remember Pop Rocks, a snap-crackle-pop-type candy from the 1970s.

A hot fad, Pop Rocks had adults worried for a while, especially after an overheated load of the candy blew open the doors on a delivery truck.

So far, no reports of Xploder mishaps.

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