So, we were shopping for Halloween candy for our church’s trunk or treat. I was gravitating toward the chocolate because…it’s chocolate. Meanwhile, the kids and their underdeveloped sense of taste migrated toward all things gummy, sour, and pure sugar.
I decided to compromise on a mixed bag of mini chocolate candy bars and their kind of candy. As I picked up the huge bag of basically sugar, I noticed a stack of small bags next to it full of little orange candy pumpkins. I remember these mellow creme candies from my childhood. I didn’t like them then either. Of course, my kids grabbed them and just had to have them. I was about to say no, then I had an idea. “We’ll get them for science!”
When we got the pumpkin candies home, I had my son read the ingredients.
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Confectioner’s Glaze, Salt, Gelatin, Dextrose, Honey, Artificial Flavor, Sesame Oil, Yellow 6, Red 3, Yellow 5, Blue 1
Basically, lots of sugar, a little oil, and some food dye coated in a confectioner’s glaze. We decided to see if all that sugar would dissolve in water and other liquids or if the confectioner’s glaze (a waxy resin) would protect it.
I let the kids choose what liquids to use in our candy pumpkin experiment. Based on some other dissolving experiments, my son chose water, vinegar, and soapy water (dish soap and water).
Our conclusion was that the sugars that made up the bulk of the pumpkin candies were water-soluble and dissolved in the various water-based solutions, but the confectioner’s glaze that coated the candy was not and therefore, did not dissolve in water or vinegar.
The coating did not float in the soapy water glass. Could it be that the soap was starting to break down the confectioner’s glaze?