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How Pop Rocks Work

Burning Question: How Does Popping Candy Work?

While enjoying a recent batch of POPSUGAR chocolate bark, we got to wondering about popping candy, like the kind used in our recipe and in the nostalgic candy favorite Pop Rocks. How does it work, exactly?

In any form — hard, soft, or chewy — candy is essentially a sugar-water mixture that's been cooled and hardened. In the case of Pop Rocks, an extra step is required: The sugar-water syrup mixes with pressurized carbon dioxide gas (roughly 600 pounds per square inch!), which forms tiny, pressurized bubbles in the candy. Once it cools, the pressure is released and the candy shatters, but pieces still contain pressurized bubbles. When consumed, these pieces melt in your mouth, releasing the bubbles with a loud snap. That's the sound of the pressurized air being released from the bubble.

Pop Rocks, first sold to the public in 1975, employed cutting-edge candy technology. In fact, the technology that's used to make that carbonated candy crackle is actually a patented process.

Got a burning question? Contact us and we'll do our best to answer it.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
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Join The Conversation
summerjams summerjams 7 years
still love em!
FactCheckinCuz FactCheckinCuz 7 years
i just found these in sugar-free at the candy shop! i was so excited i bought 6 packs!
FactCheckinCuz FactCheckinCuz 7 years
i just found these in sugar-free at the candy shop! i was so excited i bought 6 packs!
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 7 years
i still love the watermelon flavor!
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 7 years
I used to love Pop Rocks! Pop Rocks feel the flavor
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
when i was younger my brothers were HUGE fans of pop rocks but they always scared me, but it's good to know the 'technology' behind them to know that i was just a scardy cat when i was little.
abinfl abinfl 7 years
Thanks for a reminder of a childhood memory. Grew up a few houses down from poprock inventor. Got to try it long before it hit the market.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 7 years
Wow. That' a blast from the past.
Tami715 Tami715 7 years
Joe's Crab Shack has this Pop Rocks Pomegranate Margarita that's so good. It's like a party in your mouth! :D
lawchick lawchick 7 years
I love the red flavor still
bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
Omg i used to loveee pop rocks. now they just taste kinda weird.
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