Now that Halloween is over and we have all this candy that we can't wait to devour, we thought it would be interesting to investigate what makes each candy so different in texture and taste.
Let's start with our favorites, gummy worms, and jelly beans. Ever wondered what gives them the smooth, shiny texture. Well, wonder no more - its wax, to be more precise Carnauba Wax, which comes from the leaves of carnauba palm from Brazil. It is also used in car wax, shoe polish, and cosmetics like lipstick, eyeshadow, and mascara.
To bind the ingredients in treats like gumdrops, caramels and M&M's, manufacturers use an ingredient called Acacia Gum. This comes from the hardened sap of the Acacia Senegal trees, found in Africa. Acacia Gum is also used in postage stamps, paint, and fireworks.
The smooth texture of chocolates is thanks to Lecithin, a by-product of soybean oil. It is also found in margarine, infant formula, soap, and dyes. Dextrose, a simple sugar derived from cornstarch is what makes chocolates sweet. The human body also produces its own dextrose from all the food that we eat. It is the body's primary source of energy. Dextrose is also found in medicines and pet food.
Finally, and one of the most difficult to spell and pronounce is the ingredient that makes chocolate melt in your mouth. It's called Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate or PGPR for short and is makes those chocolate chips so gooey in a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie! Yum!
So next time your mom yells at you for eating too much "sugar," remind her of all these other unusual ingredients that are also present in the candy.