The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds, and it seems that a little sweet also does the trick.
Given that Halloween has passed and we now have a lot of candy that we can’t wait to consume, we thought it would be fascinating to investigate what makes each candy so distinctive in texture and flavour.
To get things started, let’s start with some of our favourite candies, such as gummy worms and jelly beans. If so, have you ever wondered what it is that gives them their smooth and glossy appearance? After all, you don’t have to wonder any longer – it’s wax, to be more precise. Brazil’s carnauba palm produces wax, which is derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm’s leaves. Also found in cosmetics, such as lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara; automobile wax and shoe polish; and other household products, such as soap.
In confectionery items such as gumdrops, caramels, and M&M’s, Acacia Gum is used to hold the various components of the confectionary item together. This substance is derived from the hardened sap of Acacia Senegal trees, which can be found all over Africa and are native to the Sahel region. Acacia gum can also be found in various products such as postage stamps, paint, and pyrotechnics, to name a few examples.
The presence of Lecithin, a by-product of soybean oil, contributes to the silky texture of chocolate by enhancing its smoothness. Margarine, baby formula, soap, and colours are just a few of the products that contain this chemical compound. In chocolate, the sweetness comes from dextrose, an essential sugar derived from cornstarch, responsible for its sweetness. We call this sugar glucose. The human body also produces its dextrose from the foods we eat, called glucose. The human body’s primary source of energy is derived from this source. Many different products contain dextrose, including pharmaceuticals and pet food.
After that comes the chemical responsible for making chocolate melt in your mouth when you eat it, which is perhaps the most difficult to spell and pronounce. The polyglycerol polyricinoleate, an acronym that stands for polyglycerol polyricinoleate, makes the chocolate chips in a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie so gooey! Yum!
Remember all of these other strange substances in the candy the next time your mother scolds you for consuming too much “sugar,” and she will be less harsh with you.