WASHINGTON, October 27, 2011 — Scaring up some Halloween fun while increasing public awareness about chemistry’s role in everyday life, the American Chemical Society (ACS) today released two new episodes of its award-winning Bytesize Science video series that focus on the makings of two popular kinds of candy.
One video deals with that beloved autumn treat, candy corn. People consume almost 20 million pounds of the sweet kernels each year, with 75 percent of the total munched up at Halloween. The other video focuses on chemistry’s role in making hard candy like lemon drops. Both episodes are available without charge at www.BytesizeScience.com and www.youtube.com/BytesizeScience.
The videos feature Richard Hartel, Ph.D., professor of food engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In one video, Hartel carefully boils a mixture of sugar, water and corn syrup at temperatures over 300 degrees Fahrenheit to produce hard candy. The video demonstrates how the molten liquid candy cools to form what from a technical standpoint actually is a glass. Unlike window glass made of silica, this tasty glass is made of sugar.
In the other video, Hartel explains how the sugar crystal structure of candy corn gives this Halloween favorite its’ characteristic creamy texture.
Viewed thousands of times each month, the newly re-launched Bytesize Science series uncovers the chemistry in everyday life. Subscribe to Bytesize Science on YouTube for new videos featuring hands-on demos of scientific phenomena, cutting-edge research found in ACS' 41 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News, interviews with scientific leaders and episodes highlighting the chemistry behind popular foods, products and discoveries that improve people’s lives around the world.
ACS encourages educators, schools, museums, science centers, news organizations and others to embed links to Bytesize Science on their websites.