Hard Candy Chemistry

(YouTube link)

Did you know that hard candy is technically a glass? Dr. Richard Hartel is a professor of food engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Watch him make lemon drops and act like it's a chemistry lesson. -via the Presurfer

Because of hard candy's glass-like properties it is often used in movies when a wine glass or beer bottle is going to be smashed into one's head in a film. Usually, if you know ahead of time that a glass filled with liquid will be smashed, you can see the candy glass degenerating a bit. It will get milky, cloudy looking or start to melt a bit. I read they used to use sheets of candy for window panes that people would get thrown out of during a cowboy saloon fight. Now that they have glass that won't splinter they don't do that anymore.
Ah, trivia. What would I be without you?
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Citric Acid affects the crystallization process. It helps the sugar recrystallize in the correct formation. Various other things, like corn syrup, can do the same thing. Corn syrup will help you if you have a problem with your sugar candy being grainy.
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