Wondering Why?

Why do gummy bears grow in water?

Gummy bears are chewy and gelatin-filled candies that many children and even adults love.  These sweet treats are shaped into cute little bears with different shapes and sizes corresponding to a variety of flavors.  With its chewy and somewhat rubbery texture, many children would often play with it and discover that these candies grow bigger when soaked in water.  Just a few hours of soaking the gummy bears in water can make them bigger and more elastic.  There are even children who soak their gummy bears in water overnight or for 24 hours straight just get them grow really big.  Some kids even refer to the bigger gummy bears as gigantic candies.  The main reason for the gummy bears’ growth when soaked in water is its gelatin content.  This ingredient basically allows water to be absorbed in the candy making it grow bigger and bigger while being soaked.

The basic ingredients of gummy bears include gelatin, sugars, flavoring, and water itself.  The gelatin content is what makes all these ingredients stick together.  Despite the presence of water, the flavoring and sugar content will not fully dissolve or disintegrate.  After all these ingredients are mixed and heated together, the gummy bears are then cooled to dry.  During this process, some of the water will be drawn out of the mixture but many of it will be left to make the candy still chewy and soft.  The gelatin content of the candy will then try to harden a little to keep the candy’s shape and to ensure that it remains soft with the help of some water.  As soon as the gelatin candy or gummy bear comes in contact with water again, it will start to absorb some of it and this will eventually result to a bigger candy.  With more water being absorbed by the gummy bear, it will also grow bigger.

Experimenting and playing with gummy bears and soaking them in water is usually a fun experience for kids.  Many people caution the kids though in terms of eating the soaked gummy bears because of health concerns.

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