What makes pop rocks pop?

I know (From reading the package), it’s carbon dioxide, but how, exactly, is it interacting with my saliva? I’ve had my Fiancee Breathe into my mouth (and onto my saliva) with no pop or sizzle (At least, not in my mouth – ha ha)!

So what’s up with pop rocks?

  • Frumpy Jones

P.S. Sorry if this has been answered before. I tried to search the board and found myself in an endless loop of redirections.

A WAG, but the candy is probably made in a pressurized environment so that the carbon dioxide bubbles are at higher pressure then what is inside your mouth. When you chew or dissolve the candy the carbon dioxide is released. There’s no chemical reaction involved.

Before Pop Rocks, there was Zotz, which also fizzed in your mouth (Zotz were hard candies with a baking soda center).

I believe saliva is normally slightly alkaline, but if the candy is made with some sort of mild acid, this will dissolve, making the saliva acidic, and react with the baking soda.


Baking soda will definitely release a little bit of CO[sub]2[/sub] in normal water. Anyone else remember the diving toys from cereal boxes?


I don’t know, because if you eat them with Coke, your stomache will explode! I know this!! That’s what killed Mikey from the Life cereal commercials!!


Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

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Pop rocks are made just lake any other hard candy, (Sugar, corn syrup flavor, etc.) but while the mixture of the ingredients is still in a liquid state, it’s mixed with carbon dioxide at about 600 PSI. Then, when the mixture cools, there are tiny carbon dioxide bubbles in the candy. (The formula is actually patented.) Then of course, your saliva dissolves the candy, the bubbles are released.