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Popping Sugar: Fun Fizz

Popping Sugar MoleculeR

Sugar crystals that fizz—that’s Popping Sugar.

I’m not much for molecular gastronomy—creating food out of a lab. However, sometimes molecular gastronomy can come up with something that’s just too fun to pass up and that’s what we found with Popping Sugar by MoleculeR, a gastronomy food product company. Popping sugar contains carbon dioxide so that it pops on the tongue for a unique and wonderful feeling.

Popping sugar is small crystals of melted sugar (such as sucrose, lactose and glucose syrup) that’s had carbon dioxide introduced into it. They make it by melting the sugar mix and cooling it in the presence of  pressurized carbon dioxide so that gas becomes trapped in the sugar bits.

Invented in 1956 by an American food chemist, William A. Mitchell, who was researching for a way to make powdered instant soft drink.  Since his invention could not be turned into powdered soft drink, his employer General Mills, wasn’t interested in patenting nor developing it further. In 1976, someone added flavors to the sugar and made it into a candy candy. Now it’s available without added flavors for creative cooking and baking.

Popping sugar crystals

Popping sugar crystals melt in water or in high humidity so keep them dry.

Because Popping Sugar is made of sugar, it has a sweet taste. But the fun comes when the sugar melts or you bite into it, releases the carbon dioxide creates. It creates a fun fizzy feeling on the tongue that you can also hear. Popping sugar can be sprinkled over any sweet dish, like fruits, ice cream, sherbets and pastry just before serving or over some salted dishes for a nice sweet and salted effect. The result is  guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

You can also cook with Popping Sugar. While it’ll melt in liquid, fat or oily foods does not make it melt so you can use it with foods like chocolate or foie gras. (It is vulnerable to humidity, so it has to be stored in a dry environment. You can also add it to create a fun pop in sweet treats like toffees, candies, or lollipops or in low-water content preparations like icing.

Or you can just put a sprinkle of Popping Sugar on your tongue like I do and giggle at the fizzy feeling and fun popping sounds. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at