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I have a great idea for a unique candy recipe, but to achieve this I need to be able to make pop rocks. The pop rocks would be inside the candy.

Doing some research I have learned that pop rocks have pressurized carbon dioxide gas inside each tiny rock. I would not have any problem trying batch after batch and getting the ingredients right to make these pop rocks. But it would be useless if I can't get the CO2 inside.

Does anyone knows of an easy way of doing this at home? If not, what type of machinery do you need?

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    I don't know if I would mess around with 600 PSI. It takes only 120 psi to drive a big nail into solid oak but good luck what ever you decide. Sounds like you need some very mission specific equipment. – NKY Homesteading Sep 7 '15 at 20:19
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    It is possible to buy unflavored pop rocks, in bulk - I have seen it called carbonated sugar or popping sugar. It may be preferable to mix flavors yourself with already carbonated sugar, then make the candy from scratch (especially if you want custom flavors). And it would not require quite as much in the way of fancy equipment. – Megha Oct 18 '16 at 16:54
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There are recipes on the internet for making home made pop rocks.

Some of them call for using baking soda plus an acid, so that you generate carbon dioxide in the syrup, rather than injecting it as a pressurized gas.

I would assume that you could also use baking powder if you can't find powdered acids.

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    I think I read that this kind of homemade pop rocks recipe with baking soda will, hm, fizz when they are reacting, rather than the sharp sort of pops like the original candy. It may not be important, if the candy just needs to be a comparable result, or a substitutable texture - but I'm just not sure if it is exactly the same. – Megha Oct 18 '16 at 16:57
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Looks like it takes about 600psi CO2 to treat the liquid candy. Patent search should reveal more detail: US patent 3012893

Patent links are notorious for decaying over a short time frame. If the second link is dead go http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/search-patents or here to find find out how the inventors did it. Patents before 1976, are in image format, and are hard to look through, sometimes Google is a better choice than USPTO on these.

See also US Patent 4289794 (1981)

Gasified candy which produces a more pronounced popping sensation is prepared by maintaining a sugar melt at a temperature of below about 280° F. ... Such a candy is made by a process which comprises melting crystalline sugar, contacting such sugar with gas at a pressure of 50 to 1,000 psig for a time sufficient to permit incorporation in said sugar of 0.5 to 15 cm3 of gas per gram of sugar, maintaining the temperature of said sugar during said absorption above the solidification temperature of the melted sugar, and cooling said sugar under pressure to produce a solid amorphous sugar containing the gas. Upon the release of the pressure, the solid gasified candy fractures into granules of assorted sizes.

High temperature, high pressure. Even as a hard candy, the stuff has a short shelf life. Baking soda/acid mixture candies are just Fizzies in disguise. Feel weird when they bubble in your mouth, but they do not explode like pop rocks.

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Applied Science, a YouTube channel, had a video about making carbonated candy a la Pop Rocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsSwvmNEr0Q

Here's a broad outline:

  1. Craft a mixing chamber that can hold 600 psi (40 bar), has an inlet for CO2, and a rotary pressure seal with a mixing/whisk attachment.
  2. Make a hard candy (280 °F/137 °C) on the stove
  3. Preheat the chamber to avoid the candy solidifying too quickly
  4. Pour molten candy into the chamber
  5. Close and pressurize to 600 psi.
  6. Mix (with drill or whatever) for 3-4 minutes
  7. Let cool while under pressure
  8. Depressurize and open chamber, remove candy with mallet, chisel, and/or hammer.
  9. Enjoy!
  • The video makes it look just like Breaking Bad. – Jolenealaska Oct 29 '18 at 5:53
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600 PSI sounds dangerous. Water will absorb carbon dioxide. The colder the water, the more it will absorb. I make beer. I usually do in the bottle conditioning but when I do forced carbonation the highest PSI I will typically use is 30PSI.

If your candy is a syrup at some point, and not too hot, that would be where to add the CO2. The trick would be how to carbonate it before it cools and solidifies.

Perhaps you could buy a pressure cooker and drill/tap the lid so you can add a valve and attach a CO2 cylinder. You can get a small 5 pound cylinder at home brew stores but you'll also need a regulator and probably some other fittings. The cylinders come empty so you also need a place to fill the cylinder. Look for a place that services fire extinguishers.

There are also smaller versions of this that are mainly used for keeping kegs of beer pressurized at parties. They typically use 72 gram CO2 cylinders and the mini-regulator I have maxes out at 20PSI...just enough to push the beer out of the keg.

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    Beer is not melted sugar candy. You have to use the amount of pressure that works. CO2 solubility goes down with temperature, up with pressure. If they could get away with 5PSI, I'm sure they'd so it. 600 PSI is only 40 atmospheres, pretty easy to contain, and it works. That's why they use it: duckduckgo.com/?q=600+psi+candy&t=ffsb&ia=web – Wayfaring Stranger Oct 29 '18 at 14:37

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