Candy Experiment: Lifesaver Lights
The Power of Chewing
You chew food every day, but did you know that chewing can break food down on a molecular level? You probably learned in science class that molecules are very small particles that make up all living and nonliving things.
When you chew, you can crush foods — such as Lifesavers — so that the chemical bonds between its molecules are broken. Breaking those bonds produces energy and sometimes — with certain substances — light energy. It's the wintergreen oil used in wintergreen Lifesavers that's responsible for this unusual light show!
What you need:
- A dark room with a mirror (a bathroom without windows works well)
- Wintergreen Lifesavers
What to do:
- Stand in the dark room facing the mirror.
- Chew a wintergreen Lifesaver with your mouth open.
- Look for blue flashes of light.
© Loralee Leavitt. Used with permission.
[Please note: By clicking on this link, you will be leaving this site.]
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011
© 1995-2013 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.