Yummy Polymer Gummies

Our kid testing lab is well loved for many things -- the abundance of hands-on materials, the continuous experimentation & tinkering, and of course, the delicious fruit gummy snacks for those hard at work! We decided to combine a lesson on polymers with our favorite snack and got cooking. Did you know that fruit gummies get their chewy texture from polymers? Follow along to create your own homemade gummies!

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Gather your ingredients.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of juice and 4 packets of gelatin. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Heat 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice in a small pot. Bring it to a gentle boil.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Add the gelatin mixture to the pot and mix it until the gelatin has fully dissolved.

    If you like, you can also add some honey to sweeten it up.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Chill the dish in the refrigerator for two hours.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    When the mixture is ready, run a knife along the edge of the dish to loosen it. Flip the dish over to release your gummies. Cut them to whatever shape or size you like, and enjoy! Our kid testers loved this homemade version just as much as the store-bought.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Learn moreMagnifying graphic

    What's going on?
    You can picture the molecules that make up gelatin as long, twisty chains. When you heated up the gelatin and water mixture, the heat caused those chains to break apart into smaller pieces.

    When the mixture cools, the broken-up chains start to stick to each other again. But they do this in a way that creates tiny pockets in between them. Tiny drops of water get trapped in those pockets, which creates a yummy gummy texture.

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