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The Sweet and Sour Side of Candy

Sour Candy Science

The kid in us will always love Sour Candy!

One thing that is almost a guarantee for candy stores is that Sour Candy Section will be extremely popular among kids. Whereas the adults tend to avoid the stuff like the plague. Why is that?

Turns out there is some science behind it!

Humans have on average 10,000 taste buds lining their tongue, with thousands of receptor cells within those taste buds determining what we deem tasty or disgusting. As we age, these cells slowly start to deteriorate from a variety of factors, one of which is smoking, (another reason not to smoke, it ruins all the candy!) As well as sodium over the years from common table salt added to food. Kids have the most cell receptors, which is why sour candy to them doesn’t seem so bad, since the taste buds can balance the sweet and tart taste evenly. Whereas the older people are, the cell receptors are spread out and react more to make up for the loss of taste buds. That’s the science part of it.


The marketing part comes into play, with the designs and colour schemes chosen by the companies, especially WARHEADS and Toxic Waste. Portion sizes are usually bigger and the prices lower than other types of candy that cater to kids. This marketing approach must be working since Warheads is listed as a $40 million dollar company.

New products are constantly being created in the labs of various candy companies to be deemed the sourest of the sour. Warheads and Toxic waste seem to be in the lead, Warhead has even developed a spray to either act as a mouth spray or to spray on other foods to give them a sour taste! Just like the candy world in general, sour candies have no limits on creativity.