The Chemistry Of Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs | @GrrlScientist

A few suggestions for how to enjoy Cadbury creme eggs without having to go on a diet after Easter, thanks to SCIENCE!

by GrrlScientist for Forbes | @GrrlScientist

A whole and split Cadbury Creme Egg.
(Credit:
Evan Amos / CC0)

Cadbury creme eggs are a familiar sight for most of us at this time of year: these confectionary eggs are a mainstay of many people’s Easter celebrations. These eggs are wrapped in colorful foil, and covered in a thick egg-shaped “box” of milk chocolate. The fondant is filled with tiny air bubbles and is made from sugar, glucose syrup, invert sugar syrup — basically, a huge amount of sugars — along with some dried egg white, flavoring, and paprika extract for color. In fact, thanks to the fondant, these eggs contain so much sugar that just one Cadbury creme egg contains 29% of one’s total recommended daily intake of sugar.

Although Cadbury has made chocolate confectionary eggs since 1875, the eggs that of us are most familiar with were first sold in 1971. As a seasonal treat (they’re only sold between 1 December and Easter Sunday each year), these confectionary eggs have certainly proven popular: more than 500 million creme eggs are sold annually — and roughly ⅔ are consumed in the UK. That means that every person living in the UK eats, on average, 3.5 creme eggs each year. Not to be outdone by the British, American Jamie Macdonald set a world’s record by eating 50 creme eggs in just 14 minutes and 4.49 seconds. (This translates into 7,500 kcalories total consumed — and 493 grams [1.1 pounds] of sugar! [note: I used the post-2006 egg recipe for my calculations])

But if you, like me, dislike the taste and find that the excessive sugar leaves you feeling quite ill, and instead prefer using the empty chocolate egg shells as biodegradable shot glasses, you may be tempted by something a little different. Cadbury now has at least 25 different varieties of chocolate-covered creme eggs, including the incredibly popular caramel-filled eggs, as well as chocolate-, orange creme-, and even Turkish delight-filled eggs. I’ve yet to try any of these, but some of them do sound like they could be tasty.

Since it’s Easter weekend, most people have been reminded of what happens if you or your children get hold of these creme eggs, but what happens if chemists get hold of them? In this amusing video, some of the chemists at the University of Nottingham take a peek at the chemistry of these eggs by demonstrating the various fates met by Cadbury creme eggs that dared venture into their state-of-the-art labs:

This video is courtesy of my friends at Periodic Videos and at the University of Nottingham.


Originally published at Forbes on 31 March 2018.

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