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Undergraduate Research Showcase

Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.

The Science Behind Candy Making - Lessons Learnt in my Kitchen "Lab" During COVID-19 Pandemic

Biography 

My name is Priscilla Meraz, my major is biomedical with hopes of going into Biomedical Neuroscience at UCF. During my freshman year at Valencia I was a student in Dr. Ricardo Silva’s Biology 1 class. In his class I learned the significant role of science in our everyday lives and I found myself wanting to know more about life around us. I chose this topic on candy because what better concoction than two things I love, science and candy.  Although there is a lot to know about candy, there is still room for the unknown. Research is all about dedication, experience and most importantly trial and error. As stated by Albert Einstein “ If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”  

Presentation

ABSTRACT:   The sweet concoction of candy is very appealing to most people. Candy contains a variety ranging from chocolates, nuts, flavors, colors, and even textures. Candy can be can be classified as crystalline candy or non-crystalline candy. Much of crystalline candy-making revolves around the crystalline nature of the solid and the quality of the product heavily depends on a variety of parameters that need to be carefully controlled and studied.  Crystallization is a purification technique in chemistry which also serves as the guiding principle in food science and candy making. Rock candy, in particular, is an exceptional example of crystallization in candy making. But how can pure crystals be achieved? In this study, different variables such as effects of temperature, time, solute-solvent ratio, color, or even flavor additives were studied. Results in outcome, texture and crystalline behavior of the rock candy will be discussed.

Discussion

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Vasudha Sharma

Professor of Chemistry

East Campus

vsharma@valenciacollege.edu

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