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Amanda Norgren

Mrs. Stevens

Life Science

31 January 2018

Which Dissolves Faster in Vinegar: Jolly Ranchers or Skittles?

Did you know that vinegar can be used as an effective cleaner for glass? I once decided

to clean my bedroom window with vinegar while eating Skittles. Suddenly, the vinegar spilled

on the Skittles I was eating and dissolved them! I realized that vinegar can affect Skittles, but I

wondered if vinegar can successfully dissolve more than one type of candy. To do this, I

dissolved Jolly Ranchers and Skittles in vinegar to see which one was most affected by the

vinegar. I hypothesized that​ If you dissolve Skittles and Jolly Ranchers in vinegar, then the

Skittles will dissolve faster.

​What Does It Mean for Something to Dissolve?

Dissolving is a process in which a solute passes into a solution. This process can also be

called dissolution (Helmenstine). By definition, a solute is the solid factor of dissolution and the

solvent is the liquid factor of dissolution. Both of these factors together are called a solution

(Smith). Using solubility helps determine how much solute dissolves in a solution. If a lot of

solute dissolves, it is soluble. If little solute dissolves, it is insoluble (Here’s).

Does the Temperature of a Solution Affect the Speed in Which a Candy Dissolves?

Temperature is a key factor in dissolution. Typically, a solute dissolves faster in a warmer

solution. Other factors that affect the speed include the size of a solute and how the solvent is

stirred. Smaller particles in a solute dissolve faster because they have a greater surface area

(Brainard). Another process involved with stirring a solvent is agitation. Agitation is when a

solvent is placed into a solute that has not dissolved yet. The force between the solvent and the

solution affects whether or not the solvent will dissolve (Zommers).

How Do You Measure How Fast Something Dissolves?

To measure solubility, you can use the units of a solvent and a solution. The units of a

solvent can be expressed with relative volume. The formula is usually the grams of solute per

100 grams of solvent. The units of a solution can be shown as the grams of solute per 100 grams

of solution. It can also be expressed as grams of solute per liter of solution. A third way to

express units of solution is molarity. This is the moles of solute per liter of solution (Gonsoir).

What Are the Differences Between the Ingredients of a Skittle and a Jolly Rancher?

Skittles have more ingredients than Jolly Ranchers. For example, they have Citric Acid,

Modified Corn Starch, and Titanium Dioxide, which Jolly Ranchers do not have (Skittles). In

contrast, Jolly Ranchers contain Malic Acid, which is not present in Skittles (Jolly). Skittles also

have more color dyes than Jolly Ranchers. Some examples are Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow

6, and Yellow 6 Lake. Jolly Ranchers only have Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 (Jolly).

How Are Skittles and Jolly Ranchers Made?

Inside a machine, sugar and the Skittle flavor is poured into a mold that cools. Then, the

machine prints the letter “S” on every Skittle candy. The Skittles are then placed into their

wrapping and are shipped (Ricci). Jolly Ranchers are made when the sugar and flavoring of a

Jolly Rancher are poured and heated in a pan. After it is heated, the Jolly Rancher mix is left to

harden. Then, a machine chops up the mix into individual pieces and wraps it in plastic (Rogers).

What Is Ph? What Is the Ph of Vinegar? And Does Ph Have an Effect on the Rate at Which

Something Dissolves?

pH is the measurement of a chemical in its solution to find out if its an acid or a base. An

acid has a pH lower than 7. Some examples of acids are hydrochloric acid, lemon juice, and

battery acid. Vinegar has a pH of 2.2, therefore it is an acid. A base has a pH of 7 to 14. Some

bases are shampoo, baking soda, and seawater (Helmenstine). Depending on the substance, its

pH can affect dissolution.

I hypothesized that ​if you dissolve Skittles and Jolly Ranchers in vinegar, then the Skittles

will dissolve faster. ​After various hours of testing, I discovered that the Skittles dissolved faster

than the Jolly Ranchers. On average, the Skittles dissolved in 40 minutes and 24 seconds, and the

Jolly Ranchers dissolved in 1 hour, 31 minutes, and 3 seconds. In each trial, the Skittles

dissolved in different times. The times from trials 1 to 5 were: 38 minutes and 18 seconds, 37

minutes and 20 seconds, 42 minutes and 6 seconds, 39 minutes and 38 seconds, and 42 minutes

and 37 seconds. From trials 1 to 5, the Jolly Ranchers dissolved in these times: 1 hour, 28

minutes, and 22 seconds, 56 minutes and 48 seconds, 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 22 seconds, 1 hour,

9 minutes, and 12 seconds, and 48 minutes and 13 seconds. When I dissolved Jolly Ranchers and

Skittles in vinegar, I discovered that the Skittles dissolved quicker than the Jolly Ranchers.

Works Cited

Brainard, Ph.D. Jean. “3.47: Rate of Dissolving DRAFT.” CK-12 Foundation, CK-12

Foundation, 13 Sept. 2016,


Gonsoir, Kristen. “In What Units Is Solubility Measured?” Sciencing, Leaf Group Ltd., 24 Apr.

2017, sciencing.com/units-solubility-measured-8420688.html.

Helmenstine, Ph.D. Anne Marie. “Here's What Dissolve Means in Chemistry.” ThoughtCo, 16

July 2017, ​www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-dissolve-604432

Helmenstine, Ph.D. Anne Marie. “Learn the PH of Common Chemicals Like Vinegar and

More.”ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/ph-of-common-chemicals-603666.

“Jolly Rancher Hard Candy, Original Flavors.” Fooducate, Fooducate LTD,



Perlman, USGS Howard. “PH -- Water Properties.” PH: Water Properties, from the USGS

Water-Science School, U.S Department of the Interior, 2 Dec. 2016,


Ricci, Anna. “The Production and Manufacturing Process Made Fun!” Prezi.com, Prezi Inc., 10

Feb. 2014,


Rogers, Collin. “How Jolly Ranchers Are Made.” Prezi.com, Prezi Inc., 3 Feb. 2015,


“Skittles Original Bite Sized Candies.” Spangler Candy Company, Spangler,


Smith, Alastair. “Mixtures.” The Usborne Internet-Linked Library of Science: Mixtures &

Compounds, Usborne, 2001, pp. 8–9.

Zommers, Ashlee. “Factors That Affect Rate of Dissolving and Solubility.” Prezi.com, Prezi

Inc., 1 Nov. 2012,