Did you know that some of the ingredients we find in commonplace foods are often there for different reasons that we just don’t think about?
Most of these are not additives we would associate with the food industry, delve a little deeper and a whole new world of chemical reactions on a microscopic level are happening right in your mouth.
Take for example the new blackcurrant fisherman’s Friend lozenges. One of the ingredients is Sorbitol, a natural sweetener also found in apples, peaches and prunes.
It is also widely used in mouthwash, hair gel, toothpaste and all sugar free chewing gums, but sorbitol is also commonly mixed with potassium nitrate, to make a solid rocket fuel, the sorbitol providing much of the hydrogen needed to make the exothermic chemical reaction, the formula being 19 C6H14O6 → 13 C6H14 + 36 CO2 + 42 H2O.
So the next time you brush your teeth, gel your hair or suck a fisherman’s friend, (careful now....) just think of the wonders of chemistry and your Bonfire night entertainment.