One VERIFIED viewer asked if dropping a roll of Mentos into any soft drink could cause the same explosion as when mixing candy with Diet Coke. So we tested it for ourselves.
The hands-on experiment involved dropping several Mentos Chewy Mints into a Diet Coke bottle, which could send a line of diet colas into the air within seconds.
In an email, VERIFY viewer James asked if putting Mentos in any soft drink could cause an explosion.
James, the VERIFICATION team loves this question and loves the tests. So we decided not only to get the answer from the sources, but to test it ourselves. Read on to see what happened.
Can putting Mentos in any soft drink cause it to explode?
Yes, putting Mentos in any carbonated soft drink can cause it to explode, but some soft drinks are more explosive than others depending on their ingredients.
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WHAT WE FIND
VERIFY host Ariane Datil and producer/editor Trevin Smith tested this science experiment — one soda and one explosion at a time.
In her spacious backyard with plenty of open space, Ariane drops a roll of Mentos Chewy Mints into a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Mountain Dew, Canadian Dry ginger ale and Sunkist Orange Soda. Almost immediately, geysers of fresh water erupted into the air — and drenched Ariane.
Other studies have supported what the VERIFICATION team saw in our testing. A 2017 study conducted by a team of researchers put Mentos in 15 different carbonated drinks, including seltzer water, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Pepsi, and Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, also discovered that this combination could cause an explosion.
So we can VERIFY that putting Mentos in any soda can cause it to explode. But let’s really dig into the science to show you why this is happening.
Mentos, the maker of Mentos Chewy Mints, explains on its website that soda and other carbonated beverages contain a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is dissolved in water in the form of small bubbles or carbonates. The combination of water and CO2 molecules is in a permanently unstable state — but when a Mentos candy falls into soda, that state is disturbed.
“The more Mentos are released into the liquid, the worse the condition gets,” says Mentos. “The reason for this lies in the surface of Mentos, which looks smooth but is actually very rough! In the nooks and crannies of the micro-rough surface, bubbles form, which then turn into foam, which then leads to the very impressive foam fountain.
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In VERIFY testing, we found that certain combinations of Mentos and soda can cause a larger explosion.
ReAgent, a chemical manufacturing company based in the United Kingdom, explained in a blog post that there are many factors that can affect the height of a soda geyser, such as the viscosity of the liquid. and the presence of other chemicals in the mix, such as caffeine and gelatin. For example, if you drop a marble into two sodas at the same time, it will take longer for the marble to bottom in the higher viscosity beverage.
What does that mean for our experiment? ReAgent says that diet sodas, like Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Diet Cherry Pepper, respond better to Mentos than other non-diet sodas because there’s no sugar. Most diet sodas contain aspartame, a zero-calorie chemical that makes drinks less viscous. That means Mentos move faster when you drop them in the bottle, interacting with more CO2, which means more bubbles.
“The lack of sugar makes the soda mix less viscous because the sweetener, like aspartame, lowers the surface tension even more than usual. In contrast, this means that carbon dioxide is released more quickly. The nucleation process is also faster, resulting in higher gas pressure,” writes ReAgent on its website.
If you want to test out Mentos and soda geysers for yourself, scientists recommend doing this activity outside in the middle of a field or large lawn as things can get a bit messy. To see more footage from VERIFICATION’s own testing — including the flaws — visit VERIFY’s YouTube channel.
Cinematographer/Editor: Trevin Smith
Digital Writer: Erin Jones
Social media: Amanda Lashbaugh
Editing: Sara Roth, Lindsay Claiborn, Erica Jones, Jonathan Forsythe
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https://www.king5.com/article/news/verify/science-verify/mentos-diet-coke-coca-cola-soda-experiment-physical-reaction-explosion-video-watch-fact-check/536-7260a26c-a300-4377-a5ca-46d1aa472ba7 Mentos and Diet Coke experiment works with any soda