The World Around Us

Chemicals in Food

Why do diet Coke® and Mentos® fizz like that?

In diet Coke®, and all soda, there are a lot of CO2 molecules trapped in solution. The slow release of CO2 from solution is what normally makes the calm bubbling in soda. But what if you were to put a catalyst for gas release into a bottle of diet Coke®? That’s exactly what a Mentos® does. Dissolved gases need a surface to start forming a bubble (let’s just assume that’s true, which it is), and the Mentos® candy provides a huge amount of surface area because it is a very porous material. So add a Mentos® and many, many more CO2 bubbles can form at the same time, which leads to a sugary eruption.


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