The Chemistry of Atomic Fireballs

IntroductionA type of candy that has ruined many teeth from people attempting to chew it is the famous Jawbreaker. Atomic Fireballs are a known Jawbreaker created by Salvatore Ferrara of the Ferrara Pan Candy Company created in 1954.

Atomic Fireballs were formed using the hot panned candy process. This process involves building candy pieces from single grains of sugar and tossing them into revolving pans while adding flavor, color and other candy ingredients. This process continues until the pieces become the desired size.

The atomic fireball has been helpful in my life when i need a small snack, just have a small little ball of cinnamon in a wrapper in my backpack to help me think through the day is quite nice. The atomic ball the first time I tried one had the same feeling as when someone takes a drink of some hot chocolate, it started to burn my tongue and made my face red. It’s always given me something to snack on during the day and make my face turn red and heat up.

Composition of ...


Sucrose, Food Starch, Gum Acacia, Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Red Coloring and Sugar


Sweetener and bulking agent

Also known as table sugar

Food Starch:

Any starch made from a food source or used as an ingredient in a food is considered a food starch. Sources of food starch include corn, wheat, rice and other grains, as well as potatoes and other vegetables. When heated, starch transforms into a paste, which makes it a popular thickener and binder used in many food items. Starch may also be added to foods to increase their dietary fiber content or stabilize their protein content.

Gum Acacia:

Gum from the various spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia.

Artificial Flavor:

Any substance created artificially to flavor food products

Carnauba Wax:

Wax found in a plant native to and grown only in northeastern Brazil, on Copernicia prunifera

Composition-Carnauba wax consists of fatty acid esters (80-85%), fatty alcohols (10-16%), acids (3-6%) and hydrocarbons (1-3%). It is around 20% esterified fatty diols, 10% methoxylated or hydroxylated cinnamic acid, and 6% hydroxylated fatty acids.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Carnauba Wax; the Carnabau wax for the reason that it is an exothermic substance, thus it creates heat. Contains mainly esters of fatty acids (80-85%), fatty alcohols (10-15%), acids (3-6%) and hydrocarbons (1-3%). Specific for carnauba wax is the content of esterified fatty diols (about 20%), hydroxylated fatty acids (about 6%) and cinnamic acid (about 10%). Cinnamic acid, an antioxidant, may be hydroxylated or methoxylated.

The major components of carnauba wax are aliphatic and aromatic esters of long-chain alcohols and acids, with smaller amounts of free fatty acids and alcohols, and resins.

Another site claim common components as C30 alcohols and C26 acids.

Food Starch:

This helps make the actual shape of the fireball hold together.


Background Research

The Carnauba Wax is found in Northeastern Brazil on the Copernicia prunifera tree. It grows on the bark of the tree over time and is then harvested.

Food Starch is made up of alpha glucosidic bonds, which cause helix-shaped molecules, while cellulose build with beta glucosidic bonds giving straight molecules and a fibrous structure. In plants starch is organised in 1-140 m granules.

There are 35 calories, 9 g carbohydrates, 9 g sugar


About the Author

Josh Zeeck