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Comparable pH Levels: Battery Acid and Sour Candy

When I was younger, my parents always told me, “Candy will rot your teeth!” Using the best deductive reasoning a precocious five-year-old could muster, I came to the conclusion that couldn’t be true. I mean, how could something that tastes so good corrode me from the inside out? Again, I was five so that logic seemed pretty sound at the time. It wasn’t until much later down the line that I learned that virtually everything that tastes good is bad for you. Apparently, that sentiment is most true when it comes to sour candies.

Your teeth’s enamel starts to wear away when you start munching on anything more acidic than a 4 on the pH scale. To give you some comparison, water has an acidity of 7 and battery acid is at a 1 on the pH scale. The acidity of your average candy of even the mildest of tangingess start around a 3 to a 2.5 of the pH scale, and I’m not talking about the really sour stuff here, I’m talking about Skittles and your typical gummy bear.

The insane thing here is that some of the heavy hitting sour candies like Wonka Fun Dip powder and Altoid Sours  measure up around a 1.8 and 1.9, respectively. WarHeads Sour Spray tops the charts with a 1.6 pH level, a mere 0.6 pH away from battery acid.

I feel like what my parents said to me all those years ago should have been amended to “(Sour) candy will rot your teeth!” At least then, the advice they gave me would have been more accurate when I chose to ignore it.

(via Gizmodo)

By Brian Yamamoto

Brian earned his bachelor's degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in Photocommunications. He is a self-proclaimed ramen aficionado and dabbles in photography and writing in his spare time. While almost a carnivore, he doesn't shy away from partaking in peculiar cuisine whenever he's offered the chance. Some of his current culinary obsessions include home-made peanutella, gastropub burgers and sea urchin sashimi.

17 replies on “Comparable pH Levels: Battery Acid and Sour Candy”

Ok, really? Not only are you two weeks late to this, but you repeat the exact same mistake that Gizmodo made? Folks, the pH scale is logarithmic. What this means is that if one thing has pH 2 and another has pH 3, the item that is pH 2 is TEN TIMES MORE ACIDIC. A difference of 0.6 pH means 4-5 times the difference!

When you get down to something that’s pH 3? That’s 1/100th the acidity of battery acid. You want to keep your teeth intact? Brush your teeth after every meal. Most of the acids that your teeth encounter come from the bacteria in your mouth converting sugars — both simple and starches — to acids. No Warheads needed.

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