Last updated

The wind tastes like lollipops.jpg
A display of rainbow-swirl lollipops
Alternative namesLolly, sucker, sticky-pop
Type Confectionery
Main ingredients Sucrose, corn syrup, flavoring
Variations Ice pops

A lollipop is a type of sugar candy usually consisting of hard candy mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. [1] Different informal terms are used in different places, including lolly, sucker, sticky-pop, etc.[ citation needed ] Lollipops are available in many flavors and shapes.



Spiral type with multi-color Rainbow-spiral lollipop.JPG
Spiral type with multi-color

Lollipops are available in a number of colors and flavors, particularly fruit flavors. With numerous companies producing lollipops, the candy now comes in dozens of flavors and many different shapes. They range from small ones which can be bought by the hundred and are often given away for free at banks, barbershops, and other locations, to very large ones made out of candy canes twisted into a circle.

Most lollipops are eaten at room temperature, but "ice lollipops", "ice lollies", or "popsicles" are frozen water-based lollipops. Similar confections on a stick made of ice cream, often with a flavored coating, are usually not called by this name.

Some lollipops contain fillings, such as bubble gum or soft candy. Some novelty lollipops have more unusual items, such as mealworm larvae, embedded in the candy. [2] Other novelty lollipops have non-edible centers, such a flashing light, embedded within the candy; there is also a trend[ where? ] of lollipops with sticks attached to a motorized device that makes the entire lollipop spin around in one's mouth.

In the Nordic countries, Germany, and the Netherlands, some lollipops are flavored with salmiak.

Medicinal use

Lollipops can be used to carry medicines.

Some lollipops have been marketed for use as diet aids, although their effectiveness is untested, and anecdotal cases of weight loss may be due to the power of suggestion. [3] Flavored lollipops containing medicine are intended to give children medicine without fuss.

Actiq is a powerful analgesic lollipop whose active ingredient is fentanyl. This makes for fast action; the lollipop is used, for example, by the military, and is not a way to make medicine palatable to children.


A Tootsie Roll Pop Tootsie-Roll-Pop-Orange.jpg
A Tootsie Roll Pop

The idea of an edible candy on a stick is very simple, and it is probable that the lollipop has been invented and reinvented numerous times. [4] The first confectioneries that closely resemble what we call lollipops date to the Middle Ages, when the nobility would often eat boiled sugar with the aid of sticks or handles. [4]

The invention of the modern lollipop is still something of a mystery but a number of American companies in the early 20th century have laid claim to it. According to the book Food for Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World, they were invented by George Smith of New Haven, Connecticut, who started making large hard candies mounted on sticks in 1908. He named them after a racehorse of the time, Lolly Pop [5] - and trademarked the lollipop name in 1931. [6]

The term 'lollipop' was recorded by English lexicographer Francis Grose in 1796. [7] The term may have derived from the term "lolly" (tongue) and "pop" (slap). The first references to the lollipop in its modern context date to the 1920s. [8] Alternatively, it may be a word of Romany origin being related to the Roma tradition of selling candy apples on a stick. Red apple in the Romany language is loli phaba. [9]


The main ingredient in a standard lollipop is sugar. Sugars are fully hydrated carbon chains meaning that there is a water molecule attached to each carbon. Sugars come in two forms; straight-chain and ring form. When sugars are in straight-chain form, aldehyde and ketone groups are open which leaves them very susceptible to reaction. In this state, sugars are unstable. In ring form, sugars are stable and therefore exist in this form in most foods, including lollipops.

Sugar is a very versatile ingredient and is used in many of food and products we consume every single day. What makes sugar different is the way it interacts with the other ingredients and systems within the food as well as how it is treated. When it is heated enough to break the molecules apart, it generates a complex flavor, changes the color, and creates a pleasing aroma. [10] Sugar can form two types of solids in foods; crystalline and glassy amorphous. Crystalline solids can be found in food products like fondant, fudge, and butter creams. Glassy amorphous solids can be found in products like lollipops, marshmallows, and caramels. Glassy amorphous solids result when moderate sugar concentrations (50% solutions) are heated to high temperatures which nearly eliminates all moisture. The final moisture content is around 1%-2%, whereas the final moisture content in crystalline candies is 8%-12%. The non-crystalline nature of glassy amorphous solids is due to the presence of inhibitors in the solution. Without an inhibitor, crystallization would occur spontaneously and rapidly as sugar cools due to its high concentration. Some common inhibitors used in lollipop production are corn syrup, cream of tartar, honey, and butter.

The second most important ingredient in lollipop production is water. Even though at the end of the lollipop making process, the moisture content falls to less than 2%, the starting process involves water. All other ingredients used in the process of lollipop production are optional. The use of inhibitors is dependent on the type of sugar used. The amount of inhibitor in the lollipop is usually small in comparison to the amount of sugar used. On top of that, additional flavors, colorings, and inclusions (like bubble gum or a tootsie roll) can be added to the final product, but are not a part of the main structure of a simple lollipop.


Although the main functional ingredients of a lollipop are quite simple, the actual process of making this product is where things start to get complicated. It has already been stated that a glassy amorphous structure is a non-crystalline solid. However, the formation and physical state of this glass has a lot of chemistry and physics behind it. The first step in making lollipops after mixing the main ingredients is the heating process. During heating, the molecules increase in their translational mobility and therefore become liquid-like. [11] Although it can be found that many hard candies are heated to about 310˚F, the temperature that the solution is heated to is dependent on the specific volume and contents of the mixture. After heating is complete, the solution can then be cooled. The final cooled solution is a supersaturated due to the fact that the moisture content drops to below 2%. Supersaturated or supercooled liquids are also formed due to the fact that crystallization is being inhibited. They are unstable because crystallization is a favored reaction in this case. During the cooling process, the most important physicochemical characteristic of lollipops is occurring. This process is called glass transition.

Glass transition

Glass transition is the solid-liquid transformation of amorphous material. It is a reversible change of the solid and liquid states of supercooled liquids. Glass transition occurs approximately 100˚C-150˚C below the equilibrium melting temperature of a pure substance. [11] This dynamic transition is not a change of state, but a change of phase. It can be looked at in terms of a change in the molecular motion of the liquid, not a change in the molecular order itself. This transition from liquid to solid is what defines the physical appearance of a standard lollipop. The result of the glass transition is a kinetically static state of a supercooled liquid. Prior to this, as stated before, the liquid was unstable.

See also

Related Research Articles

Glass Transparent non-crystalline solid material

Glass is a non-crystalline, often transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics. Glass is most often formed by rapid cooling (quenching) of the molten form; some glasses such as volcanic glass are naturally occurring. The most familiar, and historically the oldest, types of manufactured glass are "silicate glasses" based on the chemical compound silica, the primary constituent of sand. Soda-lime glass, containing around 70% silica, accounts for around 90% of manufactured glass. The term glass, in popular usage, is often used to refer only to this type of material, although silica-free glasses often have desirable properties for applications in modern communications technology. Some objects, such as drinking glasses and eyeglasses, are so commonly made of silicate-based glass that they are simply called by the name of the material.

Melting Material phase change

Melting, or fusion, is a physical process that results in the phase transition of a substance from a solid to a liquid. This occurs when the internal energy of the solid increases, typically by the application of heat or pressure, which increases the substance's temperature to the melting point. At the melting point, the ordering of ions or molecules in the solid breaks down to a less ordered state, and the solid "melts" to become a liquid.

Confectionery Prepared foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates

Confectionery is the art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, though, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping categories, bakers' confections and sugar confections. The confectioner does the categories of cooking done by both the French patissier and the confiseur.

Candy Sweet confection

Candy, also called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, and sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.

Marshmallow Sugar-based confection

Marshmallow is a type of confectionery that is typically made from sugar, water and gelatin whipped to a solid but soft consistency. It is used as a filling in baking, or commonly molded into shapes and coated with corn starch. It is the modern version of a medicinal confection made from Althaea officinalis, the marshmallow plant.

Freezing phase transition in which a liquid turns into a solid due to a decrease in thermal energy

Freezing is a phase transition where a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. In accordance with the internationally established definition, freezing means the solidification phase change of a liquid or the liquid content of a substance, usually due to cooling.

Supercooling, also known as undercooling, is the process of lowering the temperature of a liquid or a gas below its freezing point without it becoming a solid. It achieves this in the absence of a seed crystal or nucleus around which a crystal structure can form. The supercooling of water can be achieved without any special techniques other than chemical demineralization, down to −48.3 °C (−55 °F). Droplets of supercooled water often exist in stratus and cumulus clouds. An aircraft flying through such a cloud sees an abrupt crystallization of these droplets, which can result in the formation of ice on the aircraft's wings or blockage of its instruments and probes.

Vitrification The transformation of a substance into a glass

Vitrification is the transformation of a substance into a glass, that is to say, a non-crystalline amorphous solid. In the production of ceramics, vitrification is responsible for its impermeability to water.

Amorphous metal Solid metallic material with disordered atomic-scale structure

An amorphous metal is a solid metallic material, usually an alloy, with disordered atomic-scale structure. Most metals are crystalline in their solid state, which means they have a highly ordered arrangement of atoms. Amorphous metals are non-crystalline, and have a glass-like structure. But unlike common glasses, such as window glass, which are typically electrical insulators, amorphous metals have good electrical conductivity and they also display superconductivity at low temperatures.

In physics and chemistry, flash freezing is the process whereby objects are frozen in just a few hours by subjecting them to cryogenic temperatures, or through direct contact with liquid nitrogen at −196 °C (−320.8 °F). It is commonly used in the food industry.

Jolly Rancher

Jolly Rancher is an American brand of sweet hard candy, mostly defined by its assortment of bold fruit flavors, gummies, fruit chews, jelly beans, lollipops, gelatin desserts, gum, and sodas. It is currently manufactured by The Hershey Company. The product was originally produced by the Jolly Rancher Company, founded by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen of Golden, Colorado. In addition to candy, the Jolly Rancher Company made ice cream and chocolate which was sold at several "Ranch Maid Ice Cream" stores in the Denver area. The organization’s name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company.

Sugar candy

Sugar candy is any candy whose primary ingredient is sugar. The main types of sugar candies are hard candies, fondants, caramels, jellies, and nougats. In British English, this broad category of sugar candies is called sweets, and the name candy or sugar-candy is used only for hard candies that are nearly solid sugar.

Amorphous ice is an amorphous solid form of water. Common ice is a crystalline material wherein the molecules are regularly arranged in a hexagonal lattice, whereas amorphous ice has a lack of long-range order in its molecular arrangement. Amorphous ice is produced either by rapid cooling of liquid water, or by compressing ordinary ice at low temperatures.

Polyamorphism The ability of a substance to exist in more than one distinct amorphous state

Polyamorphism is the ability of a substance to exist in several different amorphous modifications. It is analogous to the polymorphism of crystalline materials. Many amorphous substances can exist with different amorphous characteristics. However, polyamorphism requires two distinct amorphous states with a clear, discontinuous (first-order) phase transition between them. When such a transition occurs between two stable liquid states, a polyamorphic transition may also be referred to as a liquid–liquid phase transition.

The glass–liquid transition, or glass transition, is the gradual and reversible transition in amorphous materials from a hard and relatively brittle "glassy" state into a viscous or rubbery state as the temperature is increased. An amorphous solid that exhibits a glass transition is called a glass. The reverse transition, achieved by supercooling a viscous liquid into the glass state, is called vitrification.

In condensed matter physics and physical chemistry, the terms viscous liquid, supercooled liquid, and glassforming liquid are often used interchangeably to designate liquids that are at the same time highly viscous, can be or are supercooled, and able to form a glass.

Fragility (glass physics)

In glass physics, fragility characterizes how rapidly the dynamics of a material slow down as it is cooled toward the glass transition: materials with a higher fragility have a relatively narrow glass transition temperature range, while those with low fragility have a relatively broad glass transition temperature range. Physically, fragility may be related to the presence of dynamical heterogeneity in glasses, as well as to the breakdown of the usual Stokes–Einstein relationship between viscosity and diffusion.

Hard candy Form of sugar candy

A hard candy, or boiled sweet, is a sugar candy prepared from one or more sugar-based syrups that is boiled to a temperature of 160 °C (320 °F) to make candy. Among the many hard candy varieties are stick candy such as the candy cane, lollipops, aniseed twists, and bêtises de Cambrai.

Agglomerated food powder is a unit operation during which native particles are assembled to form bigger agglomerates, in which the original particle can still be distinguished. Agglomeration can be achieved through processes that use liquid as a binder or methods that do not involve any binder.


  1. "Lollipop". How Products are Made. Advameg Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  2. Fromme, Alison (July–August 2005). "Edible insects". Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Archived from the original on 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
  3. St. James, Janet (February 8, 2007). "Lollipop Diet helps woman shed pounds". WFAA News (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas). Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
  4. 1 2 "The History of Lollipop candy". Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  5. Pearce, Food For Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World, (2004) page 183.
  6. "Lollipops and Candy Suckers – Retro Candy from". Archived from the original on 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  7. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1933
  8. Harper, Douglas. "lollipop". Online Etymology Dictionary . Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  9. Hubschmannova, Milena; Kalinin, Valdemar; Kenrick, Donald (2000). What is the Romani Language?. ISBN   9781902806068 . Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  10. McGhee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking. Scribner. pp. 647–712.
  11. 1 2 Roos, Y.H (2010). "Glass Transition Temperature and Its Relevance in Food Processing". Review of Science and Food Technology: 470–491. PMID   22129345.