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Cotton Candy: What is it and how is it made?

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What is Cotton Candy?

 A light and fluffy confectionery made of sugar is popular by the name Cotton Candy. The candy has an appearance of woollen cotton and hence is the name. It is prepared from sugar solution which is spun to form fine thread-like stands. Cotton Candy is a popular food item especially among the children and is typically sold in amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals.

What are the raw materials used in the preparation of Cotton Candy?

Sugar is the prime ingredient used in the preparation of the confectionery. However, normal sugar cannot be used in the preparation of Cotton Candy; it requires specially treated sugar known as floss sugar for the preparation of fine fibre like structures, which is the speciality of a Cotton Candy. Other ingredients included in its preparation are –dyes that are federally regulated. These sugar confectioneries are famous for its pink and blue coloured-appearance; they are available in red, yellow, purple, and brown colour too. Not only colours but different flavours are added too –bubble gum, raspberry, banana, chocolate, watermelon, and vanilla. The natural flavours are obtained from products like berries, maple sugar, fruits, molasses, and honey.

How it the Cotton Candy made?

The manufacturing of the Cotton Candy can be broadly divided into two types on the basis of the machine used in their preparation. The semi-automatic machine is used to prepare the cotton candies which are sold immediately at the amusement parks and carnivals. On the other hand, the fully automatic machines are used in preparing the cotton candies in a bulk amount that is distributed widely.

Process of formation:

  • In the first step, the granular floss sugar is converted into fine particles. This is done when the solid sugar is placed in a large hopper made of stainless steel. The hopper is equipped with metallic cylinders with heating elements which contain holes.
  • The sugar is heated inside this extruder which melts and then fine strands of sugar formed from the molten solution are thrown out through the holes.
  • The machine operator with the help of conical cardboard collects these sugar strands by passing the cardboard throughout the sides of the collection pan. When he does so, the sugar stands start sticking to the cone. When enough of the strands are collected, the cotton candy is sold immediately to the customer.

The ingredients included in the making of cotton candy are completely harmless. If you haven’t tried a cotton candy yet, make sure to have one whenever you visit an amusement park or a carnival.   

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