It actually takes about seven days to make jellybeans. It has long been known how to make jellybeans, but nobody knew why it took so long. Ever since jellybeans first appeared in 1861 as part of "The Penny Candy Craze", confectioniers have tried to speed up this process. But, this always resulted in dried out blobs.

However, Gregory Ziegler, an associate professor of food sciene at Penn State University decided to find out why it took so long.

When you make a jellybean, the first step is to mix the center ingredients, and put them in a molding starch to dry overnight. At this stage, they are hard and tough. The next step is putting the sugar shell over the centers. And then, you must wait two to four days before you can polish the jellybeans. It is this stage that the scientists focused on.

Using MRI equipment, they took photographs of jellybean halves over time. It turns out that the moisture from the sugar shell is drawn into the center of the bean. It is simply osmosis. The moist shell is drawn to the hard center. And then, the glucose in the center actually attracts water more than the sucrose in the shell. The end result is a hard, crystaline shell and a gel-like chewy center.

A Zope-killing application platform for Perl objects. Useful for building small programs that interact with users in a variety of ways.

Not too useful for doing real work, but the joy of hacking is enough, isn't it?

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