Mountain Dew vs. Twinkie

No, not a lawsuit. Think more along the lines of Godzilla vs. Mothra.

A couple of weeks ago NPR ran a story about a man who sued Pepsi over a dead mouse in his Mountain Dew and lost! because Mountain Dew is so acidic it would have reduced the mouse to jelly.

Hard on the heels of that news was the announcement that Hostess was filing for bankruptcy.

To close this NPR circle (and capitalize on all the Twinkie sentimentality sprung from the Hostess announcement), the Science Desk asked if a Twinkie would dissolve in Mountain Dew. Their findings were floatation but not dissolution.

I heard this and immediately thought, ‘Duh, they just didn’t leave it in long enough.’ So I tried it with my classes.

The experiment is still underway and I anticipate a rather unpleasant sticky mess, on Monday but I have observations from the introduction of the Twinkie and 18 hours later.

The Twinkie does float, but it rides low in the Dew. It actually has almost neutral buoyancy.

Upon introduction into the Mountain Dew, the soda starts to fizz more. I believe this is for some of the same reasons that cause the Mentos fountains. Bits of cake come off immediately become sodden and sink to the bottom.

Eighteen hours later the cake has split open. The Dew is completely opaque with cake particles. The creamy filling has leaked out and is floating, agglomerated, separately from the cake. The filling is still very white. The cake is starting to fade in color somewhat. The cake at the surface of the Dew has started to turn a pink color. This may be early colonization of mold. The mess still smells like Mountain Dew. I estimate (by sight) that approximately 30% of the sponge cake has dissolved in the Dew.

If Mountain Dew is on sale this whole experiment will cost you less than $2. There are actually a lot of things you could do with $2 that might actually help humanity, but this is not a bad home science experiment.

I promise to post the 72 hours results.Who will triumph? Twinkie or Dew?

**UPDATE**

At 72 hours the Twinkie is no more deteriorated than it was after 18 hours. I’m going to call that a Twinkie win.

I’m not sure which is more frightening that the Twinkie was able to maintain its integrity in the pH 3 environment (that’s stomach acid levels), or that the whole thing, with that much sugar, exposed to the open air for 3 days did not mold.

When soda that can dissolve a tooth meets food that can survive the apocalypse, apocalypse diet wins! Bon appetit!

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