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How Jell-O Works

Whether it's in the school cafeteria or at a family picnic, there are few people who haven't eaten Jell-O. There's something about the way it jiggles that makes it fun to play with and fun to eat. It can also be molded into tons of different shapes. But how does turn from a liquid into a wobbly treat? Read on for the scoop!

The Ingredients

Jell-O has five basic ingredients: gelatin, water, sugar, artificial flavors and food coloring. It's the gelatin that makes Jell-O hold its shape. Gelatin is processed protein, called collagen, which is found in most animals.

Putting the Moo in Glue

The gelatin in Jell-O is made from the collagen in cow or pig bones and skins. Contrary to popular opinion, hooves and horns aren't often used to make gelatin. Manufacturers grind up these animal parts and use acid, and alkali chemical processes to break down the cellular structures and release the collagen. Next, the mixture is boiled. The stuff that forms a layer on top is gelatin.

The Nuts and Bolts of Gelatin

Gelatin has a structure similar to DNA. With DNA there are two chains (called nucleotides) that twist together in a spiral (known as a double-helix). Gelatin protein has three separate chains (called amino acids) that twist around each other. These chains are held together by weak bonds that form between the amino acids.

Making the Quaking

When you add the flavor and gelatin mixture to boiling water, the powder dissolves and the weak bonds that hold together the protein chains break apart. The chains float around free and loose in your mixing bowl until you add cold water and put the mixture in the fridge. As it cools, the chains start bonding again. The chains become tangled when they are stirred, and water gets into gaps between the chains. The gelatin "chains" and the trapped water and flavor are what make Jell-O wiggle.

 

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What is the Best Thing to do with Jell-O?

  • Throw it at people.
  • Eat it!
  • Jell-O wrestling.
  • Make people shapes with it.

General In The Forums

Dan_and_Phil
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for"~ Jace
reply about 2 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
Daydreaming, or dreaming at the night is not really something I ever though about. Yes, I daydream a lot, and dream at the night a lot too. I think I prefer dreaming at the night because the dreams are more intense, and they help a lot with my personal business. (May be to complicated to understand.) Daydreaming is cool too, but it isn't very intense. 
reply about 3 hours
mrCali
mrCali posted in Say Anything:
'A day without sunshine is like, you know, night' It's funny because it's so dry hahah
reply about 4 hours
-Oracle-
-Oracle- posted in Say Anything:
Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
reply about 5 hours
MixMox
MixMox posted in Debating:
i do both, but i "prefer" night dreaming. 
reply about 6 hours