Candy corn is a three-color confectionary that is popular in the US and Canada around Halloween. It is made from sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, and coloring and binders. It was first developed in the 1880s and by 2016, more than 35 million pounds (almost 9 billion pieces of candy) were produced in the US. Each candy corn is about 7 calories.
The National Confectioners Association celebrates National Candy Corn Day on October 30. The three colors—yellow for the broad end, orange for the tapered section, and white for the tip—are applied in separate steps. Although candy corn used to be made by hand, today it is done using specially designed machinery and molds.
As romantic as making candy sounds, it is actually a straightforward industrial process. Sugar, corn syrup, and wax are blended, then gelatin and sugar are whipped with air and added, and a fondant is mixed in along with yellow and orange coloring. A fondant is highly crystallized sugar syrup that is used to create a candy that breaks off easily in the mouth and doesn’t have the chewy texture that comes from the sugar crystals. Corn starch is placed into hundreds of individual molds that move along a conveyer belt. Triangle-shaped air nozzles inject layers of white, orange, and yellow candy corn mixture into the molds. The candy corn pieces are cooled, polished, and shipped.
The result is the candy treat that best represents Halloween.
(Image source: candywarehouse.com)