What Liquid Makes Gummy Bears Grow the Biggest?

The liquid that makes gummy bears grow the biggest is water, but it is not the liquid that you need to pay attention to when you are trying to make gummy bears grow.

You can try many different experiments at home to see for yourself that water is the best solution when you want your gummy bears to grow the biggest.

The liquid that makes gummy bears grow the biggest is pure water.

When substances are added to water with gummy bears, the gummy bear will change size.

Liquids such as vinegar, or solids such as salt, will always make the gummy bear shrink in size.

This is due to osmosis and makes for a fun science experiment.

Table of Contents

How do gummy bears change in size?

Gummy bears change in size as a result of being exposed to a liquid. Gummy bears will grow or shrink, depending on what is in the liquid.

Gummy bears are developed with a scientific recipe, and altering this recipe in any way, before or after they are made, will impact their size.

That is because of the process of osmosis. Osmosis occurs when particles pass through a cell membrane.

Every cell has a cell membrane through which particles pass.

The cell membrane is a fatty or lipid substance that is semi-permeable, meaning, particles can pass through it.

An impermeable membrane is one where particles can not pass through it. In a semi-permeable membrane, particles such as oxygen and water can move in and out of it, which is what makes gummy bears change in size.

Why are the cell membranes of gummy bear particles important?

The cell membranes of gummy bear particles are important when it comes to their size because the membranes are the barrier through which particles enter.

These particles will alter the size of any gummy bear if they have the right chemical composition.

In a semi-permeable membrane, some but not all particles can pass through.

In the case of gummy bears, water is one of the smaller molecules that can pass through.

cell membrane of gummy bear

This happens under certain circumstances and through the process of osmosis.

Equilibrium is required in order for a cell to function normally. When there is more of one kind of molecule either inside or outside the cell, the need for equilibrium will trigger osmosis.

The water will move from low concentration areas to high concentration areas through the cell membrane.

The water stops moving when equilibrium is accomplished.

How do you get water to make gummy bears grow?

In order to make gummy bears grow, you need to put them in water, and water only. The key here is the balance in the liquid on either side of the membrane.

You won’t need to know the specifics of this when you are conducting the experiment, it is just helpful to know how it works.

An isotonic membrane is one where the water molecules are equal on either side. Any kind of molecule added to it will create a hypertonic situation, where there are more molecules on one than the other.

The water will move from the side with a lower concentration to the side with a higher concentration until equilibrium is accomplished.

higher concentration

In the case of making gummy bears grow, the chemical composition of what is put in the water will affect the size.

Pure water is the best when it comes to making gummy bears grow. When you add bigger molecules like sugar, salt, or vinegar, you will have a different effect (shrinkage) due to osmosis.

What kind of experiment can be conducted to make gummy bears grow?

There are many different experiments available that test what chemicals will make gummy bears grow.

Gummy bears are made of gelatin, which is a solid substance that is combined with sugar and food coloring.

When gelatin is heated with water, collagen forms and solidifies.

When the gelatin forms the structure, usually in a mold, the mixture will cool and the gelatin forms protein bonds that create the candy called gummy bears.

Experiments can be performed with different liquid chemicals to test what will happen to gummy bears after they are created.

You will perform these experiments after the gummy bears have been made, if you have made your own, or, with purchased gummy bears.

kind of experiment

Most experiments trying this will use bowls or cups filled with water and other solutions. You’ll start with one bowl or cup filled with just water.

Other bowls and cups will have water added to them, and additional chemicals in each bowl such as salt, sugar, or vinegar.

How do you perform the experiment to make gummy bears grow?

When you want to test for yourself which liquid makes gummy bears grow the biggest, you will need a few bowls or cups, different substances, water, and gummy bears.

You can also include a weighing scale if you want to measure exactly how big your gummy bears have grown.

The best substances to use are water, water with salt, water with sugar, and water with vinegar.

You want to use water that is at room temperature, as gummy bears are very sensitive to heat changes.

When you are mixing the water, add approximately 5 to 7 tablespoons of the substance you are using (vinegar, sugar, etc.), to ensure there is a high concentration of the substance in the water.

Add the salt for example until it cannot dissolve anymore, and you can see salt in the bottom of your bowl.

You will not be able to tell this with vinegar as much, but 7 tablespoons of vinegar will be enough.

 48 hours

Put the gummy bears into bowls or cups and leave them to sit for approximately 48 hours.

Keep an eye on them and if they stop growing or shrinking, you can then begin to draw conclusions about the gummy bear solutions.

A measuring scale can be used to weigh the gummy bears after two or three days to determine conclusively which liquid makes gummy bears bigger.

What happens during the gummy bear experiment?

During the gummy bear experiment, osmosis works to create an effect on the gummy bears.

Both the gummy bears and the water have semi-permeable membranes. In the end, gummy bears in water alone get bigger and heavier, while the gummy bears in all other solutions will stay the same or get smaller.

With the acid solution, such as the vinegar, the gummy bears shrink.

With the water solution, the gummy bears expand.

If you weigh the water before and after the gummy bears were in the vinegar solution, you will find the water weighed more.

You may also notice a difference in the texture of the gummy bears. The gummy bear that sits in the water the longest will have more of a “jiggle” to it.

texture of the gummy bears

That is because the gummy bear will have more water in it than it did when it started.

The gummy bear also has sugar in it, so when you have water with sugar in it, you are not going to see too many changes here, but the gummy bear will still get a little bigger.

The water inside the bear is going to stay very similar to the water outside the bear. When you have water and salt, you have more water and sugar inside the bear than you do outside.

What happens with the salt mixture is that there is more of one molecule inside the bear than outside, and the water from inside the bear moves in the opposite direction.

The same thing happens with vinegar. Salt and vinegar will both dissolve the gummy bear or cause it to shrink.

Again, weigh your volumes of water before and after the experiment to see for yourself what happens when osmosis works its magic here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need a specific brand of gummy bear for this experiment?

gelatin, sugar, food coloring, and water

No, you do not need a specific brand of gummy bear. You can even make your own. Gummy bears are made with simple gelatin, sugar, food coloring, and water.

So long as they are gummy bears, the osmosis experiment will work.

Why does vinegar shrink gummy bears?

The reason vinegar shrinks gummy bears is that it is an acid that penetrates the semi-permeable membrane and throws off the equilibrium.

In order for balance to be achieved in the solution, some molecules have to dissolve. This will happen sometimes when heat is applied to a solution.

In others, an acid or harsher chemical will do. Vinegar is a larger, more complex molecule that will overpower water.

When it crosses the membranes of the gummy bears, a balance between the two substances needs to occur.

The bear will get smaller as a result.

Make your gummy bear grow

When you want to see what liquid makes gummy bears grow the biggest, the answer is water.

Make Your Gummy Bear grow

Try this experiment for yourself and see what happens when you use different substances mixed with water on gummy bears.