About thirty years ago it was discovered that crunching on mint Lifesavers will produce green sparks and a crackling noise. Peppermint Lifesavers will produce similar results. According to Lifesavers, Inc. of New York, the mint Lifesavers contain sugar and methyl salicylate (a component of the mint flavoring). When these two compounds are crunched together, a crystalline energy is produced which stimulates the methyl salicylate to emit light. The process is known as triboluminescence.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1982 by the Iowa Academy of Science
"Chem Gems and Joules,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 19
, Article 18.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol19/iss1/18