NULL HYPOTHESIS 13 (Skittles): Freeze-Dried Skittles Retain Their Original Chewiness
Conclusion: We rejected this hypothesis
Abstract: We bought a package of Skittles and spread them out over a tray. Then we froze them and freeze-dried them.
a regular package of Skittles candy
1 Harvest Right freeze dryer tray with a silicone mat
Above: The top photo is of Skittles before freeze-drying. The bottom photo is after freeze-drying.
Started the freeze drier to the non-liquid, pre-freeze setting (wait 30 mins.)
Arranged the Skittles on the tray.
Once the pre-freeze cycle completed, placed the frozen trays in freeze-drier (with 3 other trays of food)
Started the freeze-drying cycle.
Removed Skittles from freeze-dryer.
Our actual total starting weight of Skittles on the tray was .377 kg and the finished weight was .363 kg (not including the tray itself).
The freeze-drier completed its ordinary cycle at 24 hours. We added 4 hours so the cycle wouldn't end in the middle of the night. The temperature scanner showed an approximate average temperature of 100° F. We did not find any cold spots.
As you can see in the photos above, the Skittles look very different when they are freeze dried. We were able to refuse our hypothesis. Unlike regular skittles that are chewy, freeze-dried Skittles are very crunchy. This is a little surprising because hardly any water (by weight) is removed from the Skittles during drying.
We learned two other things from freeze drying Skittles. First, they expand so it is important to space them out on the tray. Second, kids eat these quickly.