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Candy Cane

Surface Spectroscopy on Food with EnviroESCA

 Candy Cane

Here we present the near ambient pressure surface analysis of a sugar candy using the EnviroESCA. A candy cane often associated with Christmas time (also Santaís cane) was chosen for this investigation. The candy cane was studied at different positions on the outside as well as the inside.

A common Christmas candy was chosen for analysis, a candy cane looking like a crook in traditional white with red stripes.
The candy was placed directly on the sample plate without any fixation or pre-treatment. Then the Sample Environment was pumped down to 1 mbar of Argon atmosphere and the sample was placed in front of the analyzerís nozzle and the X-ray window.

 
Results
1. Outside - Red Area

Candy Cane

The image on the left which shows the red coloured area underneath the analyser nozzle at a working distance of 0.3mm was recorded with one of the three digital microscopes in the EnviroESCA Analysis Module. The metal pipe coming from the lower left corner allows for dosing of gases directly onto the analyzed region of the sample.


The main ingredients of that candy are sugar (sucrose), glucose syrup, citric acid and aroma. Further ingredients are carmine (E120), Carotine (E160a) and TiO2 (E171) which are needed to obtain the typical red and white color.

First a survey spectrum was taken on a red stripe on the outside of the candy cane. That spectrum shows Oxygen and Carbon as main elements together with a minor contribution originating from Nitrogen and peaks from Argon gas.

XPS Survey spectrum on the red stripes of a candy cane

 
2. Outside - White Area

Candy Cane

Next the white area of the candy cane surfaces was analyzed as can be seen on the image on the left.

 

The survey spectrum also shows Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Argon gas but here some additional contributions from Calcium, Silicon, Sulfur and Titanium (most probably) were identified.

XPS Survey spectrum on the white stripes of a candy cane

 
A zoom into the 0-600 eV binding energy region of survey spectrum taken on the white area clearly is shown below.
  XPS Survey spectrum on the white stripes of a candy cane
 
3. Inside - White Area
 candy cane  candy cane
Studied inside area of candy cane with a sample to nozzle working distance of 0.3mm.
A characterization of the white inside was done after cleaving the candy cane. The acquired survey spectrum is shown in the figure below. Here again Oxygen, Carbon, and Nitrogen were detected as major compounds. In comparison to the spectra obtained from the outside the ratio of carbon to oxygen peak intensities changed significantly.
  XPS Survey spectrum on the white stripes of a candy cane
That different outside and inside composition of the candy is also reflected in the C 1s detail spectra shown in the following figure. Spectra obtained from red and white colored areas on the outside of the candy are comparable but the one taken at the inside differs completely.
 Carbon 1s XPS spectrum of a candy cane
(The C 1s spectra were aligned using the survey O 1s = 532 eV as BE reference)
 
3. Conclusion
EnviroESCA has shown its ability to analyze the surfaces of common sugar candy with XPS. The surface analysis of different areas of the inner and outer region reveals spectral signatures of the main ingredients, sugar (sucrose), glucose syrup, citric acid and the used pigments carmine (E120), Carotine (E160a) and Titanium dioxide (E171). Moreover, it could be demonstrated that the candy cane has a very heterogeneous (surface) composition.



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