20–30 September 2018

Toffee apples

Sweets and Treats: the Chemistry of Circus and Fairground Food

A workshop exploring the chemistry behind famous fairground foods such as candy floss and toffee apples.

Learn all about the chemistry behind these fairground favourites, while getting involved in live food making. You’ll also have the chance to try some of these sweets and treats!


Dr Joanna Buckley was born into a family of non-scientists. Jo surprised everyone at the age of seven when the gift of a chemistry set sparked her interest in science. She completed every single experiment, charring the kitchen work surface with the spirit burner and staining the dining room carpet with indicator in the process. Thankfully, her practical technique has improved a bit since then.

Jo first became interested in food chemistry when a batch of fudge she had prepared tasted spectacularly unpleasant and she set about investigating what went wrong by applying her background in analytical and physical chemistry to the problem. She writes and talks about chemistry whenever she can and to whoever will listen!