This week Gut Check tackles another food mystery, taking on the source of many a bright red tongue and serious brain-freeze. Slurpees, the popular icy treats from 7-Eleven, may seem like a simple enough concoction, but some serious science is required to create the nine million gallons of flavored slush that are sold each year.
Slurpee-style drinks were discovered by accident, when Omar Knedlik, a Dairy Queen owner, found that the sodas he’d forgotten in the back of his freezer had taken on a delightful consistency. Knedlik got lucky: Just freezing a can of soda is not likely to yield the same slurpable substance you’ll find for sale at gas stations and convenience stores. This is because a perfect balance of temperature, carbonation, and sweetness is required to nail the fluffy-yet-frozen Slurpee texture every time. Watch the video above to learn more.