Mentos is a brand of mints sold in many markets across the world by the Perfetti Van Melle Corporation. Mentos was first produced in the Netherlands during the 1950s. The mints are small oblate spheroids, with a slightly hard exterior and a soft, chewy interior. They are sold in rolls which typically contain 14 candies, although the new "Sour Mix" flavor contains only 11. Certain flavors are sold in boxes in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the rolls in three and six-packs. The slogan of Mentos is "the freshmaker". Most Mentos packages describe the candy as "chewy dragées". The typical Mentos roll is approximately 3/4-inch in diameter, 6/16-inches tall and 1.3 ounces.
Other flavors include green apple, cinnamon, strawberry, mixed fruit (which contains a mix of cherry, strawberry, orange, and lemon flavors), grape, wintergreen, raisin, grapefruit, peach, plum (or ume), spearmint, strawberry yogurt, lemon yogurt, pineapple (pine fresh), red apple, wild fruit mix, cherry, watermelon, fresh cola, cassis (blackcurrant), red orange, currant and two versions of black licorice flavored Mentos. Two varieties of the mint flavor, known as "Mentos Strong" and "Air action Mentos" are sold in the Netherlands. Two varieties of the mint flavor are also sold in China, known as "Mint" and "Strong Mint". Grape and 'N Cream (presumably Apples and Cream) are also marketed in Asia. Chocolate Mentos were produced in 1989, but the flavor was discontinued. In 2006, the citrus mango flavor was introduced to the Japanese market. In the Philippines, a "Dalandan Fresh" variant is available. A new product line, Mentos Sours, have recently become available in the United States, featuring Watermelon, Green Apple, and Lemon flavors. There are also caffeinated "Energy" Mentos, sold mainly in Germany, wherein one roll equals two cups of coffee.
Mentos gum is also available in the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, and recently, the United States in blisters and bottles, both in three different flavors. Also available in the Netherlands are Mentos Gum Pocket Bottles in six different flavors, including Juice Blast Green Apple Raspberry, and gum in the shape of cubes (sold in four different flavors, one of which is dragon fruit).
In August 2005, Mentos began running TV ads announcing a new sugar-free variety of the candy which comes in "mixed berries" and "cool mint" flavors sweetened with Splenda. The Mentos brand has been very productive in sales and has made over one billion dollars. In the Netherlands the flavors mint, licorice and fruit are also available in the sugar-free variety.
Australian varieties of Mentos are Mint, Fruit, Strong Mint, Berry Mix, Spearmint, Grape and Sour Mix. Mentos Gum is also available in Peppermint, Spearmint and Orangemint.
"Mentos Teens" is available in Brazil and the rest of Latin-America. They come in a rectangular box. The candy is basically miniature Mentos roughly the size of Skittles, and they come in mixed flavors: white grape (green), lemon (yellow), strawberry (pink), orange (orange), raspberry (blue), and cherry (red). In the Netherlands Mini Mentos Fruitmix is sold, which contains the flavors orange, lemon, strawberry and apple.
During the World Cup, a Brazilian team Mentos was released in Brazil to support the national team. The candy was green and yellow.
Dilemmas presented included a woman who breaks her shoe-heel and a man who gets paint on his new business suit after sitting down on a freshly-painted bench. After consuming a Mentos, the female character proceeds to break off the heel to her other nondamaged shoe, and the man rolls around on the still-wet bench, creating a pinstripe pattern on his suit. These unusual behaviors are typically witnessed by nearby, sometimes antagonistic characters, and a roll of Mentos is boisterously displayed by the commercial's respective protagonist to the observer as an explanation for their actions. The ad campaign was parodied in the Foo Fighters music video for their song "Big Me."
Recently, Mentos Gum has gotten their own commercial. It displays a man sitting near a business water tank, and pops a piece of Mentos Gum in his mouth. A woman then walks by, pushes his nose up, and proceeds to kiss him, the kiss making a slurping sound. The woman then wipes her mouth, and pushes the man's nose back down as if to close it. The phrase "Mouthwatering" was used. However, more recently, the slurping, kissing sounds have been removed.
First popularized by Steve Spangler on 9News in 2005, which resulted in Internet coverage of the incident, a Mentos mint expedites a rapid release of carbon dioxide when dropped into a carbonated liquid, such as a soft drink, because of its high surface tension. Also, the small dents in the surface of the candy provide a great site for nucleation, which is how the carbon dioxide molecules can escape so rapidly. The escaping bubbles quickly turn into a raging foam, and the pressure can build dramatically in a restricted container such as a two-liter bottle.
As explained on an episode of MythBusters (Episode 57, Season 4; "Mentos and Soda," aired on August 9, 2006), diet sodas (particularly colas due to their visible brown color) are most commonly used for the experiment. MythBusters also found out that wax coated Mentos don't cause that reaction, which is not entirely true. Though their reactions are not on the same scale, they are still reactions. People are often under the illusion that aspartame causes the reaction—this is only partly true; the MythBusters have shown aspartame to be one of many reactive components and/or catalysts in both the soda and the Mentos. Diet colas are also preferred because they do not contain large amounts of sugar like regular colas. Sugar molecules help keep the carbon dioxide in solution, slowing the reaction. Artificial sweeteners in diet colas are much sweeter per molecule, and so make up a smaller proportion of the solution and allow a faster reaction; they also enhance the reaction.
The resulting geyser (popularly known as a Diet Coke and Mentos eruption) can shoot as high as 6 meters (20 ft). The record, reached in MythBusters, was over 34 feet with the use of a nozzle.
On July 10th, 2007, a record number Mentos-and-Diet Coke geysers, 791, were set off in Flower Mound, Texas by employees of Books Are Fun and the company's independent representatives. Guinness World Records had a representative in attendance, who confirmed the feat.
On July 15th, 2007, a world record was set in van Melle's hometown of Breda, The Netherlands in which 850 people set off Mentos-and-Diet Coke geysers at the same time. Everyone put five pieces of Mentos in the Coke at the same time producing geysers of four to five meters high. The record will be included in the Guinness World Records.
Besides making geysers with cola and Mentos, the bottles can also be fired as rockets by unscrewing the lid until a thin stream shoots and slamming horizontally into the ground, creating enough pressure on impact to blast the lid off and launch the bottle in the opposite direction. These work best when the bottle is shaken for about 20 seconds vigorously after quickly putting in the Mentos. It takes a few practices to work out how much to twist the lid off (usually approximately one full turn) but can travel large distances with this technique, often up to 20ft high and between 40–70ft horizontally. In November, 2006, the Urban Legends Reference Pages examined the rumors of people dying from eating Mentos and drinking cola. Their research found that while eating Mentos and drinking cola can result in people regurgitating the foamy result (as evidenced by numerous online videos), no actual news accounts exist of anyone dying from it.