The ingredients found in an Atomic Fireball are sucrose, food starch, gum acacia, artificial flavoring, carnauba wax and food coloring. The artificial flavors used in Atomic Fireballs are cinnamon and capsicum; artificial cinnamon provides the main flavor of the candy, while capsicum produces a burning sensation in the mouth.
Atomic Fireballs are produced using a technique called sugar panning. In this process, a grain of sugar is agitated in a heated pan of sugar syrup and flavoring. The syrup forms layers around the grain of sugar, which eventually become a candy shell. It takes two weeks and over 100 layers of candy for this process to create an Atomic Fireball.
Atomic Fireballs come in two different sizes. The smaller of the two is a pea-sized candy, while the larger is 2.3 centimeters in diameter. The larger version is available individually wrapped and is the more popular size.
The candy is produced by the Chicago-based Ferrara Pan Company and dates back to 1954. The name Atomic Fireball draws from the popularity of atomic energy at the time of its introduction. Its inventor, Nello Ferrara, credits his military service in Japan following World War II as his inspiration for creating the candy.