Short Wave: The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

A box of Twinkies, left alone for eight years, held some surprises for Colin Purrington.

Upon having a sugar craving, combined with being “just so bored, with the pandemic,” Purrington opened the box a few weeks ago.

Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. He removed a Twinkie from the box, unwrapped it — it looked fine — and took a bite. Then he retched. And thus the illusion was crushed, but some cool science lay ahead.

NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce talked to Purrington and explains to Short Wave how two scientists got involved and started unraveling the mystery of the mummified Twinkie.

To read more of the story and see more pictures, check out Nell’s reporting here.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman and Thomas Lu. It was edited by Gisele Grayson. Ariela Zebede checked the facts.


Short Wave Podcast

It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Science Topics
Biology, Chemistry, Food Science
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7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

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