Is there an actual, scientifically recorded answer to, “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”

There have been a handful of studies attempting to determine the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.  Tootsie Roll Industries cites three scientific studies on their website.  The first was conducted at Purdue University by a group of engineering students.  They constructed a “licking machine” intended to replicate the lick of a human tongue and recorded an average of 364 licks to get to the center.  A portion of the students compared these results with their own, unassisted, licking and reported an average of 252 licks.

A chemical engineering doctorate student from the University of Michigan conducted the second study.  He customized his own licking machine that required 411 licks to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

In Wallingford, Pennsylvania a group of junior high school students attending Swarthmore Junior High conducted the third study undertaking the Tootsie Pop licking challenge.  They used human lickers that averaged 144 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.[1]

The answer to this question is dependent on variables that will vary with every individual consumer.  An investigator by the name of George Waksman designed a study to reduce these variations.  He recorded an average of 254 licks to reach the center.[2]  Please refer to his link below if interested in his testing and assessment of the Tootsie Pop licking challenge.

George Waksman’s study:   http://gwax.com/content/tootsiepop.html

[1] “Welcome to Tootsie Roll Incorporated.” Tootsie: Tootsie Roll Industries. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <http://www.tootsie.com/gal_machine.php&gt;.

[2] Waksman, George. “Tootsie Roll Pop: How Many Licks?” Tootsie Roll Pop: How Many Licks? George Waksman, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <http://gwax.com/content/tootsiepop.html&gt;.


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