Many candies include an acid ingredient to balance the overwhelming sweetness. Jelly beans, for example, have a tart surface. These flavoring acids are added after the syrup has cooled down, so as to avoid excessive inversion of the sucrose into glucose and fructose. Different acids are said to have different taste profiles. Citric and tartaric acids give a rapid impression of acidity, while malic, lactic, and fumaric acids are slower to register on the tongue.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee.
By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.