What's in the gum? Sweet flavor and a piece of elastic polymer
What's in the gum? Sweet flavor and a piece of elastic polymer
Don't you want to eat the new gum?

A piece of gum can provide a lot of comfort for an idle mouth, but when the flavor fades away, what is the rest of it?

there are three main components of chewing gum /bubble gum: sugar (or sugar substitute), flavor substance and "gum base". The first two determine what we taste, and the glue group is the substance that will eventually be chewed. It is insoluble in water and does not provide taste, but it determines the taste of chewing and whether you can blow out a big bubble.

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and the exact composition of this "glue base" seems a bit mysterious. Because according to the regulations, the specific ingredients used in the gum base do not need to be marked in the food composition table.

(the slightly mysterious "gum base" in the chewing gum composition table)

humans have been chewing gum-based candy for a long time. At first, the gum groups are naturally made up of natural polymers, such as the most famous gum gum (Chicle), which can be obtained from several species of the genus Manilkara. However, in order to meet the needs of mass production, there are actually many rubber-based formulations that use synthetic polymers, such as styrene and butadiene polymers, or polyethylene, polyisobutylene, polyvinyl acetate and so on. In the United States, for example, FDA approved a total of 46 ingredients used to make gum bases.

all kinds of gum groups contain elastic polymers, resins and waxes, as well as auxiliary ingredients such as fillers and antioxidants. In order to achieve a better taste, or to allow people to blow better bubbles, manufacturers will adjust the materials and proportions, and the specific preparation methods are usually not disclosed. Until now, the world's largest manufacturers of chewing gum have improved their gum-based formulations.

the sticky glue base left after chewing gum is also a headache. Now, however, some people are trying to recycle the polymers in these chewing gum into new products. In the UK, a company called Gumdrop specializes in the recycling of chewing gum. They separate the wrapping paper and cigarette butts from the waste, and then process the rest of the gum into polymer materials, which are used to make combs, dog bowls, rubber boots and other daily necessities. These products are all made of recycled materials and contain at least 20% recycled chewing gum.

at present, the company's products are very bubblegum-style pink. I don't know exactly how high the cost of recycling is.

finally, I would like to talk a little bit about the safety issues that you may be concerned about: is it okay to swallow chewing gum? According to the information I have seen, occasionally accidentally swallowing a piece of gum should do no significant harm. The gum base swallowed is not digested and will eventually be excreted through the intestines. However, children who swallow a large amount of gum may block their digestive tract, so it is better not to give it to children until they fully understand that they should chew and spit it out.

put a Zhihuimi as the end, I still quite like this stem (please search "3.5 billion" after reading the whole page):

Source: https://cen.acs.org/articles/85/i32/Chewing-Gum.html