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 How is chewing gum made?

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PostSubject: How is chewing gum made?   Wed Feb 25 2009, 18:50

How is chewing gum made?



All recipes
for chewing gum manufactured today share the same main ingredients: a
gum base, sweeteners, primarily sugar and corn syrup, and flavorings.
Some also contain softeners, such as glycerin and vegetable oil. The
amount of each added to the mix varies as to which type of gum is being
manufactured. For example, bubble gum contains more of the gum base, so
that your bubbles don't burst…especially during class!


Though gum
manufacturers carefully guard their recipes, they all share the same
basic process to reach the finished product. Preparation of the gum
base at the factory, by far the lengthiest step, requires that the raw
gum materials be melted down in sterilized in a steam cooker, and then
pumped to a high-powered centrifuge to rid the gum base of undesirable
dirt and bark.



Once the factory
workers clean the melted gum base, they combine approximately 20% of
the base with 63% sugar, 16% corn syrup, and 1% flavoring oils, such as
spearmint, peppermint, and cinnamon. While still warm, they run the
mixture between pairs of rollers, which are coated on both sides with
powdered sugar, to prevent the resulting ribbon of gum from sticking.
The final pair of rollers comes fully equipped with knives, which snip
the ribbon into sticks, which yet another machine individually wraps.



The gum base used in
these recipes is, for the most part, manufactured, due to economic
constraints. In the good old days, the entire gum base came directly
from the milky white sap, or chicle, of the sapodilla tree found in
Mexico and in Guatemala. There, natives collect the chicle by the
bucketful, boil it down, mold it into 25-pound blocks, and ship it
directly to chewing gum factories. Those with little or no
self-restraint, chew their chicle directly from the tree, as did New
England settlers, after watching Indians do the same.



The concept of
chewing gum stuck, and continues to play a vital role in our economy,
largely due to the many benefits associated with its use. Sales of
chewing gum first began in the early 1800s. Later, in the 1860s, chicle
was imported as a substitute for rubber, and finally, in approximately
the 1890s, for use in chewing gum.



The pure pleasure
derived from enraging a schoolteacher by blowing bubbles in class, or
from annoying a co-worker by snapping it, is only one of the
attractions of chewing gum. Chewing gum actually helps to clean the
teeth, and to moisturize the mouth, by stimulating saliva production,
which helps to neutralize tooth-decay-forming acids left behind after
eating fermented food.


The muscular action
of chewing gum also helps to curb a person's appetite for a snack or
for a cigarette, to concentrate, to stay alert, to ease tension, and to
relax one's nerves and muscles. For these very reasons, the armed
forces supplied soldiers with chewing gum in World War I, World War II,
in Korea, and in Vietnam. Today, chewing gum is still included in field
and combat rations. In fact, the Wrigley Company, following the
Department of Defense specifications supplied to government
contractors, supplied chewing gum for the distribution to troops
stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War. It is safe to
say that chewing gum has served our country well.

Source: coolquiz.com
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