Chewing gum is a treat for children and adults. Blowing bubbles is just one of the joys of chewing gum. With a variety of brands, flavours and forms, chewing gum has evolved over the years. It adds a splash of taste to your mouth with its carefully manufactured ingredients.
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Chewing gum is made of gum base. This ingredient is what gives the chewy texture to bubblegum. Gum base comes from natural sources like sorva and jelutong, according to ChewingGumFacts.com. Natural gum bases include harvested and processed latexes like chicle, gutta-percha and rosin. Most companies that produce bubblegum use a synthetic gum base, which allows the flavour to last longer and improve the gum texture. Gum base is melted into a liquid consistency at a temperature of 120 degrees Celsius/240 degrees F; it is then dried for two days and filtered for use in bubblegum.
Chewing gums derive their flavour from sweeteners. Some sweeteners provide artificial sugars to help with sugar intake. However, artificial sweeteners in gum have come under fire for their side effects and risks. The Behavior Neuroscience journal conducted a survey in 2009 that tests the results of the artificial sweetener saccharin on lab rats. The study found that saccharin confuses the body's ability to control food intake. This may cause weight gain for some people. The artificial sweetener makes the body think food is coming and may coax the person to eat more to satisfy that urge. Other sweeteners used by gum manufacturers are aspartame, maltitol, sucralose, sorbitol and xylitol.
Fruit extracts are used in bubblegum to create flavours such as raspberry, strawberry, apple and cherry. This ingredient is also popular in beer, shampoo and cosmetic skin treatments. A growing demand for natural food products has caused an increase in fruit extract flavouring compounds. Wrigley.com states that a popular flavour for gum comes from the mint plant. The mint flavour is extracted from the plant and taken through a distillation process. Oils used for flavouring are extracted and added to Wrigley's chewing gum.
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