Chewing gum or bubble gum is a confectionery product popular among adults and children, consisting of a non-edible elastic base, and aromatic and flavoring fillers. People have long liked to chew something because the ancestors of modern chewing gum can be found in all corners of the world.
The first known chewing gum was found in Finland during excavations of a Neolithic settlement more than 5,000 years old. Then it was like a sweet vegetable resin with the addition of berries, honey, and other flavoring fillers, which could only be chewed. Today, bubbles can be blown from it, stretched, and glued to surfaces, not even guessing about its origin and composition. So how is chewing gum made?
What is chewing gum made from?
For the preparation of chewing gum, a non-edible base and flavoring fillers are taken. Previously, the base consisted of tree resin, but now it is made from a mixture of special plastic and rubber. For smell and color, flavorings and food colorings are taken. All ingredients are selected in such a way that even if chewing gum is completely eaten, the human body is not harmed. It is not affected by digestive juices, therefore, even with complete passage through the gastrointestinal tract, chewing gum remains in its original form.
A base in the form of balls with a diameter of 15–20 mm is brought to the chewing gum factory. The gumball machines are used for the process of gum production. It has a solid structure; therefore, it does not stick together and remains in a crumbly form. Depending on the production capacity, from 100 kg to 10 tons of the base is poured into a large mixer and powder flavors with dyes are added. As soon as the mixer is filled and started its work, glucose syrup is poured into the mixture to sweeten the gum and give it an elastic soft texture. To obtain the necessary sweetness, dextrose is additionally added to the mixture.
The mixture is stirred with rotating blades for about 20 minutes. However, the chewing gum gradually heats up, becoming a doughy and homogeneous consistency. The finished mass is unloaded into a cart and delivered to a pre-extrusion press. A large, bulky pressurized lump is passed through several small holes to form a long ribbon. Narrow strips are immediately sent to the main press, where they take their final shape.
Depending on the characteristics of the finished product, a variety of nozzles are installed on the press. It allows you to obtain the required thickness and shape of the chewing gum. To prevent the tape from sticking to the wrapper, it is passed through the freezer for 2 minutes and sent along the conveyor to the cutting stage. Sharp knives cut the tape into identical pieces, and a special mechanism immediately packs them into a wrapper.
Finished products go to the robotic picker. QCD workers look through the finished chewing gum going along the tape. And select the one that does not meet the standards. In large factories, for additional control, automatic computerized installations are used. Which, using a laser and an air gun, remove non-conforming products from the conveyor belt. The finished gum is packed in plastic bags or cardboard boxes and sent to supermarket shelves. Thanks to modern technologies, a unique confectionery product is created from a chewing base and flavoring additives that turn everyday life into a small celebration of joy and fun. Sweet chewing gum pleases adults and children of all ages with its taste and big bubbles.
How chewing gum flavors are made?
Firstly, it usually takes from a year to a year and a half to develop a new taste. Each country has its own preferences. In Turkey, they like chewing gum without flavorings and practically without sweeteners – they chew almost the same base. France used to be supplied with licorice chewing gum. However, some countries in Africa prefer chewing gum with sugar rather than with sweeteners.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the process is given, but it takes a professional to create a good chewing gum.