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How Chewing Gum is Made and the Origins of Mastic Gum

Learn how modern chewing gum is crafted, the historical evolution of this sticky delight, and the exotic origins of mastic gum from the island of Chios.

Hello, friends! In today’s post, I’m diving into the fascinating world of chewing gum: its production process, history, and the pioneers behind its discovery.

Starting with the history of chewing gum, it’s intriguing to note that there’s no definitive evidence pinpointing exactly where and how it originated. However, research suggests that civilizations such as the ancient Greeks, Sumerians, and Mayans utilized gum-like substances. These were made from various plant roots, branches, and resins mixed with spices. Although not quite the chewing gum we’re familiar with today, these early forms laid the groundwork for the modern, diversified gum we enjoy. The chewing gum as we know it began to take shape in the 1860s.

The invention of modern chewing gum is credited to the well-known American scientist Thomas Adams, who patented his creation the same year and commenced production. Another American scientist, named Wolter, improved upon Adams’ gum, making it more durable yet less sticky than its predecessors. Over the years, gum production has evolved significantly, offering a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors.

Now, let’s delve into how chewing gum is produced today. The first step in gum production is preparing the gum base, which includes natural rubber, resin, oil, flavor, and water. These ingredients are mixed at a temperature between 110 to 150 degrees Celsius for about four hours. Once the base is ready, the process of making the gum dough begins. The base is cooled and mixed at 40 to 60 degrees Celsius for approximately an hour to achieve the right consistency. Special minerals are applied to prevent the dough from sticking as it cools. After cooling, the shaping process starts, where sugar, sweeteners, and flavors are added as the gum dough passes through rollers. This ensures an even distribution of taste. The gum is then cut both vertically and horizontally before being shaped into its final form. This product, known as the gum core, is then weighed and measured.

The next phase involves breaking the gum cores into pieces, followed by a coating process where flavors are sprayed on in liquid form, with the temperature maintained between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The duration of this step varies depending on the type of gum being produced. Factories can produce around 1.5 million pieces of gum per batch. Despite its seemingly simple presence in our daily lives, the production of chewing gum is quite complex.

Where Does Mastic Gum Come From?

Continuing with a tip of the day from the Hadi app, let’s talk about where mastic gum comes from.

Mastic gum is primarily harvested during the summer months from the mastic tree, a source of resin. Resin is a solid or semi-fluid organic substance produced by some plants, especially conifers.

This mastic resin, widely used in Turkish and Greek cuisines, as well as in medicine, is named after the Greek island of Chios, where it is predominantly produced.

Initially liquid, mastic gum is dried under the sun to form hard, translucent droplets that soften and turn matte white when chewed. It starts with a bitter taste but soon imparts a refreshing pine-like flavor and aroma in the mouth.

For an article to rank well in English search engines with the query “how is gum made,” it’s essential to optimize for SEO. This includes using relevant keywords throughout the post, such as “chewing gum production,” “history of chewing gum,” “mastic gum,” and “gum manufacturing process,” ensuring that the content is informative, engaging, and provides value to readers interested in the subject.


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