Who were the first people to chew gum?

Who were the first people to chew gum?
Highlights

Chewing is a form of relaxation. We chew gum mainly because we like this type of relaxation. When gum wasn’t available, people used to chew something else to relax.

Chewing is a form of relaxation. We chew gum mainly because we like this type of relaxation. When gum wasn’t available, people used to chew something else to relax. Man has therefore, chewed various raisins, or even leaves and grasses.

Chicle, which has been chewed for hundreds of years and similar resilient substances are used to prepare Gum. Chicle has been chewed by Mayans and other Central Americans for centuries before arrival of white man.

In fact, Indians of New England chewed raisins from the spruce tree and the American colonists picked up the habit from them. In the early l800’s, the first commercial chewing gum marketed in the United States was spruce gum.

In 1860s, the use of chiclet as a chewing-gum base was developed. Its use lead to the popularity of chewing gum because it had good chewing quality and could hold flavors.

Modern, chewing gum recipe includes 20 per cent gum base, 19 per cent corn syrup, 60 per cent sugar, and 1 per cent flavoring. The gum base may be blended with latex products in the ratio 1:25 to achieve uniform chewing texture. The latex products are obtained by tapping the particular trees in a tropical forest and allowing the latex to flow into containers. Latex thus obtained is boiled and molded into blocks.

For manufacturing chewing gums, washed, ground, sterilised gum base ingredients are mixed and melted. Corn syrup, sugar and flavor are added to this in a mixing kettle. Mixture is then rolled into sheets and cut into sticks or pellets. Peppermint and spearmint are two common flavors.

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