Chewing gum: How and What
Many people love to bite on something, on their pencil or ballpoint pen. They like to sink their teeth into something. They don’t do that to eat something but to chew. They do it especially when they have to think hard. It has been scientifically proven that you can concentrate better when you chew on something.
Old chewing gum
People have been chewing on anything that is loose and stuck for a very long time. For example, the Inuit chewed on whale skin, the Indians on leaves and the Chinese on chick feet and roots. Today some children still chew on plant roots, namely licorice root. These are pieces of dried roots from the licorice root. But carrots are not only chewed, gum has also been chewed for centuries. Gum is a type of resin, which is sap that is extracted from the bark of trees. Resin chewing gum that is nine thousand years old has been found, which means that people were already chewing gum at that time.
About four thousand years ago, the Mayan Indians carved the bark of the sapotille. This is a tree with rubbery sap, the Indians made a kind of chewing gum from that sap. There was no taste to this chewing gum, but the Mayas still liked to chew it.
How did chewing gum end up in the Netherlands
In 1870, a flavor was first added to the gum in America. This made chewing gum very popular in America. In the Netherlands, chewing gum became really popular after the Second World War. This was because the American soldiers who liberated the Netherlands had chewing gum with them. They chewed it themselves, but they also handed it out. As a result, more and more Dutch people got to know chewing gum. There were many Dutch boys who wanted to look just as cool as the American soldiers. They hoped to impress the girls with this. The girls also started chewing. Chewing gum became a must for the youth, it made you feel free. Shortly after the war there was very little chewing gum in the Netherlands. The chewers were therefore very careful with it. Sometimes they would chew a small piece of gum for days. When they started their hot meal, they put it in a bowl of water so that they could chew after eating.
The main constituent of chewing gum is the gum. There are more than twenty different trees that contain sap with sap that can be made from chewing gum. Natural gum is extracted from a tree in the same way as rubber. First, a cut is made in the crack of the tree. The tree sap that comes out is collected in a bucket. Per tree this can only happen once every four years and that is only possible when the tree is at least 20 years old. Getting gum from a tree takes a lot of time and money, so other ways have been devised to obtain gum. People discovered how to make gum themselves. They brought different substances together and this created gum in an artificial way: synthetic gum.
The chewing gum factory
The synthetic gum is melted in the factory. Then it turns into some kind of oil. When the oil has cooled, you have gum dough. The gum dough goes to the kneading machine and is cut. Then all kinds of other substances are added, such as sugar or other sweeteners and colors and flavors. For example, if strawberry gum has to be made, artificial strawberry flavors are added. After kneading and flavoring, the chewing gum goes to the roller. This ensures that the chewing gum gets the right thickness. Then a slicer cuts the gum into the right shape. Some types of chewing gum then go into other machines for further treatment. They are given a layer on the outside that tastes extra strong, or a layer that gives a nice shiny color. Finally, the chewing gum is packed by a machine.
Is chewing gum actually bad for your health and teeth?
Chewing gum contains synthetic substances. They were all tested before they could be put in the chewing gum. As a result, chewing gum does not contain any substances that are bad for your health. Some types of chewing gum do contain a lot of sugar. This is because many people just love sweets. Eating too much sugar can make you fat and it is bad for your teeth. Sugar causes plaque. Plaque contains harmful acids that can damage your tooth enamel. There is sugar-free chewing gum, this chewing gum is not bad for your health and your teeth. So if you want to enjoy a piece of chewing gum without it being harmful, then you should buy sugar-free gum.