Posts tagged ‘chewing gum’

Three Course Meals Coming Soon to a Gum Near You

Every time gum has more than one flavor, somebody starts talking about Willy Wonka. You know the scene: against Wonka’s express instructions, the unfortunate Violet Beauregard, ugly American chewing gum fanatic, pops that experimental stick in her mouth and enjoys the taste of luscious tomato soup followed by succulent roast beef, only to swell up like a super-size blueberry when the pie course comes along. What if? we wonder, as we chew thoughtfully on Stride Shift, hoping to capture the Wonka Magic as berry fades to faded mint.

Well, meat and pie lovers seeking full-meal gum satisfaction need dream no more, according to a recent report in The Telegraph (UK).

Actually, this story of invention and mastication begins in the pharmaceutical lab. For some time, drug makers have been using nanotechnology to create “microcapsules”: protective shells around the drug molecule that do not dissolve immediately in the stomach, allowing the drug to pass to the colon undigested.

Mad food scientists got wind of these slowly dissolving capsules and got to tinkering. If theses capsules can delay the release of drugs, could they be jiggered to delay the release of flavors?

Here’s the idea, according to food scientist Dave Hart of the Institute of Food Research (Norwich, UK):

“Tiny nanostructures within the gum would contain each of the different flavours. These would be broken up and released upon contact with saliva or after a certain amount of chewing – providing a sequential taste explosion as you chew harder.”

State-side, physicists at the University of Massachusetts have already begun to figure out how encapsulate flavor molecules in microcapsules. The Wonka future is now.

I’ve got to say, my first reaction to this story is: so this is what the finest scientific minds of our age are working on? I’d better get moving on that Chinese language class…

Gum. It’s getting more exciting every day.

October 25, 2010 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

No Gum For You!

I confess, I don’t love gum. Happily, I’m not the only one. 44 people joined the Facebook Group “Against Chewing Gum.”  But Americans LOVE gum. Half of all Americans are proud gum chewers, upwards of 300 sticks per year. That’s almost $3 billion in gum sales.

Not everyone approves. I, for example, were I to be made king of the world, would outlaw chewing gum on the grounds that there is only one thing worse than stepping in fresh chewing gum on the sidewalk. And the arbiters of elegant manners have ever declaimed against the perpetual chewing motions that burn 11 calories per hour.

This is America, after all, so no king will take away anyone’s gum. Unless you happen to work for a very strict 24/7 employer. One like the U.S. Navy.

Back in 1911, the Navy Brass had enough of the indignities of chewing gum. So they said NO MORE GUM!

The navy is disconsolate. Thousands of nautical jaws that hitherto industriously and contentedly labored at the irresistible chewing gum now give their energies to berating the Fates that have decreed to them a future chicle-less existence. Chewing gum has been taken from the navy stores. Captain Fullam of the battleship Mississippi says: “The chewing gum habit is decidedly objectionable for obvious reasons”; and the Navy Dept has taken his view of the matter.

But many thought “Uncle Sam” had taken his uncle-ing duties a little too far:

Source: “Gum Mustered Out,” International Confectioner Dec 1911.

May 14, 2010 at 9:29 am Leave a comment


Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

Welcome to Candy Professor

Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

(C) Samira Kawash

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