What is in your chewing gum?

Every now and then, Rosco and I watch Food Factory, a UK show about how food is made. The other day we watched an episode about how Chewing Gum is made.


It was unexpected (although I don’t know what I did expect)

It was a little gross

It was really fascinating

Who. would. have. thought.

Before I go ahead and ruin the surprise, just think for a minute about what you think chewing gum is made of.

So, it is pretty obvious that it contains a heap of mint flavour and a heap of sugar, but after that what’s left?

Gum base.

That is a word for ‘a whole bunch of stuff we don’t want to disclose to you’ or otherwise known as a trade secret.

It pretty much varies between companies and in investigating all the things that go into chewing gum, pretty much every site said something different, so I’ll stick to the ingredients that Food Factory went with:

Rubber (in the form of Polyisobutyline)

  • It is mainly used to make basketballs and the inner lining of car tyres
  • Also used to make cling wrap, sealants, electrical fluids and in some cosmetics

Plastic (in the form of Polyvinyl Acetate)

  • Used to make glue (all sorts of glue – book binding glue, wallpaper adhesive, envelope adhesive, wood glue etc)


Rosin (from the sap of pine trees)

Talcum Powder

  • We all know talcum powder well. It is in all sorts of things such as our make up, for babies bottoms, but also in pharmaceuticals, paint and paper-making
  • Talcum powder however, has been linked to cancer. Specifically, some talcum powder contains asbestos and hence has caused increases among certain groups of people in ovarian cancer and lung cancer. Tests to determine whether asbestos free talc cause cancer have gone both ways.

Seriously, are you as fascinated as me?

I can’t say that many of these ingredients seem very desirable, and the whole addition of sugar in toothpastes and chewing gum really cracks me up.

Will I endeavour on a lifelong ban of chewing gum? Probably not.

But I will think differently the next time I do!

Tell me, are you fascinated? Shocked? Disgusted? Or did you already know this?

I’d love to hear.

And for those of you who wish to watch the episode of Food Factory, enjoy!

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