But the story of chewing gum as we know it starts with the Mayans, who realized that when boiled, chewing sap from the Sapodilla tree
made breath sweeter.
A Elm tree B Palm tree C Ash tree D Sapodilla tree
It is made from a tree sap called chicle which is extracted from the sapodilla tree
, native to Central America.
Natural gums may contain substances such as chicle (sap from the sapodilla tree
) to provide elasticity, whereas "mainstream" gum typically relies on synthetic ingredients, such as polyvinyl acetate (similar to ingredients used in paint and glue).
The first three temples, built before AD 741, used only large, straight logs of the sapodilla tree
- a particularly strong wood that is nevertheless easy to carve with ceremonial inscriptions.
Today most chewing gums are made with synthetic gum bases; however, there are certain gums still available on the market that are made from chicle, a latex extracted from the trunk of Manilkara zapota, more commonly known as the Sapodilla Tree
. This rubbery latex is known to consist largely of polyterpenes, compounds rich in double bonds.
Workers collecting the sap of the sapodilla tree
, from which chewing gum is made, have discovered numerous ruins.
* The Mayans produced chewing gum over 300 years ago by boiling the sap of the sapodilla tree
49 Which sweet stuff is traditionally - though not much nowadays - made from the latex of the sapodilla tree
In Central America, it was the resin of the Sapodilla tree
that was the gum of choice.
A latex gum from the sapodilla tree
of Central America, chicle was considered a potential substitute for rubber, Cambridge University science writer, John Emsley recounts in Vanity, Vitality and Virility: The Chemistry behind the Products You Love to Buy (Oxford Univ.
Gum in its modern form came into being when a US photographer, Thomas Adams, experimented with chicle - sap from the sapodilla tree
- which he knew native Indians chewed.