Chewing Gum Main Ingredient - Gum Base

Colored Chewing Gums

Gum base is the main ingredient for chewing gum. Gum base is what makes your gum chewable.

The chewing gum is made of a "gum base" with addition of flavors, sweeteners, softeners and sometimes food colors. Gum base is what puts the “chew” in gum, allowing it to be chewed. Gum base brings all other ingredients together. Gum base could be natural like wads of spruce gum, the sap of various rubber trees, or some kind synthetic substitute for sap.

Gum base is formed from natural resins like sorva and jelutong. Natural gum bases include latexes like chicle, jelutong, gutta-percha, rosin, etc. Old gum bases were based on latexes, vegetable gums like chicle, spruce gum, or mastic gum. Alternative choices were waxes, paraffin wax and beeswax.

If natural latex is to be used, it must first be harvested and processed. Today, if natural rubber such as chicle is used, it must pass several tests. Chicle is inspected for impurities. If it is too dirty it is rejected.

Modern chewing gum bases use minimal natural rubber or no natural rubber at all. Natural latex is being replaced by synthetic substitutes. That means that most of the time, these substitutes are not naturally found in nature. Synthetic rubbers are butadiene-styrene rubber, polyethylene, and polyvinyl acetate, etc.

Today most companies use synthetic gum base materials which allow for longer-lasting flavor, improved texture and reduced tackiness.

The gum base ingredients are melted together and filtered. The gum base has to be melted into the form of a thick liquid consistency. Gum base is melted at a temperature of around 115 °C (240 °F) until it has melted into thick syrup. After that the gum base thoroughly cleaned it's added to the mixers. Sometimes the mixture is dried for a day or two. Then the mass is going in a centrifuge and again filtered. Other ingredients are added when this clear base is still hot and in melted form.