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Chewing Gum

Grade: 8 | Year: 2007

Mm, don't you just love that chewiness, stickiness, iciness, goodness that you get from chewing gum? I know I do and most of you too.

Good afternoon Mr. Cochrane and fellow students, this year for my speech I have chosen chewing gum.

What is gum you ask? Well, gum is a product for mouth-watering pleasures and believe it or not but it is actually made for chewing and NOT swallowing. Gum was originally made of chicle, but now for many modem gum factories, it is made out of petroleum based polymers which means it has special ingredients instead. Chicle is still a base product for regional markets like Japan. The only known company in America to use chicle is Glee Gum.

As we all know, chewing gum comes in all different kinds of flavours, shapes, colours and sizes. A big type of gum now is Juicy Fruit. Yes, we all know that catchy song for their commercials and it just might be the commercials that give them such big sales. They have many types of gum packaging like their pillow shaped gum, their tab gum and their screwball gums.

We know what a pillow shaped gum is and what a tab gum is but do we know what a screwball gum is? The answer is yes. A screwball gum is the kinds of gums we find in vending machines and in our Halloween candy. The name "screwball" came from the United Kingdom because they have flavour of ice cream called a screwball ice cream and at the bottom of the cone would be little small balls of gum which are now called screwballs.

The shapes of gum lead me into the composition and manufacturing. Different kinds of brands have different processes to making the gum but they are more or less the same. The gum base is melted at 115 degrees Celsius or 240 degrees Farenheight until it has the viscosity of thick maple syrup and filtered. Then it is refined by separating dissolved particles in a centrifuge. Then the mixture, still very hot and melted, is put into vats and other ingredients are added for each different brand. Some of the ingredients are powdered sugar, com syrup, and glucose, which has humectants to stabilize the gum's suspension and it keeps the gum flexible. Some various softeners, food colorings flavourings and some preservatives are added to keep the gum fresh. After that, the mixture is poured on cooling belts and shaped then cooled more for 24-48 hours. After that long process you have some tasty gum.

Chewing gum has it's pros and cons though. Chewing any gum isn't always such a good thing and does have some health effects and benefits. Even sugar-less gum has some effects like it stimulates saliva production. Gum is also known for tooth decay if it is chewed regularly. For all you gum chewers out there listen to this. A study shows that people who chew gum are more likely to get a better mark then those who do not! Yes this is true. A test was done to some people. Some of them were chewing gum and some weren't and those who were chewing gum did 25% better and scored higher than those who weren't chewing, and both groups were doing the same test!

Here are some cool and interesting facts about gum and some people that chew it. Gum is actually known for giving confidence and concentration says Michael Jordan. He would chew gum during his games to help him. Chewing gum is also a big thing for football coaches like Bill Cowher and Mike Ditka. The lead singer of the Foo Fighters also chews gum before he goes on stage and during, it keeps his mouth moist and his vocal chords too.
Gum is so much fun to chew and play around with. There are actually so many accomplishments with gum like that guy on Ripleys, Believe it Or Not. He can make little animals out of gum! Wow, wouldn't that be something.

Thank you.