Tuesday, October 19, 2010


   History of Gum

   Since prehistoric times, people have chewed gum as evidence shows our ancestors chewed tree resin for enjoyment.  Greek cultures chewed resin from the mastic tree to freshen their breath.  The ancient Mayans chewed chicle sap from the Sapodilla tree that is the forerunner for today's modern chewing gum.
   Spruce tree resin and beeswax were popular to chew by the Native Americans and the early settlers.  In 1848, John Curtis made the State of Maine Spruce Chewing Gum using the resin from the spruce tree.  The gum was sold in lots of two hunks for a penny.  Later, paraffin wax replace spruce as a base for gum. William Semple was granted the first patent for chewing gum in 1850.

   In 1880, Santa Anna sent his friend, an inventor named Thomas Adams, some chicle sap from Mexico.  Adams and Santa Anna were trying to find a way to make money by using the chicle sap.  Adams tried mixing it with rubber to make a better tire; however, he decided the mixture was useless.  When he overheard someone ask for gum whil he was in a drug store, he tried using just the chicle sap to make chewing gum.  He created Black Jack Gum which was licorice flavored and was hugely popular.  This was the first gum to be sold in sticks.  The only problem was that the flavor could not be maintained.

   While experimenting with adding corn syrup and sugar to the chicle gum, William White, an employee of Adams, found the solution to the flavor problem.  He added peppermint flavor and it did stay on the gum.  In 1888, Adams' gum, Tutti-Frutti, became the first gum sold in vending machines found in the New York subway system.

   In the 1900's, William Wrigley promoted chewing gum by advertising on billboards and newspapers.  His sale of spearmint gum surged.  Today, to grow the mint that Wrigley's needs for its mint flavored gums, it would take 53 square mile of farmland.  That equals about 30,550 football fields.  All the spearmint grown for Wrigley's gum is grown in the United States.  If each stick of gum that is produced annually was laid end to end, it would circle the world 19 times.
   During  WWII, chewing gum, believed to reduce tension, promote alertness and improve morale, was used by soldiers and its use spread around the world.  Sugarfree and surgarless gums were added inth 1950's.  Today, sales of surgarless gums outsell regular.

   Bubble Gum 

   The first bubble gum, called Blibbler Blubber was never sold by its inventor Frank Fleer.  However, an employee of the Fleer company, Walter Diemer, perfected bubble gum when he was experimenting with different  gum recipes.  Bubble gum is pink because the manufacture only had that color available.  The color was popular so most bubble gum today remains pink. The Fleer Company mass produced this form of chewing gum under the name of Dubble Bubble.  People were taught by salesmen how to blow bubbles.

   After WWII, The topps Company added Bazooka bubble gum with "Bazooka Joe" comics.  In 1953, the company added baseball cards packaged with the bubble gum.

   How to blow a bigger bubble:

   Chew gum until the sugar is gone as sugar will not stretch.

   How is Chewing Gum Made?
   Every type and brand of chewing gum has a specific recipe.  All gums use a base either a resin from tropical trees, wax or synthetic products.  Sugar, corn syrup, and flavoring are added.  These secrets are carefully guarded by manufacturing companies.  Ingredients are heated until the mixture is thick like maple syrup, Sorbitol, mannitol or other sweeteners are added to make sugarless gum.  The liquid then is cooled and goes through a roller to flatten it for stick gum.  Coated gum has an additional process of being cut and then coated with powdered sugar.  It sits for 48 hours prior to being candy coated.

Bear made from chewing gum
   Gum Trivia

  • In 1994, Susan Montgomery Williams blew the largest bubble on record with a diameter of 23 inches.
  • Gary Duschl of Virginia hold the Guinness World Record for the longest gum wrapper chain. On March 11, 1965 the official length was measured at 46,053 feet using 1,076,656 gum wrappers.  He continues to add to this chain and on July 11, 2005, the chain was 46,733 feet using 1,092,996 wrappers.  Duschl began his wrapper in 1965.
  • It takes 50 wrappers to make one foot of chain.
  • Steve Fletcher holds the record for the largest gum wrapper collection with 5,300 packets.
  • The largest piece of chewing gum produced was equal to 10,000 pieces of gum.  This was presented to baseball's Willie Mays in 1974.
  • Cinnamon, spearmint and peppermint are the most popular flavors.
  • One half billion dollars is spent on chewing gum per yer by North American kids.
  • The average American chews 300 sticks of gum per year.  The age group of 12-24 chews more gum  than any other.
  • Of the 20 manufacturers of gum in the United States, Wrigley is the largest.  The country with the most gum manufacturers is Turkey which has more than 60 companies.
  • It does not take 7 years for swallowed gum to pass through the human digestive system.  If swallowed, the indigestible ingredients take the same amount of time to pass through the digestive system as any other food that is eaten.  Gum is made with indigestible ingredients and should not be swallowed.
   Why we Chew?

   Modern psychologists state that the tendency to chew begins in infancy with the urge to suckle milk or a pacifier.  As we grow, we substitute a thumb, blade of grass, a piece of hay, or pencils.  Eventually a better substitute, good flavored chewing gum, was created.

  Top Ten Benefits of Chewing Gum

  1. Relieves tension and stress
  2. Relaxing
  3. Freshens breath
  4. Helps one to resist the urge to smoke
  5. Moistens a dry mouth
  6. Reduces ear discomfort when flying
  7. Satisfies snack cravings
  8. Cleans teeth after meals
  9. Tastes good and has only a few calories
  10. It's fun



The M & M guys and gal

   Sweet milk chocolate drops in a colorful, crunchy shell.  Ubiquitous and delightful, M & M's candy has been part of American life for nearly 70 years.  We all know they're the chocolate that "melts in your mouth, not in your hands", but how did M & M's become such an essential American treat?
   In the 1930's, Forrest Mars, Sr. got the idea for M & M's by seeing Spanish Civil War soldiers eating chocolate pellets that had a hard shell covering the inside so the candies would not melt.
   In 1941 production for M & M's began in a factory located in Newark, New Jersey.  One M stands for Forrest Mars and the other M stands for William Murrie, the president of Hershey's Chocolate.  Murrie had 20 percent interest in the production of M & M's.  When Operations were started, the chocolates were made in five colors: yellow, brown, green, red, and violet.  They were originally served in a cardboard tube.

  • 1948, Mars bought out Murrie's 20 percent interest.  In that same year they replaced the cardboard packaging with black cellophate packaging.
  • 1950, a black "M" was imprinted on the candies.
  • 1954, they changed the "M" from being black, to white.
  • 1955, Peanut M & M's were introduced.
  • 1958, the factory moved to a bigger factory in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
  • 1960, Peanut M & M's added the colors, red, green and yellow.
  • 1976, the red M & M's were eliminated because people believed that the dye amaranth caused health problems.  They replaced red with orange.  The action was only done to satisfy the customers that were worried, the M & M's did not contain the dye.  Red M & M's were again introduced later, and they kept the orange M & M's also.

M & M's World

  • 1988, M & M's with an almond center hit the stores, but with a limited release of during Easter and Christmas times.
  • 1990, Peanut Butter M & M's were released, these M & M's are filled with peanut butter and come in the same colors as the other brands of M & M's.
  • 1995, blue M & M's came in and replaced tan.
  • 1996, M & M minis were introduced.  Smaller M & M's in plastic tubes.
  • 1998, M & M's became the official candy of the Millennium.
  • 1999, M & M's crisp chocolate make their debut.
  • 2000, "Plain M & M's" were renamed to "Milk Chocolate M & M's"
  • 2004, Personalizing M & M's begins, allowing customers to custom print on 17 vibrant colors of M & M's.
  • 2005, M & M's were offered in dark chocolate in the brands of regular and peanut for the promotion that tied in with Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith movie release.

  • 2007, M & M's were made in the flavor M & M's Razzberry Chocolate Candies.
  • 2010, Pretzel M & M's are launched, but not in the color yellow.

   Today M & M's can be customized and personalized with special colors, messages and even pictures.  Customers can choose from over 10 varieties of the candy, including coconut, pretzel, and peanut butter.  Since their creation, M & M 's have become a symbol of American culture.  M & M's were declared the official snack of the 1984 Los Angles Olympics, and in 1998 the candy of the new millennium.  Few candies have been so well known and loved throughout our history-WHY DO YOU LOVE M & M's?