What is source of chewing gum?

Some 90 per cent of the chewing gum produced in the United States comes from chicle, the solidified milky juice of the sapodilla tree. This is a tropical evergreen which grows to more than 15 metres in height and has many branched with glossy, light green leaves that are oval in shape. The trees grow wild in the forests of southern Mexico and northern Central America.

The wood of the sapodilla is very hard and stands up well to bad weather, the Mays , the ancient people who lived in Central America, used sapodilla wood for building, and many examples of this wood, still in good condition, have been found in Maya ruins.

The fruit of the sapodilla tree contains a jelly-like fluid. When this fluid hardens it turns into a pink gum that can be chewed. The material most used in making chewing gum is the latex, or milky most used in making chewing gum is the latex is obtained by making deep V-shaped cuts in the bark of the tree; the juice runs down these cuts and is gathered in cups. The latex is taken from the tree during the rainy season when the sapodilla tree has the most juice.


Picture Credit : Google