Who doesn’t remember that feeling… sitting at your school desk, a victim to the horrible habit of putting bubble gum under the table when you suddenly find it’s stuck to your skirt! Followed by vain attempts on your mum’s part to remove the gum, which by now, had become deeply embedded in the fabric fibers of your school skirt.
But finally an end is in sight… with this new degradable gum promising to be removed from surfaces such as pavements, bricks, carpets and school clothing with just a simple scrub – hurrah!
Removable gum innovation
The company to which we owe the credit is UK-based Revolymer. The company hopes to launch their less sticky and more degradable chewing gum brand Rev-7 in Europe by the end of 2011.
Preliminary results have shown that this revolutionary gum degrades naturally in water and disappears from pavements within just 24 hours. However, the company states that in real street situations spontaneous removal through normal street cleaning and pedestrian traffic typically removes around 70% of the gum.
In the UK it is estimated that the total cost of removing gum from the streets – using spray jets, chemicals, or more extreme laser removal – stands at an enormous £150m a year, a massive burden in the current economic climate. Some council’s have even urged government to put a 1p tax on packs of gum to help cover the huge cost of gum removal. So council offices are warmly receiving this news across the UK.
The nutritional value of chewing gum
Rev-7, as is the case with all other chewing gum, has virtually no nutritional value, as the chewing gum base is rarely swallowed. However, gum’s popularity remains strong despite increasingly health conscious citizens, and recently innovations in chewing gum have flourished. Some recent developments include improved dental hygiene such as Wrigley’s Extra Ice White; energy boosting such as Blitz caffeinated gum; and other flavoured gels such as Trident Splash.
On the whole, most chewing gums are sugar free and sweeteners such as xylitol, a sugar alcohol that reduces plaque and protects teeth against decay associated with dental cavities, are used. Other sweeteners sometimes used in gums include sorbitol, Mannitol and Aspartame. And while safety concerns regarding the use of sweeteners have been raised in the media there’s no strong scientific proof that the use of these sweeteners are detrimental to human health.
As there was no deemed benefit to chewing gum – only a lot of mess caused – for years people were calling for similar restrictions in the UK to those seen in Singapore, where chewing gum was banned in 1992 (rules were relaxed however in 2004 to allow the consumption of gum with ‘therapeutic value’, such as Nicorette – used to help smokers quit the habit). Now this new revolution in degradable gums looks sure to alleviate such concerns.
BDST: 1319 HRS, Oct-13, 2013