Chewy Chewerson
May 20, 2006 12:24 AM   Subscribe

[Chewing Gum] Does this exist? A sugarless, flavorless chewing gum that loses its pliableness the longer you chew it?

It seems every chewing gum I've encountered these days keeps its flavor and elasticity for as long as you chew it. Logically these two improvements have been a dream come true to chewing gum fanatics, but not to me!

Call me crazy but I actually long for the days when chewing gum would lose its flavor after about 15 minutes of chewing and would become harder and more difficult to chew the longer you chewed on it.

The closest thing I can come to that old flavorless piece of rock hard gum is by chewing cheap bubble gum, but I'd like to avoid that route since they are usually quite sugary.

What I'm looking for is a gum that's flavorless (or if it does have flavor, it better disappear quickly), sugarless, and becomes difficult to chew after half an hour. Does any gum (or gum-like substitute) like this exist?
posted by zippity to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
Dentyne is one, as are nearly any of the overpriced chicklet sugarless gums. They all lose their flavor quickly.
posted by Mr. Six at 12:40 AM on May 20, 2006

My sister chews/takes a vitamin gum that is (most likely) sugarless and loses its flavor within a minute or so. Though, that minute is pretty painful.

Oh, how I miss Fruitstripes!
posted by shoepal at 1:44 AM on May 20, 2006

You may be looking for 'chicle' or 'chilte', the original chewing gum.

A google search for "natural chicle" returns 180 results.
posted by Dataphage at 2:01 AM on May 20, 2006

I use Airwaves, but they are pretty strong initially, but once you move into no flavour it goes harder to chew.. sugarfree from Wriggleys.
posted by lundman at 2:34 AM on May 20, 2006

Fruitstriiiiiiiiiiiiiipes! I weep for the days of old!

I chew Orbitz sugar free gum and it seems to lose its favor pretty quickly and get pretty hard to chew after about 10 minutes. But now that I think about it, it's nowhere to the degree of the gum of my childhood.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:25 AM on May 20, 2006

Fruitstripe still exists -- I bought a pack a few months ago for my mom.
posted by sugarfish at 7:02 AM on May 20, 2006

The rather new flavor Applemint (green package) of Extra gum goes bland after 15 minutes, and I think overchewing it gave me TMJ last week.
posted by notsnot at 8:06 AM on May 20, 2006

Sugar-free Juicy Fruit sounds exactly like what you're looking for, unless they've reformulated it (I haven't chewed gum in years). Initial burst of "fruit" flavor (which fruit I'm not sure) then it becomes a rubber-band consistency that tastes like the inside of your mouth in about 5-7 minutes.
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:07 AM on May 20, 2006

Best answer:

Ahh, but you don't want quickly fading flavor; you want flavorless. So you want something like the popular Nihilist flavorless chewing gum and thereby bypass the horrific minute of actually experiencing taste in your chew of pleasure.

As for growing harder to chew, according to the ever-fascinating sites that discuss gum production, that result is inevitable if you keep the gum in your mouth. Gums are made softer by (no surprise) softeners, aka plasticizers, and by the (usually present) sugar or sugar substitute. Sugars and softeners -- frequently wax- or oil-based -- get broken down by the enzymes in your saliva.

Here's a patent description for "Long-lasting chewing gum having good processibility and method" which talks more about keeping flavor in chewing gum than any normal person could ever wish to know. If you go into that write-up keeping in mind you want the opposite results of what it's trying to achieve, it has useful information for you. The most obvious conclusion is that you want to bulk your gum-base and reduce everything else, per this quote:

"As gum base concentration is reduced, the total sweetness of the chewing gum of the invention increases. However, notwithstanding increased sweetness-flavor release, it is essential that cud volumes be maintained at acceptable levels, especially in bubble type gums if the cud volume is too low, the resulting gum may be tiresome to chew...".

Don't miss this related quote, if only for further discussion of the cud:

"Surprisingly, it has been found that satisfactory cud sizes or volumes may be maintained by incorporating mannitol into the chewing gum of the invention, preferably as the second sweetener or together with another (second) sweetener so that the mannitol is dispersed and sealed in the gum base as described above. The mannitol being only a poorly-soluble sugar alcohol is slow to extract from the gum base and increases the weight and size thereof."

Presumably Nihilist gum has a high gum-base percentage, since it lacks flavorings or sweeteners.

But we'll leave the last word to Uncle Cecil and his Teeming Millions, discussing the burning question "Does passionate kissing cause your chewing gum to disintegrate?". At the very end of the discussion a couple of people explain why chewing gum for prolonged periods causes it to lose its elasticity and become harder to chew.
posted by mdevore at 5:57 PM on May 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

I once chewed some grape bubble bubble gum so long that it turned into a liquid goo. Basically I was able to spit purple..

Of course, this was in the 80s when I was a kid so maybe the gum formulas have changed since then.
posted by cbushko at 11:20 AM on May 21, 2006

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