Bubble gum is so popular that thousands tons of it is chewed every year all around the world. Here is a look at ingredients that make the bubble gum stretchy. The main ingredient of gum is chicle, which is a natural latex harvested from the sap of the sapodilla tree. Several synthetically food-grade polymers are added to the natural gum base to provide the elastic properties of bubble gum, including polyvinyl acetate, polyisobutylene, styrene butadiene copolymer and isobutylene isoprene copolymer. Polymers are large molecules, composed of a long repeating chain of subunits (monomer). Higher molecular weight of the polymer, used in formulation, makes the bubble gum base more extensible and able to form bubbles.
– Image inspired by ANTFOX, who did a creative artwork after Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”