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History of mastic gum

Not an Arab commodity

Recently I bought a pack of bubble gum or mastic, which we cannot manufacture even the equivalent of it in spite of we constantly boasting about our civilization and beliefs, customs and traditions sometimes we are far better than Japan and Germany.

When I read the contents on the cover of the pack I discovered the gum contains sweeteners, sorbitol, methanol, maltitol syrup, aspartame, almond sugar, gum base, glycerol stabilizer, natural mint flavor, green tea extract, antioxidant, colors, curcumin, titanium dioxide, metallic blue, emulsion agent, soybean, and other materials.

The chewing gum is soft, cohesive and made of elastic material and can be chewed for hours, without swallowing it. Despite its modern form, the world has known it since ancient times, and its ingredients vary from region to region, depending on the quality of its plants. Chewing gum is used to clean teeth and moisturize the breath.

The Greeks used to chew something from the mastic tree, which gave its name to the gum or the mastic, but the modern chewing gum was known to the world after America was discovered. The Red Indians were chewing branches of rubber trees and the early English colonialists took the habit, especially in the New England.

In 1848, John B. Curtis developed and sold the first commercial chewing gum in history. In 1850 the gum was first produced from petroleum-derived paraffin wax and became more widespread than Curtis’ gum. It was initially sweetened in a strange manner, as it was taken out of the mouth and dipped in a bowl of powdered sugar.

The first brand of chewing gum was registered in 1869. The gum we know now was produced when former Mexican president Antonio Lopez brought the Chicle (a natural gum traditionally used in making chewing gum and other products) and gave it to Thomas Adams in New York to use as a substitute for rubber, but it only worked as a gum, cut into small pieces and sold under the name ‘Adams’, which is known by this name in many countries until today.

By the end of the 19th century, Chiclets Gum was followed by Wrigley’s Gum, and became the largest and most famous brand to be sold. The World War II also played a major role in the spread of chewing gum. US soldiers used it frequently in the countries where they were stationed, and everyone was trying to imitate them. The US Army provided it to the soldiers as part of the rations, which they sold to the local population.

By 1960, the gum manufacturers began to use cheap synthetic rubber, after Chiclets became insufficient. (In the Gulf States when someone buys something and if the shopkeeper does not have small change he puts in the hands of the customer a chewing gum.)

A Canadian study also showed that chewing gum makes customers shop for longer periods without feeling bored. On the other hand, we see that chewing gum is not welcome in certain societies, because using it is seen as rude or insulting, especially in solace or places of worship, during official interviews and meetings.

Singapore imposed a monetary fine on those who discard chew gum on the street because it is considered as the second biggest component of street waste after cigarettes.

Britain — for example — spends about £50 million annually to remove it from the roads, but others say they can benefit from this waste by turning it into shoes and cups.

When you buy gum in future, remember that its history is not easy, and industry vast, so we only have to chew it instead of making it in a sophisticated manner, unless only to a minimum.

Dear Mustafa Al-Sarraf, your response is totally inaccurate and it looks like your memory has begun to fail you a bit. I personally attended the elections to Jabriya Cooperative Society, and participated in it.

Records of the society and the memory of brother Haider Ghadhanfari are clear evidences.

Note that what I mentioned does not involve any abuse to you, and I mentioned it just to talk about my relationship with the cooperative societies … With regards.

 email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf



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