The Genius Water Trick To Make Gum Flavor Last Longer

What comes to mind when you think of chewing gum? Perhaps it's a rubbery wad of pink Double Bubble, or maybe it's a classic stick of yellow Juicy Fruit. Whatever the case, chewing gum has been around in various forms for hundreds of years, and for a good reason, since chewing on this sweet, sticky substance has many benefits.

The mindless acts of chewing gum will not only make or break your breath, but it can keep your teeth healthy, fight drowsiness, burn calories, and even improve your memory (per WebMD). It's no wonder the chewing gum industry sells 100,000 tons of gum every year, according to Chewing Gum Facts. Yet, despite all of these benefits, there remains one problem when it comes to chewing gum. That is the inevitable moment when it loses its flavor, and you begin looking for the nearest trash can to throw it out. But why does gum lose its flavor so quickly, and how can you keep it fresh for as long as possible?

How to make your gum flavor last longer

It may seem like the problem with gum losing its flavor lies with the brand of the gum itself, when in actuality, it may be our mouths! Joan Mestres, the co-author of "Formulation and Production of Chewing and Bubble Gum," says (via Serious Eats) that the main reason gum loses its flavor is that the receptors on our tongues become so saturated that it doesn't taste the flavor anymore.

Thankfully, Mestres of a little trick that can help bring back the sweet flavor we crave. According to the author, if you find that your current piece of chewing gum has lost its taste, take the gum out of your mouth and take a few sips of water. Doing so will help improve your palate. Mestres says it will be more flavorful once you begin chewing the gum again. Although, you're bound to run into the same problem two to five minutes later (based on his own unscientific research) since the saliva will absorb the flavoring and sweeteners, leaving you with a bland wad of gum.

What is chewing gum made out of?

Believe it or not, chewing gum has been around since the Stone Age. According to Science Focus, the first gum being made of sap from a substance called chicle, a latex sap from the sapodilla tree. But how is modern gum made? Food Unfolded says that gum has come a long way and has since been perfected by chemists to recreate the rubbery profile of chicle. The gum bases, which can be either natural or artificial, are mixed with sweeteners, flavoring agents, and food-grade coloring to make the chewing gum we find in stores today.

The gum bases are melted together to make chewing gum, and the remaining ingredients, like the sweeteners, flavors, and coloring, are added. From there, the mixture is extruded, shaped, left to cool, and eventually wrapped. Today, you can find various gum brands and flavors on the market, some fruity and others minty fresh. You may even be surprised to find weird gum flavors like bacon, wasabi, and dill pickle-flavored gum!