To make chewing gum, gum base is melted and purified, and then it is mixed with flavors and sweeteners before being rolled into a loaf of gum that goes through a series of rollers, according to Wrigley. After passing through the rollers, it is coated with sugar or artificial sweetener and then scored into sticks, strips or tabs; the gum is then conditioned, broken, coated, sprayed with a spray dryer and tumbled in a syrup mixture before it is wrapped with the help of a wrapping machine and then packaged in blister packaging or other types of packaging for shipment to distributors.
Up until the middle of the 19th century, chewing gum was made using a substance called chicle that is derived from the latex sap of the sapodilla tree. This tree is native to Central America, and the sap is a form of rubber. The chicle was mixed with flavorings to create gum. Much like a rubber band, chicle does not dissolve when it is chewed, although it is softer than a rubber band.
Chemists learned to make artificial gum bases by the 1960s, and these replaced chicle. Although they have the same temperature profile as chicle, these bases are synthetically produced.