From Tree to Gum
It all starts with the gum base. The stuff that makes gum chewy. It is made of plastic and rubber.
They pour the gum base into a mixer. Then they add color and flavoring. As it begins mixing, they pour in glucose syrup and sweetener. Because it is liquid, it keeps the gum base soft. Next, they add dextrose and powdered sweetener. They blend the ingredients for about 20 minutes. The stirring action blends up heat which melts everything together. The mixture is ready when it reaches the consistency of bread dough. They transfer it by cart to a machine called the pre-extruder. The machine squeezes the mixture through a narrow opening like squeezing toothpaste from a tube. This transforms the big bulky wad into thin manageable strips that can go through the extruders. Each strip is cut down to the actual width of a piece of bubble gum. It comes out as one long continuous stream to be cut into bite-sized pieces later on.