Chemist George Zaidan asks the important question: "What the hell is in gum that makes it so magical?" Specifically, why is gum chewy to start with, and how does it remain chewy for a long time despite your saliva trying to pre-digest it?

In this video, Zaidan explores the ingredients in chewing gum, then proceeds to make his own in a little saucepan. The key to understanding chewing gum is to get inside the meta-ingredient labeled "gum base" on the package. This stuff contains a subset of up to 46 actual ingredients, and therein lies the magic.

Chew on this:

Previous coverage of the Ingredients series: What's in Nail Polish? and What's in Toothpaste?