Biodegradable “rainforest” chewing gum launches in Australia
Mexican company The Chicza Rainforest Gum initiative is set to launch its biodegradable chewing gum called Chicza, made from latex extracted from chicozapote trees in the jungles of South-eastern Mexico, in Australia.
The chewing gum is made by extracting the chicozapote latex, which is then boiled until sticky, and finally kneaded and shaped into rectangular bricks called ‘marquetas’.
The Company said the chicozapote latex is extracted from the tall trees by making zigzag marks on the trees, leading to a bag placed at the base. Dripping sap then slowly fills the bags, each tree yielding between 3kg and 5kg per harvest. The trees are ‘rested’ for 6 or 7 years between harvests.
After boiling, the latex is kneaded, at which point the Company said each ‘marqueta’ “is carefully marked by its maker”.
“These marks contain relevant information that tells us the name of the chiclero who harvested it, and the exact location of the harvested tree in the rainforest,” the Company said.
The Company said the latex is mixed with ‘natural’ waxes, sweeteners and flavours such as ‘wild mint’, ‘heirloom lime’ and ‘spearmint’.
“One of the great advantages of Chicza’s composition is biodegradability. Once disposed of, its all-natural components will become dust within weeks,” said the Company.
Chicza chewing gum is currently available in selected health food and specialty stores.