MadSci Network: Other

Re: What is 'bubble Gum' flavor?

Date: Sat Sep 27 15:17:48 2003
Posted By: Peter Bosani, Music and Science, McGill University - Continuing Education
Area of science: Other
ID: 1064115120.Ot

Hi Phil.  Your question is most interesting and I'll do my best to 
explain.  Let's go back to 1928 when one, Walter Diemer an accountant 
working for the Fleer Chewing Gum Co., in Philidelphia figured out how to 
create a gum, strong enough and elastic enough to stretch when filled with 
air.  He used the only food dye on hand for the color-pink.  To this 
day 'classic' bubble gum is pink.  Unfortunately he never revealed the 
flavor ingredients, which is not surprising because these formulas are 
regarded as trade secrets, (much like the secret flavor component of Coca 
Cola's No. 7X).  Keep in mind that out of about 2,000 food additves used 
in the industry as many as 1,700 of them are flavoring agents.  Due to 
their safety and propriety the labeling of flavors need only be specified 
in general terms such as, artificial or natural flavors.  
However, your perception is accurate in that the predominant flavors 
of 'original' bubble gum is indeed fruity.  It is a mixture of several 
natural and artificial fruit flavors.
To simulate strawberry flavor, chemicals like ethyl methyl phenylglycidate 
can be used.  Other flavors are sour apple for which sorbic and malic 
acids are used.  Limonene has an intense citrus based flavor. 
The 'BananaBerry' bubblegum undoubtedly uses amyl acetate for the banana 
So you see food chemists have a great variety of chemicals to choose from 
to create that 'fruity' taste of bubble gum.
I hope I've given you something to chew on.
For more on this go to or
My reference book was 'When do fish sleep?' by David Feldman. Publisher 
Harper & Row.

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