The chewing of gum-like substances appears to always have been a basic human need. Archeologists found the oldest specimen to date of a precursor to chewing gum when they excavated a 9,000-year-old settlement in southern Sweden. The ancient Greeks were also fond of similar substances. Some 2,000 years ago, they chewed on the resin of the mastic tree, which is still harvested on the Greek island of Chios. Nowadays, chewing gum is generally based on synthetically produced solid resins that serve as carriers for sugar, sweeteners and flavorings.
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