Archive for the ‘gum research’ Category

Does chewing gum improve math scores?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


Arithmetic
, originally uploaded by kunja.

We’re always fond of research that shows chewing gum makes you, well, smarter.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported on a research project funded by Wrigley at the Baylor College of Medicine. Those who took part in the study either chewed sugar-free gum during math class, during math homework, during math tests, or they didn’t chew gum at all.

After 14 weeks, the students took a math test and had their math grades assessed. As the Times reported:

Those who chewed gum had a 3% increase in standardized math test scores and had final math grades that were significantly better than the other students. Teachers observed that those who chewed gum seemed to require fewer breaks, sustain attention longer and remain quieter.

While the research didn’t fully explain what the relationship was between gum chewing and math improvement, the lead researcher on the study, Dr. Craig Johnston, said that “there is research demonstrating an increase in blood flow in the brain during chewing.”

The study was presented at the Annual Meeting of Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans this past April.

Biodegradable gum: Chicza™ has the answer

Friday, May 1st, 2009


PHOTO: Chicza Gum

If you’ve perused the post below, you may have noticed a short reference to an organic and biodegradable gum now available in stores in the UK. We, in turn, got curious and checked out the web to find out more, and found, among other things, a great podcast on the site Make Wealth History (you can listen to the podcast by clicking on the link at the end of this post), which includes the following details on this new gum from Mexico, Chicza:

It’s a great example of sustainable business, creating jobs in Mexico, stewarding the rainforests, and helping to solve the problem of urban staining here in the UK.

Chicza went on sale this week. Louise has been along to London’s Trafalgar Square to meet the directors and do a taste test, in this exclusive report for Make Wealth History.

We also checked out the website for Chicza which talked about how their approach to gum has provided a great, environmentally friendly resolution by creating a biodegradable chewing gum:

Currently, most mass-produced chewing gums use artificial, petrol-based polymers as substitutes for natural chicle. Even those few, very fine chewing gums that still have natural chicle use only small amounts of it and combine it with synthetic gums. That is why chewing gum is such an environmental and sanitary threat to cities all over the world: the polymers in gum bind very successfully with asphalt.

Chicza has nothing but natural, organic gum base, and therefore has all the virtuous features of this innocuous, hydrosoluble, non-sticky, biodegradable source. Easily decomposed by weathering, combined with bacterial and enzymatic biodegradation, it turns to dust and goes back to the soil, just like rotting wood, fallen leaves and other organic material.

Check out the Chicza website for more details on this new type of gum.

Podcast courtesy of makewealthhistory.org. Click here.

Chew gum, do great in math

Saturday, April 25th, 2009


PHOTO: Bubblegum Math, Oak Park District 97

WebMD reports this week that a recent research project headed by Dr. Craig Johnston, an instructor of pediatrics nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine found in the Wrigley’s funded study that chewing sugar-free gum brought statistically significant increases in standardized math scores and final math grades.

They presented the results of their study at a recent annual meeting at the American Society for Nutrition’s Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2009.

Here’s who and what Dr. Johnston’s studied, and found out:

Johnston and his team enlisted 108 eighth-grade students in four math classes, randomly assigning them to two groups: one group chewed Wrigley’s sugar-free gum during school, while doing homework, and also while taking a standardized test; students in the control group didn’t chew gum.

Johnston tells WebMD that students who chewed gum showed an increase in standardized math test scores after 14 weeks of chomping in class and while doing homework, compared to those who didn’t chew.

Gum chewing was associated with a 3% increase in standardized math scores, which Johnston terms small but still “statistically significant.”

The youngsters who chewed also had final math grades that were “significantly better” than those who didn’t chew, Johnston says.

The WebMD piece also notes that other researchers not connected with the study tout chewing gum’s stress reducing properties, noting that “it’s likely that chewing gum can reduce stress, leading to enhanced concentration and thus better academic performance.”

Stress (and then stress less) at work

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The current online issue of Reliable Plant magazine reports on some recent research on workplace stress conducted by Eclipse gum and the Institute for Corporate Productivity.

It described many of the culprits that you might suspect…time pressure, office politics, deadlines and bosses…and some ways that employees themselves are trying to cope with that stress.

It’s a big problem, as the workforce leadership expert from the Institute for Corporate Productivity notes in the article, with two out of every three employees feeling as though they’re not getting the support they need from their employers.

That expert, Mary Key, suggests there are, at least, some small things that employees can do, and we’re happy to note that (perhaps not surprisingly, given one of the research’s sponsors) chewing gum has a role to play:

“The ability to cope with stress plays a large role in employee performance,” says Mary Key, workforce leadership expert for the Institute for Corporate Productivity. “We found that 65 percent of respondents do not feel their organization is effective in helping them manage stress. That leaves stress management to individuals. While alleviating the time pressures or getting a new boss may not be an option, people can use small tools to beat daily stresses at work, like going outside for a breath of fresh air, closing their eyes while slowly counting to fifty or chewing a piece of gum.”

While chewing gum may not have the same effect as a vacation, new research suggests it is an easy tool employees can turn to when they’re feeling stressed. A study presented August 30 at the 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine examined the effects of chewing gum in response to a stressor and found that the use of chewing gum was associated with reduced stress, improved alertness and relieved anxiety.

It’s Lift Off 2 that you need for gum

Monday, October 6th, 2008

 Last Friday’s Hospitality Magazine website in Australia reviewed a biodegradable stain removal product, Lift Off, invented by chemist Gregg Motsenbocker for removing stains, including the ongoing challenge of discarded gum.

As the magazine notes, the product has no ammonia or solvent smell and “…it can be used on any surface without damaging or degrading the surface or the environment.”

There are three different varieties available, but when it comes to gum, it’s the second variety that you want:

Lift Off 2 removes oil and petroleum-based stains such as oil, grease, labels, chewing gum and candle wax, all of which will disappear from areas such as metal, plastic, wood, glass (labels), hair (chewing gum), carpet and fabric.

From Bubble Tape to chewing gum (awake)

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Today’s Beacon News, from northern Illinois, reports on the latest invention of retired chewing gum inventor (and Wrigley executive) Ron Reams, who has moved on from some of his earlier inventions, which included Mork bubble gum, Ouch bandage-shaped bubble gum, and Bubble Tape — five to 15 new products a year for 30 years, by his own estimation — has shifted his chewing gum invention focus to a new product with a serious intent — first responders who are fighting in the war in Iraq.

His new company, Marketright,  has introduced a new caffeinated gum after a decade of research, as the article reports:

 

Working with scientists at a Florida lab, (Reams) discovered that a stick of gum containing caffeine provided an instant boost compared to a cup of coffee, an espresso shot or energy bars being digested for example.

This past summer, after 10 years of research, Ream’s Plano firm Marketright has distributed a caffeine gum, available only to a very specific consumer: first-responders fighting the war in Iraq.

Ignited by a federal grant secured by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert back in 1998, Ream collaborated with scientists of the Walter Reed Army Institute to research the effects of a caffeine gum containing 100 mg of caffeine per piece. One piece is equivalent to a six-ounce cup of coffee.

“I was the gum man, and they were the clinical testing gurus,” Ream said.

Marketright firm has distributed 500,000 packages of Stay Alert Gum to the military so far, Ream said. The contract lasts two years.

DISS this: The wondrous powers of chewing gum

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

In a today’s Fitness blog section of the The Dallas Morning News, there was a report on recent studies by Australian behavioral and brain science professor Andrew Scholey about whether chewing gum affected one’s scores on the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (or DISS). It did, happily, and helped support the theory that chewing gum relieves anxiety, increases alertness and reduces stress.

Here’s what Leslie Garcia reports in her blog today:

The findings were quite positive. A couple of more specific tidbits:

Levels of salivary cortisol ( a physiological stress marker) were lower in gum-chewers than in non — 16 percent during mild stress; 12 percent in moderate.

Multi-tasking gum chewers improved their baseline DISS scores by 67 percent during moderate stress and by 109 percent during mild stress.

Warwick International sells for £129 million (with “non-stick” chewing gum involved!)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Warwick International, based in Mostyn, UK, has just been sold to its management team for £129 million (US$230 million), according to today’s Evening Leader from Mold.

It’s a make or break deal for the company’s employees in Flintshire. Warwick is a company best known for two businesses; one, perhaps of less interest to those who work at (and read) AndrewsGumWorld is its international laundry detergent business.

Second, though, is its more intriguing collaboration with Revolymer, reported on earlier today in AndrewsGumWorld and referenced in this article:

Revolutionary ‘non-stick’ chewing gum has been developed at research labs at the Mostyn site, alongside Bristol-based research company Revolymer.

Scientists hope the gum will keep its taste for longer and be easily removed from pavements, and it is anticipated a £10m funding boost could bring the new product to market next year.

The Revolymer Clean Gum shoe (well, make that a flip-flop) test

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Revolymer’s Clean Gum raises $20 million

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

We’re written earlier about Revolymer’s (you’ll note the company logo above) efforts to develop what is called Clean Gum; one that’s easily removable and, even better, possibly biodegradable.

We’re a bit late in reporting some recent significant funding for the company, a research spin-off from University of Bristol, has received to further develop this new product.

As a Reuters article from a few months back reports:

A British company developing a non-stick chewing gum that can be easily removed from pavements and shoes has raised 10 million pounds ($20 million) to help bring its product to market.

The new financing comes from institutional and private investors, with IP Group — an early backer — chipping in an additional 800,000 pounds, the firm said on Wednesday.