We're still waiting on some legit ever-lasting gobstoppers, but in the meanwhile…this will DEFINITELY do!
Researchers have developed the technology to allow different flavors to be captured inside microscopic capsules, which can release different flavors at different times, which could be used to re-create the gum from the Willy Wonka movies.
The microcapsules were initially designed to deliver drugs to specific parts of the digestive system, but scientists at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich are looking to use them to make Wonka's three-course meal chewing gum into a reality.
Here's what Professor Dave Hart from the Institute had to say about it:
"There are a number of groups here at the Institute who have been working with these capsules to provide a new way of delivering drugs to the colon, which means they have to be able to survive passing through the rest of the digestive system. Researchers in America have been looking at using these capsules as a way of delivering flavor in food. So using it in this way would allow us to provide new experiences for people when eating."
More from Prof. Hart:
"Wonka's fantasy concoction has been nothing but a dream for millions of kids across the world. But science and technology is changing the future of food, and these nanoparticles may hold the answer to creating a three course gourmet gum."
"Tiny nanostructures within the gum would contain each of the different flavors. These would be broken up and released upon contact with saliva or after a certain amount of chewing – providing a sequential taste explosion as you chew harder."
Professor Tony Dinsmore from the dept. of physics at the University of Massachusetts has developed a technique that allows molecules of particular flavors, vitamins or living cells to be captured inside microscopic capsules before they can be incorporated into the ingredients for food.
The capsules produce an oily shell around the molecules, which prevents them from mixing with other ingredients, and allows the flavors to be kept separate.
Well, we suppose we understand HOW it's possible to put a three-course meal into chewing gum…now we want to try it!
We'll look forward to hearing progress on the real life version of Willy Wonka's chewing gum.
[Image via WENN.]