Friday, July 09, 2010

Non-Stick Chewing Gum

Revolymer, a British company has announced the FDA approval of a new chewing gum that will not stick to surfaces - or at least will stick at a greatly reduced level.

They have a few videos on their home page. I only have looked at one so far - "Why Things Stick" and have made a few guesses about what is going on. I was also dissappointed, in that the title of the movie is misleading - they barely touch on why things stick [*]. He also made references to cohesive strength vs. adhesive strength.

One tidbit the speaker did give away is that they have added a polymeric surfactant to the gum. I would have to guess that it is a Pluronic - a PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymer. They are already used as surfactant (and being nonionic, they are low foaming, always a good thing for chewing gum), and they have pharmaceutical approval. I'm curious if the surfactant changes the cohesive strength at all either.

[*] During a recent client visit, I gave an overview of why things stick as a lead into why cleaning things is so difficult. The Leonard-Jones 6-12 potential energy well is short and deep, and I was pleased to see even the non-technical people in attendence understanding the concept. Plus I told them that at their next cocktail party and can toss around the term "Leonard-Jone 6-12 potential" and impress the other attendees.

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