A degradable chewing gum that can be removed with soap and water could spare not only the soles of shoes, clothing and ladies' handbags, but also the environment, claim the makers of a patented gum formula.

Rev7 gum, which launched in the US last year, is expected to roll out in Europe this year after getting clearance from the European Food Safety Authority, announced Revolymer Limited Tuesday, a UK-based polymer company which developed the product.

It's expected to hit European confectionary shelves in six months.

Tests have shown more than 50 percent of the gum can be removed with conventional cleaning. It also disintegrates into a fine powder within six months and can be removed from paved sidewalks, carpets and other textiles.

Traditional gum removal requires energy intensive procedures like steam treatments, jet washing, burning and chemical treatments which can be harmful to the environment and require the replacement of whole sidewalks, points out Revolymer.

With Rev7 gum, however, water acts as a lubricant, reducing the ability of the gum to stick to a surface.

The gum - named Rev7 after the word 'revolution' and the number of times it took to perfect the polymer - was invented by a UK chemist who developed the product after being struck by the number of 'blobs' on US sidewalks - patches of old gum.

On a whimsical challenge by his wife, the scientist set out to invent a new polymer that would prevent unsightly pavement blemishes.

Food scientists have been busy finding ways to make high-performing, multi-functional gum. Wrigely's, for instance, launched the new Extra Professional Calcium chewing gum in Australia and New Zealand last month, which it claims can deliver 10 percent of a person's daily recommended intake.

A Japanese deodorizing chewing gum Fuwarinka, also claims to combat body odor and emit a rose perfume through the skin's pores.

Rev7 can be purchased online at http://www.rev7gum.com/store/ and comes in spearmint and peppermint flavors.

A pack of 12 is $16.68.