'Three-course meal gum' available soon, say researchers and candymen

Willy Wonkas and Oompa Loompas rejoice - the British have found the secret to creating flavor-changing gum.

Blogs and British news sites are buzzing about the development of a "boiled sweet" that changes flavors.

The process, designed by Dave Hart, a food scientist at the Norwich Institute of Food Research also working with the National Science & Engineering Competition promoting young British inventors, is based on nanotechnology and flavor release crystals that change as you chew.

According to Hart, Harvard scientists working on colloidosomes, nano-capsules of water-in-oil-in-water, could be close to making a flavor-changing gum a reality.

He continued, "The tomato soup capsule would break on contact with saliva, followed by roast beef and blueberry pie in stronger structures providing a sequential taste explosion as you chew harder," just like the three-course meal gum that transformed greedy Violet Beauregarde into a human blueberry in the classic book and film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. ( )See it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNm1kfxlNJQ )

However the brains behind JellyMongers at Bompas & Parr in London, England might be closer to figuring it out. They are using colloidosomes to create wild gourmet, artisanal gum flavors but explained on October 22 to the London Evening Standard, "The flavour discernably changes. Now what we've got to do is make sure the first flavour totally cuts out."

The candy manufacturers declared that recreating Willy Wonka's gum is "the ultimate challenge. It involves two changes of flavour as well as switching from savoury to sweet."

Until the scientists or candymen at Bompas & Parr's, Wrigley's or Cadbury launch a "three-course meal gum" you might want to visit Bompas & Pars "Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory at Whiteleys Shopping Centre" in London where "people are invited to learn the secrets of chewing gum manufacture at the world's first mirco-factory."

The Bompas & Parr website explains "Each visitor will be able to choose and combine 200 familiar and unusual flavours including iris, Hendricks Gin and tonic, curry and beer yeast. In total 40,000 flavour combinations are possible."

Tickets are £2.50/€2.80 and the factory is open October 25-31 from noon to 6pm.

To learn more about the young inventors Big Bang Fair 2011 where Hart is working with young scientists, go to: thebigbangfair.co.uk/nsec.