It all starts with the extraction of raw chicle in the Gran Peten forest and continues then in the only plant in the world able to produce it in a totally eco-friendly way in the capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal, southeastern Mexico.
The chicle is extracted through Z-shaped incisions made with a machete on the bark without damaging the tree and then, once “juiced”, it is left to rest for 5-6 years. Each tree can provide from 3 to 5 kg of latex before the next harvest, ensuring the preservation of the forest and fresh and genuine chicle.
The sap slides down slowly filling the special bags placed at the base of the tree.
The next morning, the bags full of latex are picked up and taken to a Chiclero Camp where 2-3 Chicleros, using a hard stick called Chasmol, will slowly cook it turning the dough until it becomes dense.
When it reaches the right consistency, it is moulded in rectangular marquetas, and given special FSC markings (Forest Stewardship Council) that identify the chicle and even the exact location of the plant. Few products in the world can offer such accurate traceability!
The next step is the sale by weight of slabs of pure Chicle to the Chiclero Consortium, in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
Today, Chicleros can earn 6 times more than in the past when they were exploited by multinational companies.
Each block of chicle is inspected and checked to verify its consistency and authenticity to ensure maximum efficiency in the production and the highest quality to consumers.
Then, we have the production process in the plant; the chicle is blended with natural waxes before it becomes the basis for the gum. Still hot, the natural gum base is mixed with organic sweeteners and sweetened with organic Agave syrup that has a low glycemic index. Lastly, they add only natural and certified organic flavours.
As simple as it sounds, using only natural ingredients they obtain a product that is a rare exception in the world of chewing-gum full of chemical ingredients and traces of animal products.
Commonly available chewing gum is composed of approximately 5% of natural gum base, when it is not even entirely devoid of it! The rest of the product is artificial and made from polymer-based fuel (in a few words “plastic”). It is a very small percentage compared to Chicza chewing gum that contains more than 40% of it!
The result of Mexican Chicleros hard work is an excellent product: high quality, intense natural flavour, 100% Biodegradable and Organic certified, Vegetable and devoid of any kind of chemical additives.
This is the real key to the success of Chicza; a product that supports environmental protection and that can provide for the entire Chicleros community, the true guardians of the Maya forest, in a self-sustainable way!
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