name = Chicle

image_caption = "Manilkara chicle"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Ericales
familia = Sapotaceae
genus = "Manilkara"
species = "M. chicle"
binomial = "Manilkara chicle"
binomial_authority = (Pittier) Gilly

Chicle is the natural gum from "Manilkara chicle", which is a tropical evergreen tree native to Central America. The tree ranges from Veracruz in Mexico south to Atlántico in Colombia. [ [ Manilkara chicle information from NPGS/GRIN ] ] It was traditionally used in chewing gum. While the Wrigley Company was a prominent user of this material, today there are only a few companies that still make chewing gum from natural chicle. This is because by the 1960s chicle was replaced by butadiene-based synthetic rubber which was cheaper to manufacture.

Chiclets are named after chicle.

The name "chicle" comes from the Nahuatl word for the gum, "tziktli" IPA| ['ʦikt͡ɬi] , which can be translated as "sticky stuff". Alternatively, "chichle" may have come from the Mayan word, "tsicte". [ [ Mexicolore article on chicle] ] Chicle was well known to the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs and to the Maya (Amerindians), and early European settlers prized it for its subtle flavour and high sugar content.

Locals who collect chicle are called "chicleros".

The tapping of the gum is similar to the tapping of latex from the rubber tree: zig-zag gashes are made in the tree trunk and the dripping gum is collected in small bags. It is then boiled until it reaches the correct thickness. Due to widespread tapping, the "Manilkara chicle" tree has become scarce and other sources like the related balatá ("Manilkara bidentata") are increasing in use.

Chicle is also a standard word for 'chewing gum' in Spanish. In Portuguese 'chiclete' may be used for a person who is known as a 'pest' or someone who will not leave another person alone.


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  • chiclé — [ (t)ʃikle ] n. m. • 1922; esp. chicle, du nahuatl tzictli ♦ Latex qui découle notamment du sapotillier. Le chiclé est utilisé dans la préparation des chewing gums. ● chicle nom masculin (espagnol chicle, de l aztèque chictli) Latex du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Chiclé — Chicle Le chicle (du nahuatl tzictli, gomme) est une gomme qui provient du latex blanc du sapotillier Achras zapota P.Ivanoff, d origine d Amérique centrale et du sud. C est la matière utilisée traditionnellement dans le chewing gum. L arbre est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chicle — Chic le, n., Chicle gum Chicle gum [Amer. Sp. chicle.] A gumlike substance obtained from the bully tree ({Mimusops globosa}) and sometimes also from the naseberry or sapodilla ({Sapota zapotilla}). It is more plastic than caoutchouc and more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chicle — ist ein milchigweißer Saft, der aus dem Breiapfelbaum gewonnen wird. Es handelt sich dabei um einen Kaugummirohstoff, der schon 2000 Jahre vor unserer Zeitrechnung von den Maya genutzt wurde. Man wusste von der beruhigenden Wirkung des stetigen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • chicle — 1889, Amer.Eng. (in chicle gum), from Mexican Sp. chicle, from Nahuatl (Aztec) tzictli …   Etymology dictionary

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