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Scientists in Cork have invented non-stick chewing gum – and are set to make a fortune for the city’s university.

The researchers at the college have developed a full biodegradable gum that is even better than the real thing.

The Cork chewing gum tastes real, can be eaten by birds if thrown on the pavement and – most importantly – won’t stick to your shoes.

“You could just sweep it off the ground - it doesn’t stick at all,” revealed University College Cork’s team leader on the project Professor Elke Arendt.

Professor Arendt and her team at UCC’s brewery research unit came across the new formula for chewing gum while working on cereals and gluten free foods.

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“It is all natural and based on a cereal protein. We have tried it with test panels and it chews like a normal chewing gum,” added Professor Arendt.

The academic explained to the Irish Times that the wonder gum starts out like a regular stick of gum, slowly breaks down as it is chewed and disappears completely after 45 minutes of mastication.

“The more impatient among us can just swallow it if that is too long,” she added.

“If the gum is thrown on the pavement, birds can help themselves to a chew without any harm. It is very similar to them eating a piece of bread.”

The Cork university has patented the technology and the formula for the new gum and are ready to take it to market.

“It has huge commercial potential in the food ingredient market. We have had a number of multinationals approach us,” confirmed the Professor.