In the distant past, people grew all the foods they ate and made many of the household items they used themselves. They knew that the bread they ate was made of pure wheat or rye, that their pots and bowls were made of clay, and their pillows were stuffed with goose or chicken feathers. As society grew and expanded, we became less aware of all these details.
Today, we often have no idea how the items that we use every day were manufactured… For example, do you know what chewing gum is made of? Most people don’t, which is a real shame, as many of the products we use all the time have a fascinating manufacturing process. Here are 10 cool examples.
1. Although the recipe of Coca-Cola is a secret, the main ingredient in the popular drink is the kola nut, native to West Africa.
2. The raw material made to produce chewing gum is a liquid extracted from trees like the Jelutong or the Percha.
3. Plastic-based brooms are often made by reusing recycled plastic bottles.
4. Somewhat confusingly, most potato chips are actually not made of sliced potatoes. Instead, companies mix potato flakes and corn starch into a dough, and then mold the dough into chips.
5. We usually buy nutmeg in powder form, but the delicious spice is actually made from a nut native to Southeast Asia. Fun fact: the aril of the nutmeg nut has a bright red color.
6. The base for any mirror is a regular piece of glass. The glass is coated in a series of reflective and protective coatings that then turn it into a mirror.
7. While we're all aware water jug bottles are made of plastic, it might be interesting for you to know that gallon jugs begin their lives as small tubes that are heated up and inflated into their final shapes.
8. Like the recipe for Coca-Cola, the ingredients of lava lamps are kept secret. The two known ingredients are paraffin and oil. When the contents of the lamp are heated, the wax parts start moving around in the oil base.
9. Cashews are delicious and nutritious, but technically speaking, they're not nuts. Much like peaches or plums, cashews are drupes, also known as "stone fruits." The fruit and the exterior shell of the stone are discarded, and the inside of the stone is dried and turned into the cashew we know and love.
10. Nail polish is a recent invention. Most nail polishes are made of nitrocellulose, a highly flammable liquid that's mixed with tiny cotton filaments.
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