Researchers develop plant-based chewing gum to curb spread of COVID-19

Researchers seeking FDA emergency use authorization
Penn researchers develop plant-based chewing gum to curb COVID spread
In a measure of viral load using microbubbles, the chewing gum infused with the protein triggered a reduction in the amount of virus in samples taken from COVID-19 patients. Photo credit Penn Today/Penn researchers
By , KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) COVID-19 is easily spread through sneezing, coughing, even talking.

Dr. Henry Daniell, professor of biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and his team have developed a special chewing gum made from enhanced plant-grown protein to fight the transmission of the virus.

The lettuce-based gum traps coronavirus in the saliva, reducing the viral load you can spread while blocking the virus from your system.

“Our choice is lettuce because it’s thin, people eat it, we don’t have any immune response problems with that. Most importantly, it can be dried, freeze-dried, made into a powder and a gum,” Daniell explained.

He said chewing the gum four times a day for just 10 minutes at a time is all it takes.

“We add the gum powder and we count the virus before and after adding the gum powder, and we find that even 10 milligrams of the gum powder kills 95 or more percent of the virus,” he said.

Daniell said the gum would also work against other viruses, like HIV, HPV, cold and flu. He’s applying to the FDA for emergency use authorization.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: John McLenaghan/Getty Images