The gum aims to improve space travelers’ taste and it was invented by a group of students from Goiás who will participate in a contest in the United States

Rafaela Polo

Did you know that one of the consequences of lack of gravity is the loss of the sense of smell, which affects the ability of tasting food flavours? This makes eating a boring activity for astronauts. But high school students from Sesi Goiás have found a way to bring their taste back. And this is possible with the help from a Brazilian chilli pepper.

They used an habanero-type pepper (pimenta de bode), that can unblock cells from the nose and the mouth and help the astronauts taste food flavours again. But how can it be taken in space travelling? The solution was to make bubble gum with it.

This habanero-type pepper can be yellow or red, it is very strong and has a specific smell, it goes well with strong-flavoured meats, but it also can be used in salsas and beans. Since it is not possible to make very elaborate recipes in space, the young students created the bubble gum using less than one gram of the ingredient. The gum needs to be chewed for about 10 minutes to have its effects in taste last two hours.

The feature shown at Jornal Nacional says that the students created two options for this “cosmic help”: with menta flavour and with barbecue flavour. The next step is taking part in a contest at NASA university.