Balata. Gum Chicle. Chicle. Tuno Gum. Leche de Popa, Fr. Zapota Gum.—This is the dried milky juice of the Bully Tree, Mimusops Balata Gartn. (Sapota Muelleri Linden) of the Fam. Sapotaceae, a native of Northern South America from Mexico to Guiana. It is an oxidized hydrocarbon, both physically and chemically closely related to caoutchouc and gutta-percha, of a grayish-white color, with dark spots and veins; specific gravity 1.05; tasteless, but emitting an agreeable odor when warmed. It has the general properties of gutta-percha, differing, however, in being but slightly extensible, a property which specially fits it for the manufacture of transmission belts. Solid and somewhat crumbling at ordinary temperature, it softens at 49° C. (120.2° F.), and can be molded like gutta-percha. The chemical constituents of chicle have been investigated by Tschirch and Schereschewski who found so-called resins, two of them being crystallizable a-balatan and b-balaban and a yellow substance, balafluavil. (A. Pharm., 243, No. 5, 1905, 358; see also Bosz and Cohen's investigations, A. Pharm., 250, 1912, No. I, 52; also P. J. Tr., 1910, 609.) It is used as a substitute for gutta-percha, but more especially in the manufacture of chewing gum, for which purpose it is imported in large amounts from Mexico. It is sometimes adulterated with paraffin wax. It is not used in medicine.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.