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At last a no-stick gum? Illinois corn farmers may have the formula

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Sticky gum litters a New York City sidewalk corner. (Courtesy of GumBusters of NY)


Professor Soo-Yeun Lee is at work in the sensory booth at the University of Illinois where panelists chewed and evaluated zein-based gum distraction-free. (Photo courtesy of Soo-Yeun Lee)


In an Illinois lab, a researcher twists zein, a natural byproduct of corn-ethanol production, like taffy. (Photo courtesy of Soo-Yeun Lee)

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The chewed-up gum that befouls American sidewalks costs taxpayers millions of dollars in cleanups. Now researchers in Illinois say they have developed an alternative that doesn't stick to shoes. Will consumers bite?