Researchers at the University of Illinois are working on a formula for corn-based chewing gum.

The team aims to create a chewing gum made from corn zein, a by-product of corn kernels, which does not stick and is biodegradable, reported the Associated Press.

Zein is a waste product that is mainly used for animal feed, according to university food science professor Soo-Yeun Lee.

The researchers tested four different kinds of zein gum and three types of synthetic-base gum, but found the zein gums could not yet compete with traditional gums in texture and taste categories. However, the team were confident of improving the taste and texture of zein gums using different processing methods.