Glossary – Milliways


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another which states that this has already happened.

Douglas Adams – The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

The Milliways Glossary of Things

Artificial food colours and dyes
[ahr-tuh-fish-uhl kuhl-ers and dahyz]

  1. Added to conventional chewing gum to make the food product more appealing. These additives have been linked with behavioural disorders like autism, food allergies, and digestive complaints since the mid-1970s.a


  1. A sugar-free sweetener used in conventional chewing gym, is a potent neurotoxin, which releases methanol in the body. Methanol is dangerous because it breaks down into two toxic compounds, formic acid and formaldehyde. It's linked with digestive issues, migraines, depression, and even diabetes.
    Aspartame promotes the growth of pathogenic microflora in your gut while inhibiting the growth of "good" microflora. These biochemical changes can have serious consequences on your digestive and immune health.a Aspartame is metabolised inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen used as embalming fluid and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It's been linked to birth defects, cancers, brain tumours, and weight gain.b Aspartame is believed to cause or worsen epileptic seizures, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, attention deficit disorder (ADD), diabetes, thyroid problems, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue, depression and eye conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic blindness and glaucoma.c

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
[byoot-l-eyt hahy-drok-see-tol-yoo-een]

  1. Used as a preservative in conventional chewing gum and has been banned in many countries due to its toxicity. It has been linked to organ system toxicity, including kidney and liver damage as well as hyperactivity in children.b

Calcium Casein Peptone (Calcium Phosphate)
[kal-see-uh-m key-see-in pep-tohn]

  1. Used in conventional chewing gum as a whitening agent or texturiser. As a highly processed milk derivative, it has been linked to baby formula poisonings and is a well-recognized trigger of autoimmunity.b

Carnauba wax
[kahr-noo-buh waks]

  1. Is used as coating for our Super Natural Gum, and is a vegetable wax sourced from the leaves of the Brazilian palm tree, or the “Tree of Life”. It’s known as the “queen of waxes” for its hard yellow-brown appearance and for its various applications, from natural cosmetics to foods. The leaves of the tree are collected and dried, and undergo a process that causes friction on the leaves in order to release wax-like flakes. The wax is then placed into boiling water and filtered for purification, after which, it is dried again and ready for use.d


  1. A race of hyperintelligent pan-dimension beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate once and for all the Question to the Ultimate Answers to Life, the Universe and Everything. For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two – and so another even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was. And this computer, which was called the Earth, was so large that it was frequently mistaken for a planet – especially by the strange apelike beings who roamed its surface, totally unaware that they were simply part of a gigantic computer program. And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece of knowledge, nothing that ever happened on the Earth could possibly make the slightest bit of sense.e

  2. The world; the planet that we live on.f

  3. Land; the hard surface of the world that is not the sea or the sky; the ground.f

  4. The substance that plants grow in.f

Gum arabic
[guhm ar-uh-bik]

  1. Also known as acacia gum, is derived from acacia trees using the hardened sap. We use this to bind all our ingredients together. The substance is naturally gluten free and due to its rich fibre content benefits the gut by increasing probiotic bacteria and increases satiety after meals. Gum arabic has also been found to regulate cholesterol levels, reduce dental plaque, fight gingivitis and to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, amongst other benefits.g

Gum base
[guhm beys]

  1. Is the greatest mystery in conventional chewing gum, as manufacturers aren’t required to disclose its constituents. Gum base in fact comprises a blend of elastomers, resins, plasticisers, and fillers. The reason for the lack of transparency is largely attributed to the companies not wanting consumers to know that they are potentially chewing on plastic polymers, petroleum-derived paraffin wax, polyvinyl acetate (carpenter's glue) and talc, all of which are linked to cancer.b One of the main polymers in gum base is butyl rubber (polyisobutylene), which is what covered birds and marine wildlife after the BP oil spill.h


  1. Is a waxy substance that's derived from sheep wool, to help conventional chewing gum stay soft. While not necessarily dangerous to your health, chewing on lanolin is neither appetising, nor vegan and vegetarian friendly.b

Magnesium stearate
[mag-nee-zee-uh-m stee-uh-reyt]

  1. Helps the ingredients in Super Natural Gum fulfil their purpose by ensuring that correct and consistent quantities are used in each serving. It does this by preventing some ingredients sticking to others.
    Magnesium stearate is simply a salt that is composed of the magnesium mineral and stearic acid, which is derived from an abundance of foods such as seeds, coconuts, nuts and palm oil.i;j

Impossible part of speech

  1. Also known as the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the entire history of catering. It is built on the fragmented ruins of an eventually ruined planet which is enclosed in a vast time bubble and projected forward in time to the precise moment of the End of the Universe.

    This is, many would say, impossible.

    In it, guests take their places at table and eat sumptuous meals while watching the whole of creation explode around them. This, many would say, is equally impossible.

    You can arrive for any sitting you like without prior reservation because you can book retrospectively, as it were, when returning to your own time. This is, many would now insist, absolutely impossible.

    At the Restaurant you can meet and dine with a fascinating cross-section of the entire population of space and time. This, it can be explained patiently, is also impossible.

    You can visit it as many times as you like and be sure of never meeting yourself, because of the embarrassment this usually causes. This, even if the rest were true, which it isn't, is patently impossible, say the doubters.

    All you have to do is deposit one penny in a savings account in your own era, and when you arrive at the End of Time the operation of compound interest means that the fabulous cost of your meal has been paid for.

    This, many claim, is not merely impossible but clearly insane, which is why the advertising executives of the star system of Bastablon came up with this slogan: "If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?”.e

  2. The name of this company.

Natural flavours
[nach-er-uhl fley-verz]

  1. These juicy, fresh flavours are the key ingredients that bring our chewing gum to life. We source the natural flavours from farms around the world, choosing only the right herbs and fruits that deliver the burst of flavour you expect when you take your first and last bite.

Sapodilla tree chicle sap
[sap-uh-dil-uh tree chik-uh-l sap]

  1. We use this for our soft, chewy base. Extracted from the Sapodilla tree in the same way that the Aztecs would have done it centuries ago. Using the strongest and healthiest trees in the forest, small angular cuts are made down the bark of the tree to form channels. The cuts are deep enough to allow the sap to leak out, but not deep enough to harm the tree. The sap is then collected, heated and stirred together to form a sticky and consistent texture.


  1. Is a complementary sweetener used in Super Natural Gum to boost the flavour and enhance longevity.
    It’s derived from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni and is purified to result in a food friendly powder. The purification process involves drying the leaves, steeping them in water, filtering the liquid and further purifying with water or food grade alcohol. The stevia extract then compounds to form a cleaner, powder-like substance.k The sweetener contains negligible calories or carbohydrates and is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, which means that far less can be used to achieve the same effect, making it diabetic and weight-control friendly. It’s been found to contain antioxidant compounds such as kaempferol, which has been linked to reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer.l


  1. Is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener used in conventional chewing gum, which is carcinogenic, toxic to the liver, known to cause birth defects, and damaging to the immune system. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on only two human studies, the longest of which lasted only four days – even though animal studies found the sweetener was associated with decreased red blood cells (a sign of anemia), male infertility, enlarged kidneys and spontaneous abortions.b


  1. Is used to sweeten conventional chewing gum. It not only raises blood sugar, but also destroys enamel, creates an acidic environment in your mouth, and feeds pathogenic bacteria. Even worse, they halt the biochemical processes in the body that maintain the health of teeth and their roots, provide nourishment, and filter away foreign materials on a cellular level.a

Titanium dioxide
[tahy-tey-nee-uh-m dahy-ok-sahyd]

  1. Is used as a whitening agent and has been tied to autoimmune disorders, asthma, Crohn's disease and has potential carcinogenic effects.b


  1. Area: Infinite. Infinite: Bigger than the biggest thing ever and then some. Much bigger than that in fact, really amazingly immense, a totally stunning size, “wow, that's big,” time. Infinity is just so big that by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy. Gigantic multiplied by colossal multiplied by staggeringly huge is the sort of concept we're trying to get across here.

    Imports: none. It is impossible to import things into an infinite area, there being no outside to import things in from.

    Exports: None. See imports.

    Population: None. It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

    Art: None. The function of art is to hold the mirror up to nature, and there simply isn't a mirror big enough – see point one.e

  2. The whole of space and everything in it, including the earth, the planets and the stars.f

  3. A system of stars, planets, etc. in space outside our own.f

Vegetable glycerin
[vej-tuh-buhl glis-er-in]

  1. Is used to give our gum a smooth, pillowy texture. It is derived from coconut, soy or palm. Glycerin occurs naturally in humans, animals and plant matter. Vegetable glycerin is produced by placing the oils through a hydrolysis extraction process using water, pressure and temperature in order to separate out the glycerol. It has a natural sweetness to it and is used in low carbohydrate products for moisture and refining taste.m


  1. Is used to sweeten our chewing gum. It's source is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most fruits and vegetables such as the birch tree or a plant fibre called xylan, and even found in humans during the metabolic process. Xylan hemicullolose is the raw form of the substance that is extracted and hydrolysed (broken down using water) into xylose, and then hydrogenated (combined with hydrogen - a natural element) into xylitol. Xylitol has a multitude of benefits to the consumer: possesses low-GI qualities meaning that it has negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin, thus safe for diabetics; strengthens teeth, thus preventing tooth decay by reducing bad bacteria and fighting cavities (it is regularly endorsed by dental associations around the world); and it stimulates gut health by feeding on bacteria, acting as a soluble fibre.n


e. Adams, Douglas. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 1979