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Mar 9, 2023

A Real Belizean Inventor To Be Proud Of

Tonight, we will feature two Belize on Reel stories.  The first is in honor of Women’s Month and the other is in commemoration of Child Stimulation Month.  Meet Alma Franz, she’s ninety years old and a real inventor.  For the better part of the past fifty years she has been busy inventing and re-inventing several household products.  Her latest creation is a reusable denture adhesive, ideal for the elderly who are often inconvenienced by having to use a set of false teeth.  We begin with a look at Franz’s most recent innovation to hit the shelves.  Here’s News Five’s Isani Cayetano.


Alma Franz

Alma Franz, Belizean Inventor

“There’s a lot of people in Belize that it will bring joy to and comfort, and you are happy eating.  I can chew again!  I can chew again!”


Credited with the design and manufacture of a reusable denture adhesive strip, ninety-year-old Alma Franz is the oldest Belizean woman to be recognized as an inventor.  She’s also the genuine article with patents and trademarks, as well as products on shelves, to substantiate her claims.


Alma Franz

“Over fifty years, I lost all my teeth having children, they rotted.  I took them out and I started using dentures and I used like six sets, this is the sixth set since I started and everyone has a major problem.  Life is not the same with dentures.”


All along, Franz, a native of Burrell Boom Village who migrated to the United States with her family many years ago, literally had to grin and bear the discomfort of ill-fitted dentures.


Laurine Smart

Laurine Smart, Daughter of Inventor

“We saw the suffering, she really suffered.  We came on vacation, like she said, in December and there was no joy there.  We spent most of the time in different dental offices, no fault of them, just because of ageing.  As you age, your gum shrinks and the dentures just don’t fit right.”


Alma Franz

“I couldn’t eat steak, I couldn’t eat meat, I couldn’t even eat my turkey.”


Laurine Smart

“She wasn’t able to have nuts, none of the foods that everybody was enjoying, she could not enjoy and the pain that she was in.”


That unfortunate experience prompted the nonagenarian creator to devise a solution.


Alma Franz

“I got on the plane to go home to America and I made a vow, “God show me the way because this is not living.”  And for nine months, we did research after research.  I researched the material and the adhesive and my daughter did the bookwork of it, the ordering and whatever.”


Franz went back to the drawing board on several occasions to fashion a design that is equal parts practical and cost-effective.  Just before Thanksgiving, eureka, there it was!


Alma Franz

“I ordered the material, I made it.  It has to be baked at a hundred and eighty degrees to sell, for the shelf life.  So this has been patented in America, trademarked, everything is ready.  My website is going to be ready in a week.  And I got the teeth, I came and I couldn’t eat and I made a vow, as I said, and I went home and I beat that pavement in America to find the right material until I came [upon] one and I ordered it when it came, I said, “Bingo!”


…and that is how Chew Again came to be, a reminder of the old adage, necessity is the mother of invention.  For Franz and her daughter, it’s a labor of love borne out of great discomfort and being unable to enjoy the many culinary treats that their home country has to offer.


Laurine Smart

“It brings me great joy.  My mother is a motivator, she is an inspiration, she’s an inspirator.  She helps so many young people [and] it shows what you can do, you know, given just the opportunity and the will.  So we enjoy having her around, we enjoy learning from her, we enjoy experiencing her joy with her.  We appreciate where she is with this product. You can get this product in the pharmacies right now.  It’s soon to be coming to Brodies, however, you could get it at Publics at the moment.  You can get it at the Freetown Drug [store], you can get it in Burrell Boom at their pharmacy and you can get it at We Care Pharmacy in Ladyville.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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