What is Chewing Gum Made of?

We’ve been chewing gum for over 9,000 years. Yet, it was only recently that there was a fundamental change in their production. Due to World War II, synthetic rubber base started to be added to chewing gums instead of the original natural base – chicle. This change has persisted to this day. In order to improve the properties of chewing gum, additional substances (often controversial ones) have been gradually added. However, the situation is changing. There is now a demand for healthy chewing gums that are beneficial to our health and the environment. Manufacturers are returning to original recipes and ingredients.

You can discover healthy chewing gums from various brands with similar characteristics – they are naturally plant-based, biodegradable, do not contain sugar, aspartame, plastics, artificial sweeteners – they are sweetened with 100% xylitol for healthy teeth.

Natural rubber base (chicle) | Synthetic rubber base | Sugar-free chewing gum | Healthy chewing gum | Main ingredients

What is chewing gum made of?

Natural rubber base (chicle)

For centuries in the production of chewing gums, natural rubber base (natural gum), most commonly chicle, was used. During World War II, chewing gum began to appear in the rations of every American soldier. During World War II, there was an international increase in chewing gum consumption and also disruptions in the supply of sapodilla, which produced chicle.

Synthetic rubber base

For this reason, chewing gum manufacturers rushed to find an alternative to chicle-based chewing gum recipes. This led to the development of synthetic rubber base (synthetic gum) and new production methods that had lasting effects after World War II. Instead of chicle, natural rubber base, synthetic rubber base began to be added to chewing gums.

Chemists were able to ensure stable production as a result. And as development demands, properties need to be further improved due to increasing demand. Other ingredients, including health-hazardous ones, began to be added to chewing gums.

Sugar-free chewing gum

It was the year 1950 when sugar-free chewing gum was first introduced. This discovery was made by dentist Dr. Petrulis, who sold it to William Wrigley Jr. In 1960, the first sugar-free bubble gum (i.e., bubble gum) was introduced. The American nation was increasingly concerned about their health, and chewing gums followed suit. Today, sugar-free chewing gums are supplied in huge quantities and have become even more popular due to their improved abilities.

Some brands also come with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association1 (ADA) and are recommended by dentists to help fight tooth decay (chewing gums are part of dental hygiene). The same applies to sugar-free chewing gums – which is clearly confirmed by studies.

Healthy chewing gum

Customers can now look at the composition on food labels. They have more rights than ever before. Therefore, they also pay attention to chewing gum ingredients and take care of their health. They are looking for healthy chewing gums. Manufacturers are aware of this and are beginning to focus on healthy chewing gums.

Sugar-free gum was a very good step towards tooth health and reducing tooth decay, but it didn’t stop there. Chewing gums can be healthy. That means without additional ingredients that may not be necessary in chewing gums and could endanger health.

When you want, you can find healthy chewing gums. Get higher quality ingredients, more distinct and natural flavors, protection against tooth decay, and protection of the body and nature from harmful substances. You can also find chewing gums made from sustainable ingredients.

And what is chewing gum made of?

Look below in the rest of the article. What is sugar-free chewing gum made of and what about healthy chewing gum? What are the controversial ingredients that healthy chewing gum should not contain?

Main ingredients of commonly available chewing gums

1) Gum – rubber base

Gum base is the main component of chewing gums. It consists of resin, wax, and elastomer. Gum may contain natural and synthetic components. Depending on the brand, it contains any of these synthetic substances:

  • Butadiene-styrene rubber
  • Isobutylene-isoprene copolymer (butyl rubber)
  • Paraffin
  • Petroleum wax
  • Synthetic petroleum wax
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyisobutylene polyvinyl acetate

Polyethylene is a thermoplastic (PE) – it is the most commonly used plastic. This substance should definitely not be used in chewing gums not only for reasons of our health but also from an ecological perspective. The same applies to polyvinyl acetate.

2) Sweeteners

They are used to sweeten the gum. These include sugar, glucose or corn syrup, dextrose, isomalt, maltitol, xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, erythritol, lactitol, etc. Among the most popular synthetic sweeteners are aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose, saccharin, etc.

3) Plasticizers

Plasticizers are added to chewing gums to maintain moisture and increase elasticity.

4) Flavors

They are added to chewing gums for taste. They can be natural or synthetic. Among the most popular chewing gum flavors are mint (Peppermint, Spearmint).

5) Coating

It is used to maintain the quality and extend the shelf life of the product. It is the outer shell of the chewing gum, which is created by powder coating. When placed in the mouth, it easily dissolves due to the action of saliva and higher temperature.

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