Sunday, July 13, 2014

Oh, patents! Sugarless chewing gum

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

 Unless chewing gum is sugarless it is going to contribute to tooth decay. Thus, there are many patents disclosing chewing gum and bubble gum compositions without sugar or with sweet sugarless substitute substances such as sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, erythritol, lactitol or hydrogenated isomultulose.  However, these substances are expensive and sometimes rare, and particularly difficult to produce as crunchy coatings of the gum core.
Thus, the WIPO patent WO2005006873 titled Method of forming a sugarless coating on chewing gum aims to remedy this situation by disclosing a sugarless composition where the sweet coating contains a sugarless substitute, in combination with 40 to 80 % filler, hence reducing the costs of producing a gum with a sugarless coating while maintaining every other aspect of quality in terms of taste and crunchy mouth feel. The patent further discloses how the coating is actually made up of a plurality of layers of the syrup and a dusting mix.

The added bonus of a sweetner such as xylitol to the gum base is that it is endorsed by no less than 6 dental associations as a substance that can prevent tooth decay and recalcify tooth enamel! [CDC Communications, 2006]. Indeed, zylitol inhibits the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, a significant contributor to tooth decay [Milgrom, et al. , 2006]

 So cheers for sugarless gum!

 Below, you will find the abstract for WO2005006873 titled Method of forming a sugarless coating on chewing gum, and above an image Epic Peppermint gum with xylitol, and in chewing gum tablet form with a crunchy sugarless coating.  
A method of forming a sugarless coating on chewing gum cores comprises: providing chewing gum cores; providing a coating syrup comprising one or more sugarless sweeteners; providing a dusting mix comprising about 20% to about 60% of a bulk sweetener selected from the group consisting of maltitol, hydrogenated isomaltulose, lactitol, sorbitol and mixtures thereof and about 40 % to about 80% filler; and applying a plurality of layers of the coating syrup and a plurality of layers of the dusting mix to the chewing gum cores to form a sugarless coating on the gum cores. Abstract WO2005006873 
CDC (2006) Communications guide for State Oral Health Programs. Oral Health America.
Milgrom, P., Ly, K.A., Roberts, M.C.; Rothen, M.; Mueller, G. and D.K. Yamaguchi (2006) Streptococci Mutans dose response to zylitol chewing gum. Journal of Dental Research, February 2006 vol. 85 no. 2 177-181


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