Volume 85 Issue 40 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: October 1, 2007

Flavoring Chewing Gum

Department: Letters

Recently, "What's That Stuff?" looked at chewing gum (C&EN, Aug. 6, page 36). I worked for some time at Wrigley in Chicago and am acquainted with the topic. I thought the history and current description were accurate and well-presented.

Not covered, though, were more recent developments in flavor technology. In the early 1980s, Wrigley began work on extended-release technologies to prolong the perception of flavor. Traditional formulations used to lose flavor at about three minutes of chewing. In current products, the flavor lasts much longer. The extended release, I believe, has similarities to pharmaceutical applications.

If you look at the current package of a traditional Wrigley product, such as Doublemint or Spearmint Gum, you may find artificial sweeteners such as aspartame listed. This sweetener is incorporated along with flavor in some sort of matrix for the extended release. The sweetener and flavor are needed together. In the old formulations, when flavor seemed to be gone after a few minutes, it could be revived by rolling the gum in powdered sugar and chewing it again. Wrigley patented some of these processes, I believe, and they might be found in a search.

Karl Bucholz
Milwaukee

 
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