Chewing Gum Consultant

Professional Chewing gum industry meeting point

Degradable chewing gum 04/04/2014

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 9:03 AM
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More news on this interesting topic have been published by confectionery news.com (see link).

Wrigley has filed a patent describing a new degradable gum. The way this is achieved is by formulating the gum base with “block polymers”. The company claims that the resulting product is more easily removed from surfaces such as sidewalks (in 20 seconds a high pressure hot water jet can remove more than 80% of the material)

According to wikipedia:

“Block copolymers comprise two or more homopolymer subunits linked by covalent bonds (4). The union of the homopolymer subunits may require an intermediate non-repeating subunit, known as a junction block. Block copolymers with two or three distinct blocks are called diblock copolymers and triblock copolymers, respectively.”

In this particular patent, the company uses polymers of at least 4 blocks composed of at east 2 different monomer systems.

The articles from confectionerynews.com mentions as well other companies that presented progresses on this controversial field of the chewing gum business (Mondelez, Revolymer, TNO, RSSL,  GumLink, Fertin Pharma, University College Cork) . I also posted in the past about those patents and inventions.

 

 

Flavour release 05/11/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 12:35 PM
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Being flavor release one of the hot topics in the chewing gum industry I thought it would be interesting to post here about a new patent (another one!) around this subject.

This time, Mondelez has patented a “3D object” made of polymers (preferably polyethylene glycol) which claims to provide a faster flavor release. Of course, it can be applied as well to active ingredients other than flavor, if this is the case. It is true that gum base traps many flavor elements (this is in fact one of the key aspects for a long lasting effect!) and this can limit a quick release of those components. This new “3D object” dissolves immediately in the saliva, providing a quick release of the flavor.

I wonder if we will ever see this invention applied in a product in the market. Looking forward to that!

 

Leatherhead 04/10/2013

Filed under: Market & Fairs,Research — Joan Mestres @ 5:32 PM

It’s been a while since my last post. I have many news to comment and short time to write here. That’s bad.

Anyway, I wanted to inform you today that I will be giving a presentation on chewing gum technology next 7th November in Leatherhead, UK. I’ve been cooperating with this institution for many years and it is always a pleasure to go to London to talk and discuss about chewing gum. This lecture is included in the Sugar Confectionery Course that every year Leatherhead organizes. You can learn more clicking this link

 

Cooling agent for chewing gum 24/07/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:49 AM
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Mint is by far the most popular flavor for chewing gum around the world. When we check the lists of top flavors in each country published by market research companies (e.g. Euromonitor), we always find peppermint, spearmint, mint, or other variations of the theme under local names (such as chlorophyl, hierbabuena, …) at the top of the list.

Mint  brings this refreshing feeling that many consumers are looking for in a gum. Breath freshening is one of the main purposes for the consumers to use gum. When dealing with breath freshening, we have to consider not only the mint flavor but also some “cooling” agents that go with the flavor. Menthol is probably the most traditional, but it brings some bitter aftertaste and has to be very well balanced in the formulation. Other ingredients are WS3 or WS5, but recently Wrigley has patented a new ingredient that serves this purpose. This has been published by Confectionerynews here, and the inventor claims that this ingredients has less disadvantages compared to previous ones. It can be combined with other ingredients or used in the coating of the gum.

This is one more step that main players (gum producers, flavour suppliers,…) take in the direction to provide cooling/freshness to the consumer without adverse effects. I like when I see the industry moving forward and developing better, new products!

 

Oral Care Gum 27/06/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:21 AM
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Oral Care has been (and is) the largest segment of functionality for the chewing gum industry. From the original sugared gums, the concern that they can damage our teeth grows in almost every country so there is a clear shift towards sugar free (sometimes called “sugarless”) products. Market figures show this very clearly: While sugared gum sales are falling in almost every country year after year, sugarfree gum performance shows good health. But when we ask “How good is a sugarfree gum for our teeth?” we are due to start a tricky discussion. As there is no doubt that chewing a gum that contains no sugar will be better for our teeth than a sugared one, there is a controversy about some aspects like:

– Does it remineralize teeth?

– Does it neutralize plaque acids?

Many studies have been conducted and some tests have been defined. One of the most extended ones is carried out by an organization located in Basel, Switzerland named “Toothfriendly international”. They use in vivo pH telemetry tests to check if a product generates a decrease in pH in the mouth of the user below 5,7. Below this figure, it is considered to be too acidic and so potentially cariogenic and/or erosive. Sugared products usually give a result below 5,7. When a product does not generate this acidity in the mouth, the organization grants the producer the use of the “Happy tooth” logo in the packaging:

You can read more details about the organization, the tests and the certification on their web site: www.toothfriendly.ch

Happy_Tooth

Then we can go into legislative field, which differs in each country and allows, or not, claim certain advantages. For instance, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) allows some particular claims.

A good summary of those claims are explained by Oliver Nieburg in his article “Sugar-free gum for dental health: Innovations in science”

The article mentions ingredients that have been around for many years: Xylitol, Recaldent, carbamide, peroxide, fluoride,… and highlights as well the controversy around some of them and the claims associated.

I would add some other ingredients that have been used in oral care gums since many years: Calcium orthophosphate (pH neutralizer), Sodium bicarbonate (pH neutralizer), Zirconium silicate (abrasive), Triclosan (bactericide), Clorhexidine, Papain, Zinc gluconate, Copper gluconate, Copper chlorophyllin, Parsley seed oil, Zinc acetate, Actizol, and even some enzymes such as Lactoperoxidase (LPO) or Glucoperoxidase (GPO).

In summary, oral care still is the leading trend driving chewing gum sales in most of the world, but research is needed in this field to have more solid ground for some claims.

 

ICGA 13/05/2013

Filed under: Market & Fairs,New product,Production & Machinery,Research — Joan Mestres @ 3:57 PM
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Today just a quick post to give you the link to the International Chewing Gum Association (ICGA).

This association comprises the main chewing gum manufacturers worldwide and also some gum base suppliers. It was generated in 2005 by the merger of the European and the North American associations. The web site contains some information about chewing gum (History, Fun facts, FAQs,…) which may be of your interest.

 

Encapsulation: Tastetech (UK) 10/05/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:34 AM
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Tastetech is a British company specialized in “Controled Release Food Flavourings and Ingredients” (using the same words that you can find in their website www.tastetech.com).

As chewing gum technology moves to a higher complexity level worldwide, the need for encapsulated systems becomes more and more important. 20 years ago there were very few gums in the market using encapsulated systems. Today, consumers are much more demanding and, often, gums are sold as an “experience” more than just as a product, and this is a worldwide trend. Chewing gum producers must use more sophisticated formulations to meet these expectations.

When we think “encapsulation”, the first thing that comes to our mind is “flavour”. Encapsulated flavours play a critical role in one of the main aspects of the chewing gum: Long lasting (but also on the first impact!). By using encapsulated flavours, we can extend the perception of the flavour for a longer time. But then, we know that that perception is also linked to “sweetness”, and here “encapsulated intensive sweeteners” can play an important role. Tastetech is also producing those and I took this image from their web-site to illustrate this idea:

 

LH_1_Main_AW_CROP

 

By combining the right encapsulated flavours and sweeteners we can clearly improve the quality of the gum. Top brands use those elements in their formulations.

We should not forget acids, as they can also be encapsulated, and they also play a role in the taste perception. Fruit flavours cannot be complete without the right acid in the chewing gum composition (citric, malic, tartaric,…)

And finally, and very important, the encapsulation of active ingredients. As we find more and more functional chewing gums in many countries (Japan is my personal favourite for that!) it becomes more necessary to protect those ingredients (which sometimes can be sensitive to temperature, oxidation, etc…), to control the release from the gum into the mouth, sometimes to mask undesirable taste or to provide a right flowability which helps in the handling of the whole. The encapsulation of those actives will clearly improve those characteristics versus a non-encapsulated version.

 

Biodegradable gum 20/04/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:14 AM
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Now it’s been a while since I last posted about biodegradable gum.

So for those of you interested on the subject, here is a link to confectionerynews.com which informs about a new patent being filed by Mondelez on this matter.

As you know, this is a hot subject and many companies are working on developing this type of gum which would be more environmentally friendly. There is a product already in the market, Rev7 but it does not seem to really take off. In fact it has been withdrawn from the US market. All the research turn mainly about news types of polymers. There are many polymers which degrade easier than the ones currently in use, but they do not offer an acceptable chewability. So the main task is to find  a polymer with the right degradability and nice chew profile. In this case, the article and the related patent mentions “alternating copolymer of C2-C10 alkene and maleic anhydride”.

 

Chewing gum is good for your brain (true?) 10/04/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 5:39 PM
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With all this review of companies in ISM and new products presented there, I almost forgot an article appeared on Confectionerynews.com on 5th February.

This article discusses about the studies that suggest that the action of chewing gum increases the blood flow into the brain and then increases the alertness or capacity of attention of the subject.as that study was carried out on 17 individuals, it seems that there is not enough grounds to establish a proper conclusion.

This is the link to the article: GUM and BRAIN

This is the link to the study itself: STUDY

And this is the link to my previous post discussing about the (bad) effect of gum on Short term memory: GUM MEMORY

My personal opinion is that all those studies are acceptable as starting point, but more research should be conducted before producing a final statement.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome!

 

Health claims in European chewing gums 04/04/2013

Today I send you the link to an article about the Health claims that are approved for a chewing gum by the European Union. The article mentions the mature Dutch market and says that functional claims are the way to keep a higher growth for the chewing gum compared to other confectionery products, but these functional chewing gums must keep a reasonable price.

It mentions the claims approved by EU, which include the use of ingredients such as carbamide, fluoride and xylitol.

Confectionery News functional Gum