Manufacturers / Technology

Technology driving gum base developments

Gum manufacturers now have the tools to address functionality, health, flavor fusion and medicinal opportunities.

Photo courtesy of Cafosa

Gum base suppliers continue to respond to developments within the chewing gum market, many of which reflect trends applicable to a variety of food sectors, such as health and added value.

Currently, the chewing gum sector has three drivers: functional gums; filled gums; and “fusion” gums, which offer consumers a new flavor experience by combining flavors together in one piece, says Montse Cirera, marketing and business development manager for Cafosa.

These trends should continue to evolve during the coming years, particularly as gum manufacturers focus on introducing healthy ingredients that offer consumers even more benefits, she says.

One of the strongest trends to emerge during the past three to four years involves filled gums for adults, Cirera says.

“By adapting the flavors, the packaging and the sensorial profile, the filled gums appeal to the adult market,” she adds. The success of this approach correlates directly with the number of new products launched within the category: In only two years, more than 200 products made their debut.

“Our gum bases are playing a very important role on the new types of chewing gum as they are more ‘technologically’ dependent,” Cirera says. In the case of filled gums and “fusion” gums, the ingredients used in the gum base are selected to affect the final performance of the gum not only during production, but during its entire product shelf life as well.

Selecting the appropriate application matters, be it to improve the physical properties of the gum base (elongation and elasticity) thereby streamlining productivity of the gum on a filled gum line, or, as in the case of the ‘fusion’ gum, choosing ingredients to help control the release of the aromatic substances, she explains.

Even with the emergence of “fusion” gums, the popularity of functional gums remains unabated. Cafosa offers All in Gum, a directly compressible powder gum that streamlines development of a broad range of compressible/functional chewing gums. Medicated chewing gums also are beginning to have an impact within this category.

One of its innovations, Healthy in Gum, was developed specifically for the pharmaceutical market: As an excipient or carrier, this directly compressible powder gum contains a mix of ingredients that enables a pharmaceutical company to add active principles easily.

This provides a new means of delivering drugs for consumers and signals yet another niche within the chewing gum sector.

Moreover, given the ongoing technological breakthroughs inherent in gum bases, such as removable and degradable chewing gum, the category remains both vibrant and exciting.

Gum waste resolved

Singapore may have to change its laws about chewing gum. The city state prohibits the sale of chewing gum as a result of excessive waste found on sidewalks and in rapid transit stations.

Revolymer, however, has introduced Rev7, the world’s first and only removable and degradable chewing gum uniquely formulated to discourage waste. The UK-based company claims the gum disintegrates into a fine powder using mild water and agitation, which motivates “social responsibility and heightens environmental responsibility among consumers.”

But does it taste like chewing gum? Here, too, the company says that its Rev7 has incredible long-lasting flavor (it comes in peppermint, spearmint and cinnamon varieties) and provides an exceptional chew that does not get hard or stiff for the duration of the chewing experience.

According to Revolymer, its innovative proprietary approach involving the formulation of novel polymers allows it to accomplish this breakthrough.

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