Thanks to continuous innovation in the gum category, consumers have come to expect a variety of options. And that’s exactly what they get. Everything from gumballs and liquid-filled gum to tape gum and exotic-flavored gum now is readily available. But without gum bases, none of these developments would be possible.
Gum bases act as carriers for flavor and sweeteners while providing elasticity and texture for the gum. Besides some flavoring material, it’s the only part of gum that does not dissolve.
Because innovation is one of the most important contributors in any consumer packaged goods market, a variety of gum bases can be used, depending on the desired product.
The most recent innovation in gum bases is called Compressed Powder Gum (CPG), referred to as “the next generation of chewing gum technology” by Italy-based gum base manufacturer Gum Base Co.
Unlike traditional gum bases, the CPG process does not require high temperatures, enabling the use of delicate ingredients such as natural flavors, vitamins and nutraceuticals. It’s made up of gum base, bulk sweeteners, intense sweeteners, flavors and active ingredients, all of which are can be compressed into any chewing gum shape. Plus, compared with ordinary chewing gums, CPGs can contain up to three times the amount of citric acid or flavoring without destroying the gum texture, according to Gum Base Co.
Barcelona, Spain-based Cafosa Gum S.A.U. (a Wrigley company) offers a directly compressible powder gum called ALL IN GUM, made from gum base and sweeteners. It can be used to make sugar or sugar-free gum, acid or non-acid gum, flavored gum and functional gum in any shape. And because liquid is unnecessary, the manufacturing process is as simple as it gets. Only desired flavoring, coloring or active ingredients need to be added to ALL IN GUM before compressing.
Taking simplicity to another level, Gum Base Co. is working with experts in the pharmaceutical field to develop MedGumBase, for use in functional and pharmaceutical products. For those who have difficulties swallowing pills, MedGumBase may enable the oral absorption of drugs, making it a convenient emergency option, while possibly lowering the risk of side effects, thanks to a lower dosage of drugs.
Studies even have found benefits in ordinary chewing gum such as improving concentration and reducing cavities. In addition to these benefits, manufacturers are looking at new ways to make their products fun for consumers and, of course, tasty.
Cafosa’s MEDAS bubble gum base offers improved elasticity and solidness in order to keep the production process going and reduce line stops. The gum base also maintains a better spherical perception in consumers’ mouths and does not reduce in size after five minutes of chewing, even when using less gum base than usual, according to Cafosa. And, these improved benefits all come at the same cost as Cafosa’s previous bubble gum base.
One of the major recent trends in the gum category has been liquid-filled centers. To accommodate this trend, Cafosa developed Flow-T, which combines the properties of different gum bases to produce filled gum. When manufacturing liquid-filled gum, two challenges often occur: liquid leakage and deformations. To overcome these obstacles, the gum base must have good elasticity, cohesion and plasticity. Flow-T follows these guidelines and, therefore, faces less of a chance of difficult processing, according to Cafosa.
These innovations and improvements in product formulation should not only allow gum bases to keep up with the trends, but allow them to create new ones.