Frequently asked questions
- What is chewing gum?
- What is gum base?
- Is it true that chewing gum is good for oral hygiene and has other benefits as well?
- What can you tell me about other ingredients in chewing gum?
- Why is there generally no expiration date for chewing gums?
- Can chewing gum contain animal-derived ingredients?
- Can chewing gum contain allergenic substances?
- Is gum safe to swallow?
- Is there a risk of choking when chewing gum is swallowed?
- At what age can children begin chewing gum?
What can you tell me about other ingredients in chewing gum?
ICGA Members use only safe and legally permissible ingredients in their chewing gum products . Quality controls are in place during all phases of chewing gum production to ensure that the ingredients and the end products comply with the requirements and limits set by regulatory authorities and legislation.
1. Are all flavorings and additives used in chewing gum safe?
Flavorings and additives consist of many components, all of which are regulated to ensure their safety. Manufacturers ensure that all flavorings and additives used in chewing gum products comply with the comprehensive purity specifications established by applicable regulatory and legislative bodies and that all ingredients are safe to use.
2. Why are artificial colors sometimes used in chewing gum?
Color is an important property of food, and adds to the enjoyment of eating. Reasons for the use of artificial colors range from enhancement of colors that occur naturally in food, to supplying a visual identity to foods that would otherwise be virtually colorless, to providing a colorful, festive, or fun appearance to certain food, drink, and confectionery items.
3. How do consumers know which chewing gum products contain color additives?
All chewing gum products have a list of their ingredients on the package. On product labels, the ingredients are listed in order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first and other ingredients listed in descending order. Colors are typically listed towards the end of the ingredient line because they are used at relatively low levels.
4. Are food colors safe for consumption?
All colors used in foods have been subjected to rigorous toxicology and safety testing. The safety of these colors has been reviewed by organizations such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the United Nations' WHO/FAO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), and Health Canada.
These regulatory and health bodies periodically review any new information and re-evaluate the safety and use levels of colors. For example, EFSA is currently revaluating natural and synthetic color use in the European Union, and the United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius (CODEX) is updating use levels for colors in its General Standard for Food Additives. ICGA and its members closely follow emerging research and regulation in this area.
5. What is aspartame?
Aspartame is a food additive used in chewing gum as a sweetener and flavor enhancer. Aspartame has been safely used for over 20 years by millions of consumers worldwide. Following extensive review of its safety by regulatory and scientific authorities, it is approved for use in over 100 countries around the world.
6. Why is BHA added to somechewing gum products?
BHA is used in a broad variety of foods, including some chewing gum, for its antioxidant properties. Its use in chewing gum is, at all times, consistent with established limitations. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA/E320) has undergone a thorough scientific review and has been legally cleared as a food additive by national and international food safety organizations including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and the French Food and Occupational Safety Agency (ANSES).
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