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Chewing gum and food safety

All chewing gum ingredients used by ICGA members are safe for use and technically justified

Chewing gum is one of the most closely regulated food products in the world.  From the ingredients in gum base to the sweeteners, flavors, and colors that make possible the almost infinite variety of chewing gum options, the safety of chewing gum ingredients is scientifically supported and officially accepted under national, regional, and international regulations and standards. 

The basic building block of all chewing gum is “gum base,” the non-nutritive, insoluble component of chewing gum that is formulated to gradually release flavors, sweeteners, and functional ingredients during sustained chewing.  Typically, gum base is regulated at the national level.  For example, the United States lists “chewing gum base” as a permitted food additive, and provides authorization for the various components of gum base, including natural and synthetic gums, softeners, natural and synthetic resins, and antioxidants.  There is a high degree of uniformity in regulations governing gum base globally.  One of ICGA’s primary missions is to maintain this global regulatory uniformity to the extent possible in order to facilitate trade in this vital component of chewing gum.    

Beyond gum base, the multiple attributes of finished chewing gum are largely the result of added sweeteners, colors, and flavors – substances that also are specifically reviewed and approved nationally, regionally, and globally on the basis of governmental and NGO review of volumes of applicable safety data.  ICGA and its predecessor organizations – the National Association of Chewing Gum Manufacturers (NACGM) in the United States and the European Association of the Chewing Gum Industry (EACGI) in Europe – have been integrally involved in the process of obtaining and maintaining an acceptable safety status for all of the ingredients used by its member companies. 

ICGA views ingredient safety as one of its primary global missions.  As a qualification for membership, all ICGA members must commit to manufacturing chewing gum, chewing gum bases, and ingredients for use in the manufacture of chewing gum or chewing gum base to the highest standards of safety and quality using only food grade raw materials and/or ingredients for which there is adequate and internationally acceptable safety data and/or which are approved by qualified government regulatory agencies.