Is Wrigley’s Chewing Gum Good Or Bad For You? Our Verdict

Wrigley's gum

So Wrigley’s chewing gum is your study pal. It helps you concentrate and keeps the butterflies away? It is so great to pop a gum after lunch or during the day. It freshens you up. Honestly, it may also stave off boredom. 

People might have told you that chewing gum is a bad idea. Want to know the truth? 

Turns out chewing Wrigley’s gum can actually be good for you. It can improve dental health in many ways. However, it contains artificial sweeteners that can damage your teeth, and also contribute to weight gain. As with everything, moderation is key. Wrigley’s chewing gum is safe and harmless that way.

What is Wrigley’s chewing gum made of? 

This list includes the main ingredients in Wrigley’s gum flavors. Some key ingredients are discussed in detail in later sections. 

  • Gum Base

As the name suggests, this component makes up the foundation of Wrigley’s gum. It gives it a chewable quality and texture. It is made up of waxes and polymers. It is actually just a vehicle on which the sweet flavors and colors can be added. 

This is the portion of the gum that can’t be swallowed. It is the leftover after you have chewed everything else. It also can be digested, which is why you can’t eat gum! 

  • Glycerol

This compound acts as an adhesive. It also helps to soften the gum by trapping moisture. The gum becomes flexible and springy in your mouth. 

  • Soy Lecithin

This soybean oil derivative has multiple functions. It is an emulsifier, which allows the ingredients to blend. It is a lubricant, which lightly greases the surface. This prevents the gum from sticking to the plastic or paper wrappers. 

It is also a preservative since it contains antioxidants. 

  • Ace-Sulfame Potassium (Ace-K)

This artificial sweetener is added to all the Wrigley gums. Even the sugar-free ones! It is feared to have negative health effects. It is carcinogenic in rats, although it hasn’t been proven cancerous in human trials. 

  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) 

This synthetic chemical is used to increase shelf-life.  It keeps the gum from going stale and stiff.

Other flavorings and colorants are also added depending on the range.

Is Wrigley’s gum sugar-free? 

Some variants of Wrigley’s are sugar-free. The Wrigley’s Extra range does not use any added sugar. Instead, it uses sugar alcohols like mannitol or sorbitol. They also add hydrogenated starch hydrolysate. This is a combination of sugar alcohol syrups. 

Ace-K is also added to enhance the sweetness. The sugar alcohols like mannitol have fewer calories. So it is a healthier option. It is also absorbed less and slower by the body. So it keeps blood sugar levels in check. 

Does Wrigley’s gum contain plastic? Is it biodegradable? 

Yes, there is plastic in Wrigley’s gum. It is found in the gum base. This ingredient is made of waxes, plastic polymers, plasticizers, and resins. The plastic polymers are food-grade. This means they have been approved for use in edible items. 

These could be polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, or styrene rubber, to name a few. These aren’t eco-friendly. When disposed of, they are not fully biodegradable. It often ends up as litter on the streets or other surfaces.

Whichever way it is disposed of, it takes a long time to disappear from our environment. Patents and collaborations to develop a fully biodegradable gum have been in the pipeline for many years.

Wrigley is trying to substitute these pollutants with more decomposable gum base ingredients. There hasn’t been any tangible outcome so far. The best option is to dispose of gum in its cover in the designated bins. 

Does Wrigley’s gum have xylitol? 

Yes, some Wrigley varieties do use xylitol. Particularly the Extra Ice sugar-free options. Other versions use sugar alcohols like sorbitol. They also add in sucralose and other artificial sweeteners. 

Xylitol is a good substitute for sugar. It can aid weight loss and improve oral health. It is also great for people with diabetes. But it can cause some gastric irritation and diarrhea. It is mostly just dangerous for dogs. For humans, it is quite safe. 

Does Wrigley’s gum have pork or gelatin? 

No, most Wrigley’s products do not contain pork. Wrigley gums do not contain animal-derived products like pork fat. Pork fat is not an added ingredient in any of the gums. But some gum varieties may contain gelatin, which could be derived from pork. 

For example, the Wrigley’s Polar Ice flavor is thought to contain some gelatin-coated crystals to add flavor. Other Wrigley’s varieties don’t contain stearic acid or gelatin which are sometimes pork-based. 

It is not known if the gelatin in such limited products is plant or animal-based. Check the label to see if there is mention of gellan gum or similar ingredients with a gelatin base.  

Does Wrigley’s gum have aspartame? 

Yes, all Wrigley varieties do contain aspartame. Along with Ace-K, it is the most common artificial sweetener. It is many hundred times sweeter than natural sugar. So only small amounts have to be added. 

It is quite a controversial ingredient. It was banned in the 1980s because it was thought to be a carcinogen. But human trials did not prove any relation to cancer. For now, the FDA has approved it as a safe ingredient for use in food.

Does Wrigley’s gum contain sorbitol? 

Yes, many variants of Wrigley’s gum do contain sorbitol. It is used as an alternative to sugar. It is naturally found in fruits like apples and berries. It is extracted from glucose in such sources. 

It has laxative properties. High quantities can cause digestive problems like bloating and gas. It can also trigger frequent bowel movements or even vomiting. Too much sorbitol on a regular basis can result in drastic and unhealthy weight loss. 

Does Wrigley’s gum have gluten? 

No, all the Wrigley gum products are gluten-free. The company has claimed specifically that the Extra range is completely gluten-free. The gums do not contain any wheat, rye, barley, rice, or oats extracts.

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate is a misleading name. The starch mentioned makes people assume that it contains gluten. But it is actually 100% gluten-free. So are corn syrup and glucose syrup. These are found in some Wrigley gums. 

As long as gluten content is less than 20ppm, it is categorized as gluten-free. Corn syrup has only a fraction of this limit. With glucose syrup, the manufacturing process removes almost all traces of gluten. 

Either way, check with your doctor if you have celiac disease. You may be extra sensitive to even tiny amounts. So to avoid risks, consult your doctor about the ingredients listed on the label. 

Does Wrigley’s gum have caffeine? 

No, Wrigley gums do not contain caffeine. Wrigley’s used to offer a caffeinated gum called Alert. This gum had as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee. 

The Alert Energy gums had about 40 milligrams of caffeine. This would wake people up and give them energy. 

Alert was made for adults. It was unsweetened and strong so that children would not enjoy it. Later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised health concerns. So Wrigley removed the product from the shelves. 

The other gum products do not have any caffeine in them. 

Does Wrigley’s gum have carbs? How many calories do they have? 

Yes, Wrigley’s gums do have carbs and calories. Wrigley’s gum has between 5 and 10 calories. The sugar-free varieties have only 5 calories. The others have about 7-10 calories because they use natural sugar. 

The calories come from carbohydrates. These could be from the added sugars or other carbs. All the gum ranges contain anywhere between 0.7 to 2 grams of carbohydrates. Natural sugars have a higher carb content.

But even the sugar-free varieties have carbs. Sugar alcohols are also a form of carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols have fewer carbs. So they also have a lower calorie count. 

Is Wrigley’s gum vegetarian or vegan?

It is both! Most Wrigley’s gums are 100% vegan or vegan-friendly. They don’t use dairy, eggs, or other animal-derived ingredients. The gum base is synthetic. They don’t use natural beeswax, glycerin, gelatin, or stearic acid. These ingredients can often be extracted from animals. 

They do use glycerol, artificial flavor, and colorings like Blue 1 Lake. These are all derived from plant sources. Only the Polar Ice gum is non-vegan because it contains gelatin crystals. Since the gums are vegan, they are suitable for vegetarians too. 

Wrigley’s parent company Mars might be conducting animal tests. Raw material suppliers may also test on animals. Some of the raw materials like coloring and sucralose (Splenda) are still tested on animals for safety worldwide. 

So there may be some vendor practices that are not acceptable to vegans. Otherwise, in terms of ingredients, it is vegan-friendly. Depending on how strict of a vegan you are, you can decide whether Wrigley’s vegan standards meet your benchmark.

Is Wrigley’s gum halal/kosher? 

Yes, they are largely halal/kosher. They do not contain pork or pork lard. Only the Polar Ice variety contains gelatin. The rest are all free of animal products. Since they don’t contain animal products, the rules of slaughter under halal and kosher also don’t apply. 

Wrigley’s gums haven’t received kosher certification except in Europe and Israel. This certification is only for some products. For all intents and purposes, Wrigley’s gum does not contain any haram ingredients.

Other Wrigley products like Orbit, Altoids, and mints may not be halal or kosher. Just to be safe, check the ingredients to ensure it is pork-derivative. 

Is Wrigley’s extra gum good or bad for your teeth? 

Chewing Wrigley’s gum can be quite good for oral health. Always choose the sugar-free versions. Gum-containing sugar will lead to bacteria and cavities. The sugar-free Wrigley gums have many benefits. 

Chewing Wrigley’s after a meal can promote saliva production. More saliva balances the oral pH. It reduces acidity which can contribute to enamel erosion and decay. It keeps your mouth smelling fresh. The saliva can also help with dry mouth symptoms.

As with everything, don’t overdo it. The flavors in the gum may contain food acids. If used too frequently, these can corrode the enamel instead of strengthening it.

This article has demystified Wrigley’s chewing gum for you. Chew without fear- but if your jaw starts to hurt, don’t look at us!


Anand Srinivasan
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