What’s Natural Chewing Gum?

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Natural chewing gum contains organic ingredients like chicle and brown sugar. Flavors include peppermint, spearmint, and berries. Some types include natural sugar alternatives for diabetics and avoid common food allergens. Natural gum doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and some brands are designed for people with allergies. Xylitol, a natural sweetener, is used in some sugar-free gums. Natural gum doesn’t retain flavor as long and may require synthetic additives. It can be found in health food stores and online.

In general, natural chewing gum contains mostly organic ingredients, such as brown sugar and chicle. Flavors can include peppermint, spearmint, and different berries, as well as citrus and cinnamon. Some types of gum include natural sugar alternatives for diabetics, as well as manufacturing that doesn’t include common sources of food allergies such as nuts, eggs, and yeast. The use of organic flavors and sweeteners means these products usually don’t last as long as other brands, but they may provide an alternative for people with food sensitivities.

Lack of artificial sweeteners

One of the most important natural chewing gum benefits for many people is the fact that it doesn’t include artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Aspartame has quite a controversial history in many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. It was approved as a sugar substitute by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974, although some people have said it may be linked to serious health problems. As of 2012, no reliable, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated carcinogenic properties or other health concerns for aspartame in humans, although some people still prefer to avoid it.

General benefits

Some brands of natural chewing gum are designed for chewers with allergies and other dietary restrictions. They can be free of lactose, gluten and egg, as well as yeast and soy, all of which are common sources of allergic reactions in some people. Some companies also use “fair trade” products like cane syrup, which they source from farmers at reasonable prices that ensure continued business for both parties.

The bases for many types of natural chewing gum are made in chicle. Chicle is a type of sap harvested from rainforest trees in Central America called sapodilla trees. The roots of its use in chewing gum go back to the Mayans and Aztecs. Businesses that use it help support local economies in Central America, which helps protect sapodilla trees from clearing.


Some brands of natural sugar-free chewing gum use a type of natural sweetener called “xylitol.” Despite its strange name, which may sound synthetic, xylitol is harvested from various fruit and hardwood trees. It doesn’t promote tooth decay, as many other sweeteners like sugar often do, and evidence suggests that it actually helps strengthen teeth and fight plaque buildup. While the amounts needed for these benefits may not be practically received from chewing gum with xylitol, this at least avoids an increase in tooth decay.

Disadvantages and criticisms

Due to the lack of artificial sweeteners and preservatives, many types of natural chewing gum don’t retain their flavor very long. This is one of the most prevalent complaints against various brands, and many people chew two or three pieces at once to make the flavor last longer. The chicle is quite firm and doesn’t make a very pleasant base on its own, requiring additives to soften it. Many companies still use synthetic additives to form the gum base, which can reduce some of their “all-natural” appeal.

Finding it

Most brands of natural gum can be found in health food stores. Even large traditional grocery stores can carry them, although this depends a lot on local markets and what people want to buy. Shoppers can also use online retailers to find many of these brands, and some natural gum companies sell packages directly to consumers through an online store.

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