Is 5 gum vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is 5 gum vegan?” and will discuss 5 gum ingredients.

Is 5 gum vegan?

Maybe, 5 gum can be vegan or not. 5 Gum is nominally vegan, however, some of the substances in it are said to be derived from animals or the Earth’s natural resources.

According to the manufacturer’s website, the ingredients of 5 gum are: sorbitol, gum base, glycerol, natural and artificial flavors; less than 2% of: hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, aspartame, mannitol, acesulfame k, soy lecithin, color (blue 1 lake), bht (to maintain freshness).

Chewing gums were ranked third in the overall confectionary market, after chocolates and candies. Recently, the consumption of chewing gums increased by more than 0.5 MT per annum resulting in the increased growth rate in the global multibillion-dollar industry. It is consumed 70% favorably by children, teenagers, and adults therefore resulting as an important factor in the confectionery industry. The sales value of chewing gum in the world market was recorded at 25 billion dollars in 2014. The European region dominated the worldwide gum market and holds 29.6% of the total market share. Europe is the largest consumer of chewing gums followed by the UK while Switzerland and Poland stand second (5).

Non-Vegan components of gum

Glycerol is a substance to keep an eye out for. It’s possible to make glycerol from either plants or animals, and it’s a colorless, odorless liquid. To be safe, presume the glycerol is manufactured from animal fat if the label doesn’t say otherwise. Glycerol is a chemical which has a multitude of uses in pharmaceutical,cosmetic, and food industries. It can be produced as a by-product from saponification and hydrolysis reactions in oleochemical plants as well as transesterification reaction biodiesel plants. To produce biodiesel,a feedstock that contains fat or oils (triglycerides) can be used in the transesterification process. The feedstock can be of plant or animal origin (1).

Gelatin is another ingredient to keep an eye on. Collagen, a protein derived from animals, is a common ingredient. The gummy texture is achieved by using gelatin in recipes. It is obtained from collagen derived from beef bones and calf skin (Type B) or pork skin (Type A). Type B is derived from alkali-treated tissue and has an isoelectric point between pH 4.7 and 5.0. Type A is derived from acid-treated tissue and has an isoelectric point between pH 7.0 and 9.0. It forms thermally reversible gels which set at 20°C and melt at 30°C. It is used in desserts at 8–10% of the dry weight, in yogurt at 0.3–0.5%, in ham coatings at 2–3%, and in confectionery and capsules at 1.5–2.5% (2). 

There are several vegan substitutes for gelatin available. The most popular vegan replacement is agar-agar. Agar-agar is a gum obtained from red seaweeds of the genera Gelidium, Gracilaria, and Eucheuma, class Rhodophyceae. It is a mixture of the polysaccharides agarose and agaropectin. Agar mainly functions in gel formation because of its range between melting and setting temperatures, being used in piping gels, glazes, icings, dental impression material, and microbiological plating (2).

When making food, the most frequent purpose of stearic acid is to hold the components together. Stearic acid is present in animal fats. If you see this on the ingredients list, don’t eat it. Stearic acid is a fatty acid that is a mixture of solid organic acids obtained principally from stearic acid and palmitic acid. It is practically insoluble in water. It functions as a lubricant, binder, and defoamer. It is used as a softener in chewing gum base (2). However, 5 gum does not contain either gelatin or stearic acid.

The 5 Gums’ Ingredients

Stearic acid and gelatin aren’t used in 5 Gum, however, glycerol is included in the components. We have no idea where the glycerol they utilize comes from.

If 5 Gum is using glycerol that is generated from plants, it should be explicitly stated in the product’s packaging. A vegan replacement is something to be proud of.

There was a lot of debate over where the glycerol utilized in 5 Gum came from. Trident, the company behind 5 Gum, was contacted by a client who wanted to know where the glycerol in the product came from. According to the gum manufacturer, the glycerol in 5 Gum is made from vegetable oil. 5 Gum is now certified as a vegan product.

Ethical concerns about 5 gum

But wait – are there any additional issues that you need to be aware of? 5 Gum is ostensibly vegan, but there’s no way of knowing for sure whether it’s cruelty-free. According to certain reports, innocent animals and Earth’s natural resources are being exploited to get some of the chemicals in 5 Gum.

Every flavor of 5 Gum, except for the Winter Ascent taste, includes artificial coloring. In theory, artificial colors are vegan since they aren’t derived from animal body parts, yet they’re often tested on animals.

To ensure the safety of artificial colors, they are tested on animals. To ensure that a product is safe for people to eat, it is first tested on animals.

Chemical engineers and nutritionists have broken down the colors used in 5 Gum into their components. In his research, he discovered that each hue is put through its paces by being tested on animals. Mice, rats, and dogs are the most common animals used in testing. Peppermint Cobalt 5 Gum’s brilliant blue has lost its appeal.

Permission to use colorants in the food industry is subjected to a wide range of toxicity tests (such as detection of the acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity,  carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, reproductive toxicity, accumulation in the body, bioenergy effects and immune effects) and strict legislative provisions in all developed countries. The available toxicological data shall be assessed and subsequently confirmed in more species. Toxicity is monitored in six species and at least three of them must be mammalian. Most of the tests use small rodents (mouse, rat, guinea-pig, etc.) as well as special breeds of rabbits, dogs, cats or pigs which are particularly close to the human body physiology. The non-mammalian species used for toxicology studies comprise usually nematodes (e.g. Caenorhabditis elegans), fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) or zebrafish (Danio rerio) (3).

This is just the beginning of Gum’s red-flagged artificiality. Palm palms may provide the vegetable glycerol needed. They contribute to the destruction of our rainforests in a significant way. The production of palm oil contributes to environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss and pollution caused by emissions of nutrients, air pollutants and greenhouse gasses from plantations and palm oil mills. To cultivate oil palm, land needs to be prepared by leveling, plowing and digging holes for planting seedlings. Fertilizers are generally applied. Usually no insecticides are used, but herbicides such as glyphosate are used in the plantations for weed control (4).

It’s not obvious where 5 Gum gets its vegetable glycerol from. This is where you may use your judgment. It’s all up to you to select what ethical criteria a vegan product must follow.

Gums that were accidentally vegan

There are several vegan brands of gum, but they do not promote it. They seem to have stumbled onto their vegan lifestyle by chance. Mentos Gum is both a throwback and a vegan product at the same time. Additionally, the luscious Juicy Fruit is a vegan treat. Even Big League Chew falls within the vegan umbrella.

Vegan alternatives

There are vegan-friendly gums on the market now. Compared to traditional gum brands, these gums might be more expensive, but they provide additional benefits to the chewer.

Pur Gum is a popular choice for many people. It’s vegan-friendly and doesn’t contain any genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In addition to being sugar- and aspartame-free, this gum is suitable for both pregnant vegans and diabetic vegans. Few people who love gum have anything bad to say about Pur.

B-Fresh Gum is another vegan-friendly chewing gum manufacturer. Because it contains no sugar, this gum is an excellent option for those with diabetes. A shot of B12 is also included in this brand’s formula for added vigor.

Taking vegan gum to a new level is Neuro Nootropic Gum. Natural caffeine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, as well as L-Theanine are all included in this chewing gum to give you a sense of well-being.

Tree Hugger Gum is a sugar-free, ecologically friendly alternative. It’s manufactured using environmentally friendly components. The bare-bones ingredient list is the most amazing feature. There are just five components in this gum.

Other FAQs about Vegans that you may be interested in.

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Conclusion

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is 5 gum vegan?” and will discuss 5 gum ingredients.

References

  1. Tan, H. W., AR Abdul Aziz, and M. K. Aroua. Glycerol production and its applications as a raw material: A review. Renew sustain en rev, 2013, 27, 118-127.
  2. Igoe, Robert S. Dictionary of food ingredients. Springer Science & Business Media, 2011.
  3. Amchova, Petra, Hana Kotolova, and Jana Ruda-Kucerova. Health safety issues of synthetic food colorants. Regulat toxicol pharmacol, 2015, 73, 914-922.
  4. Saswattecha, Kanokwan, et al. Options to reduce environmental impacts of palm oil production in Thailand. J Clean Prod, 2016, 137, 370-393.
  5. Thivya, Perumal, Manoharan Durgadevi, and Vadakkepulppara Ramachandran Nair Sinija. Biodegradable medicated chewing gum: A modernized system for delivering bioactive compounds. Future Foods, 2021, 4, 100054.