Figuring out whether Extra Gum is safe for vegans to consume can be difficult.
The makers of chewing gum often hide ingredients behind vague terms such as “natural and artificial flavors,” and even if they do provide a full list of ingredients, it can be hard to tell if they’re vegan.
To make sure that you’re only eating food that aligns with your vegan diet and lifestyle, I’ve investigated the ingredients and production processes of Extra Gum.
Here’s what I found out.
Is Extra Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Gum is not vegan.
Extra Gum is one of the Wrigley Company’s most popular chewing gum brands. This sugar-free chewing gum is available in many flavors, including mint, cinnamon, and fruit. Unfortunately, vegans will not be able to enjoy the freshness of Extra Gum because it contains glycerol.
Glycerol is a sugar alcohol that is often used as a sweetener or preservative in food products. It can be derived from either animal or plant sources. Unless the label says that the glycerin is vegetable glycerin, it is likely of animal origin.
In the case of Extra Gum, glycerol is most likely derived from pork fat, as this is the cheapest and most commonly used source.
Is Extra Gum Cruelty Free?
No. In addition to being non-vegan, Extra Gum is also not cruelty free.
Extra Gum as a final product is not tested on animals at any point in its production. However, it contains the artificial color Blue 1 lake, which is routinely tested on animals to ensure it is safe for human consumption.
Animal testing is an outdated and cruel practice that needs to be stopped. This practice only leaves innocent animals disfigured, maimed, and dead. There are new ways to test the safety of these ingredients without harming animals.
What Is Extra Gum Made Of?
Here are the ingredients of Extra Polar Ice Sugar-free Chewing Gum:
- Gum base
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate
- Soy lecithin
- Acesulfame K
- BHT (to maintain freshness)
- Colors (Turmeric, blue 1 lake)
Let’s break down each ingredient of Extra Gum:
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used as a sweetener in food. It is made from glucose and is found naturally in fruits, such as apples, pears, and peaches. Sorbitol is a vegan-friendly ingredient.
Gum base is the main ingredient in chewing gum. It gives gum its chewiness and texture. Gum base is usually made from latex, resins, and waxes. These ingredients can be from plant or animal sources. In the case of Extra Gum, the gum base is from synthetic sources, making it vegan friendly.
Glycerol is a clear, colorless liquid that is often used as a food additive. It is made from fats and oils from animal and plant sources. However, animal sources are more commonly used. Unless stated otherwise, glycerol is non-vegan.
Natural and artificial flavors
Natural flavors are derived from plants or animals, while artificial flavors are made synthetically. These flavors can be vegan or non-vegan depending on their source. In the case of Extra Gum, the flavors are vegan friendly.
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate is a type of sugar that is made from starches. It is often used as a food additive and sweetener. This ingredient is vegan friendly.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is made from two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Aspartame is vegan friendly.
Mannitol is a type of sugar alcohol that is often used as a sweetener. It is made from glucose and is found naturally in fruits, such as apples, pears, and peaches. Mannitol is a vegan-friendly ingredient.
Soy lecithin is a type of fat that is found in soybeans. It is often used as an emulsifier in food. Soy lecithin is vegan friendly.
Acesulfame K is an artificial sweetener that is made from acetoacetamide and methylene chloride. Acesulfame K is vegan friendly.
BHT (to maintain freshness)
BHT is a type of preservative that is often used in food. It is made from butane and hydroxytoluene. BHT is vegan friendly.
Colors (turmeric, Blue 1 lake)
Blue 1 lake is a type of liquid-based artificial coloring. It is vegan friendly.
Turmeric is a type of orangey spice that is used to add color and flavor to food. Turmeric is vegan friendly.
Why Isn’t Extra Gum Vegan?
Extra Gum is not vegan because it contains glycerol, which is usually sourced from animals, as it is cheaper and more common. Unless a manufacturer makes an explicit statement that its glycerol is vegetable glycerol, you should assume that it is sourced from animals.
Is Extra Sweet Watermelon Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Sweet Watermelon Gum contains glycerol.
Extra Sweet Watermelon Gum is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Extra Classic Bubble Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Classic Bubble Gum contains glycerol.
Extra Classic Bubble Gum is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Extra Spearmint Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Spearmint Gum contains glycerol.
Extra Spearmint Gum is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Extra Peppermint Sugar-Free Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Peppermint Sugar-Free Chewing Gum contains glycerol.
Extra Peppermint Gum is not safe for vegan consumption.
Is Extra Cinnamon Chewing Gum Vegan?
No. Extra Cinnamon Gum contains glycerol.
Extra Cinnamon Gum is not safe for vegan consumption.
Vegan Alternatives to Extra Gum
Looking for some vegan-friendly chewing gum to take on the go? Here are some of my favorite chewing gum brands:
- Viter Energy Sugar-Free Caffeine Chewing Gum
- Pur Gum Peppermint
- JAWLINER Facial Fitness Chewing Gum
- Glee Chewing Gum Bubblegum
- Pur Gum Bubblegum
- Spry Natural Spearmint Sugar-Free Gum
With these vegan-friendly sugar-free chewing gums, you’ll never have to worry about whether or not your gum is vegan again!
So there you have it! Extra Gum is not vegan. However, you don’t have to give up your gum-chewing habit to be vegan. There are plenty of great vegan options out there for you to choose from. So, next time you’re at the store, be sure to pick up one of these delicious vegan sugar-free gums!