Since 1984, when Wrigley Company introduced their first sugar-free product, extra gum has been refreshing our mouths. Within a few years, it had become one of the most popular chewing gum brands in the United States. Soon, Extra has grown to become one of the world’s leading gum brands since its initial introduction.
Extra was among the first chewing gums to be awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance in 2007. But it also begged the question of whether ‘is extra gum vegan’
So, in this article, we will conduct a comprehensive vegan-friendly analysis of each Extra Gum product. Also we have reviewed some of the famous candy brands like Tootsie, Laffy Taffy, Mentos, Starburst, Sour Patch Kids and many more for their vegan status.
Extra Gum – Brand Overview
Extra was the Wrigley Company’s first sugar-free product, launched in the United States in 1984. Within a few years, it had become one of the most popular chewing gum brands in the United States.
It’s also the first sugar-free gum that didn’t contain saccharin. Instead, G.D. Searle & Co. developed the NutraSweet brand of sweeteners.
It was less bitter and thought to be healthier in humans and experimental animals, so it was modified with aspartame in 1997. Extra was among the first chewing gums to be awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance in 2007.
Is Extra Gum Vegan?
Extra gum includes these ingredients prior to 2019: gelatin, stearic acid, and glycerin. This ingredient appears to have been taken down from all Extra gum flavors as of August 2019. As a result, all Extra Gum flavors are vegan. This is positive for all of the Extra gum varieties, so each one is vegan.
However, the only chewing gum exceptions at the moment are Extra Polar Ice stick gum and Juicy Fruit pellet gums. These two are made up of tiny flavor beads encased in a microscopic layer of animal-based gelatin.
Is Extra Gum Gluten Free?
Extra Gum does not contain gluten. Extra contains no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients, as shown in the ingredient list. Gluten-containing ingredients are avoided when they serve no legitimate objective or can be replaced with gluten-free options.
Ingredients and formulas, on the other hand, may differ by region. When the use of gluten-containing ingredients is essential to the product taste experience, the brand adheres to all labeling requirements to make an informed decision.
Extra Gum Ingredients: Controversial Ingredients
The main Extra gum ingredients that are found in all of its flavors and cause controversy among vegans are as follows:
Sorbitol is usually vegan, but it may have been obtained from or processed with non-vegan ingredients. Sorbitol is a carbohydrate that belongs to the polyols class of sugar alcohols.
It occurs naturally in a variety of fruits, but in the food industry, it is most popularly manufactured from corn syrup. Sorbitol is most commonly used in the food industry as a natural sweetener.
Glycerol, also known as trihydric alcohol and glycerin in common parlance, is another sweet-tasting alcohol compound. Glycerol can be obtained from both animals and plants.
As a result, most online sources classify glycerol as a controversial ingredient unless it is specifically labeled as vegetable glycerol. Some claim that if it is only written as glycerol, it is almost certainly derived from an animal source.
However, it should be noted that glycerol is a controversial ingredient among vegans for one more reason. This is due to the palm tree being one of its primary (plant-based) sources.
3. Natural and Artificial Flavorings
Both natural and artificial flavors are widely debated ingredients in the vegan community. Natural flavors can be derived from either animal or plant sources, but natural flavors in candies are generally derived from plants. If known, natural flavors of animal origin will be highlighted.
It’s worth noting that, amid the continuing controversy over natural and artificial flavors, many vegans are fine with consuming them since avoiding these ingredients is extremely hard.
Colors, like flavors, are classified as natural or artificial in the food industry. Both are used in Wrigley’s Extra chewing gums. Some food colors are frowned upon by the vegan community. This is owing to the fact that food colors are frequently tested on animals. Since animal testing is one of the most serious ethical issues that veganism stands for, many vegans (prefer to) avoid ingredients that comprise artificial coloring.
However, we can assume that all food colors are vegan unless the color itself is derived from an animal or an insect.
All Extra Gum Flavors
1. Extra Spearmint Chewing Gum
EXTRA Spearmint Sugarfree Chewing Gum’s long-lasting flavor will help you feel refreshed. Each pack of EXTRA Spearmint Sugar-Free Chewing Gum contains 15 sticks.
Extra Spearmint gum is good for your teeth because it helps to neutralize plaque acids. It is sugar-free and contains no non-vegan ingredients. This vegan chewing gum is ideal for those who adhere to a vegan diet.
2. Extra Polar Ice Chewing Gum
Extra Polar Ice Chewing Gum package contains 15 pieces of EXTRA Polar Ice Sugar Free Gum. Every piece has an avalanche of icy flavor. The flavor lasts a long time, and the gum remains soft and flavorful.
On the other hand, EXTRA Polar Ice Sugar Free Gum is composed of tiny flavor beads encased in a microscopic layer of animal-based gelatin. This popular flavor of chewing gum is not vegan due to this ingredient.
3. Extra Peppermint Chewing Gum
The mint flavor is subtle but powerful. Instead of a coated capsule or a smaller piece, it is a full original-style stick of gum. The packaging advertises “LONG LASTING FLAVOR,” and it delivers. The flavor began subtly minty and lasted for 10 minutes.
Wrigley’s chewing gum flavor is sugar-free and contains no ingredients derived directly or indirectly from animals. So, you can say Extra Peppermint Chewing Gum is vegan.
4. Extra Sweet Watermelon Chewing Gum
You can enjoy the sweet, juicy flavor of watermelon without the seeds. It lasts a long time without losing its original flavor.
It’s sugar-free, and you can chew it whenever you want without worrying about gaining weight. It doesn’t have any ingredients derived directly or indirectly from animals and makes a perfect choice for vegans.
5. Extra Classic Bubble Chewing Gum
The traditional bubble gum flavor takes you back to your childhood. Sweeteners include sorbitol (sugar alcohol), mannitol (sugar alcohol), acesulfame K, and sucralose (the generic name for Splenda).
These days, many sugar-free gums contain sugar alcohol, but Extra Classic Bubble Chewing Gum does not. Just like the rest of the Extra’s chewing gum flavors, Classic Bubble is also vegan.
6. Extra Winterfresh Chewing Gum
Extra Winterfresh Chewing Gum contains a refreshing burst of blizzard-friendly mint. It gives a freshness to your breath and leaves your mouth feeling refreshed for a long time.
This sugar free chewing gum is not made from any animal by-products and is completely vegan.
7. Extra Smooth Mint Chewing Gum
In Extra Smooth Mint Chewing Gum, you can feel the peppermint without the burn. The flavor lasts longer than most of the other chewing gums.
It feels the same smooth consistency throughout the time. It has no animal by-products and is completely vegan.
8. Extra Cinnamon Chewing Gum
With Extra Cinnamon Chewing Gum, you can taste the delicious cinnamon that always provides long-lasting flavor. These are full-sized gum sticks, not chiclets or small sticks.
Each stick is bursting with flavor, and each pack is cellophane-wrapped to keep it fresh. It’s sugar-free while also being sufficiently sweet. A great way to avoid overindulging in sweets. It is vegan and free of animal byproducts.
9. Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip Chewing Gum
This sugarless gum has a mint chocolate chip flavor that tastes like a dessert. Sugar Free EXTRA Chewing Gum is a tasty way to freshen your breath. This is the perfect thing to chew on if you want to avoid eating an unhealthy snack.
This gum has a delicious chocolate peppermint flavor that lasts a long time. It has the flavor of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Also, it doesn’t contain animal by-products and is vegan.
10. Extra Rockin’ Raspberry Lime Chewing Gum
EXTRA Rockin’ Raspberry Lime is bursting with fruity flavor in each pack. Individually wrapped sugar-free gum pieces combine the fresh flavors of limes and raspberries for the perfect after-lunch breath refresher.
It keeps its softness and flavor for a long time. The ingredients are vegan-friendly and not derived from animal byproducts.
Despite the fact that many studies claimed that some Extra Gum flavors contained gelatin, we did not find this to be the case in our analysis. With the exception of two flavors, Extra Polar Ice stick gum, and Juicy Fruit pellet gums, it appears that all Extra Gum and Chewy Mint flavors are now vegan friendly!
However, if you follow a strict vegan diet, it’s always wise to research the ingredients and decide if you want to buy it or not.