Stevia chewing gum appeals to ‘natural’ ingredients trend, says Cargill

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sugar substitute Xylitol

Cargill has developed a mint chewing gum with stevia leaf extract
Cargill has developed a mint chewing gum with stevia leaf extract
Cargill has developed a stevia chewing gum that it claims will appeal to consumers looking for natural ingredients.

The company has developed a mint chewing gum using a combination of its Truvia stevia leaf extract and Zerose erythritol.

Cargill: Natural source advantage

Midey Gonzalez, technical service manager, Truvia, at Cargill, told “Truvia stevia, like other high intensity sweeteners, is in the soluble part of the chewing gum and when mixed with saliva it is swallowed.

“The advantage for the consumer is that they are consuming a sweetener that is derived from a natural source.”

The company is currently exhibiting the chewing gum along with a stevia extract wine gum at Health Ingredients Europe (HiE) in Frankfurt, Germany.

Naturalness questioned

Chairman of the International Sweeteners Association (ISA), Hugues Pitre, recently said: “Stevia’s introduction to market sparked a new wave of innovation and we look forward to seeing this continue to ripple through the industry.”

“Consumers are increasingly conscious of their diets and should be poised to see even more variety on the shelves.”

However, the naturalness of stevia has been doubted in some circles. Felix Verdegem CEO of stevia chocolate firm Cavalier recently told this site that some natural stores in the UK and France were refusing to stock stevia-based products because the extracts are not derived from the leaf of the plant.

Stevia with bulking agents

Cargill’s gum concept uses sorbitol, mannitol and maltitol in combination with stevia.

Asked why stevia could not be used alone, Gonzalez said: “When sucrose is replaced in a chewing gum a bulking agent is needed. Truvia stevia does not have bulking properties, so for this reason it has to be used in combination with bulking agents as maltitol, erythritol or xylitol”

“Xylitol works very well in combination with Truvia stevia and the resulting products are tooth friendly,” ​she added.

Gonzalez said that as stevia was much sweeter than sugar, cost savings were be possible.

She was asked how the price of stevia compared to using xylitol alone, but a response was not forthcoming.

Other stevia players

Other ingredients players have been exhibiting stevia-based products at recent industry trade shows.

Wild Flavors, the global distribution partner for Sunwin Stevia, exhibited hard candies and chewing gums sweetened with stevia at SIAL in Paris this week. while Barry Callebaut is currently showcasing stevia chocolate at HiE.  

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