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Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum Ingredients Explained


Introduced by the William Wrigley Jr company in 1893. It is a brand recognized by 99 percent of Americans and famous for being the first product bought using a bar code scanner.

In all food products, ingredients must be listed according to their relative weight. The listing of each ingredient is in a descending order of predominance.

Ingredients: Sugar, gum base, corn syrup, dextrose; less than 2% of: Natural and artificial flavors, glycerol, soy lecithin, aspartame, acesulfame K, hydroxylated soy lecithin, color (yellow 5 lake), BHT (to maintain freshness). Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine.

1. Sugar

A sweetening additive. Made mainly from sugar cane and sugar beet.

Health effects: Safe if eaten in small amounts. Consumption of large amounts over time has been linked to tooth decay, periodontal disease, obesity, hyperactivity, B vitamin deficiencies, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

2. Gum Base

A non-nutritive masticatory substance used as a support for the edible and soluble portion of chewing gum. Gum Base is made from a mix of raw materials which are categorized in five classes:

  • Elastomers: act as the key ingredient and provide elasticity and bounce. Can be made from natural latexes such as couma macrocarpa, loquat, tunu, jelutong, chicle, or synthetic rubbers such as butadiene rubber, butyl rubber, and polyisobutylene.
  • Resins: Act as binders and softeners, providing a cohesive body or strength and usually made from glycerol esters of gum, terpene resins, and/or polyvinyl acetate.
  • Waxes: Render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base. Usually made from paraffin or microcrystalline wax.
  • Fillers: contribute to the overall texture. Made from calcium carbonate (chalk) or talc.
  • Antioxidants: prevent oxidation of the gum base and flavors and extend shelf life. BHT is most commonly used.

Health Effects: Unknown. Though caution is advised due to the use of synthetic ingredients. Synthetic ingredients tend to be carcinogens.

3. Corn Syrup

A sweet syrup made by treating corn starch with acid enzymes. May be genetically modified.

Health effects: Considered safe if eaten in small amounts. May cause allergic reactions.

4. Dextrose

A sweetener derived from various plant starches. Most commonly corn.

Health effects: Should be avoided by diabetics as it can cause sugar spikes.

5. Natural Flavors

Any flavor not chemically derived. Obtained by physical processes from plants or animals. Made to provide flavor to a food rather than nutritional value. May contain MSG.

Health effects: Unknown.Different foods use different natural flavors and processes. Naturally derived ingredients may be altered, rendered unsafe. It should be noted that the use of the word “natural flavors” is often used to mask the use of harmful, naturally derived flavors.

6. Artificial Flavors

A synthetic mixture not found in nature, designed to mimic a natural flavor. May contain MSG. Over 1,700 artificial flavors are approved by the FDA.

Health effects: Unknown. Companies are not required to identify the various synthetic mixtures (1,700 to date) used in foods, requiring only that they be listed under the umbrella of the “artificial flavors” listing. Some individuals are sensitive to artificial flavors, experiencing headaches, nausea, and drowsiness, among other symptoms.

Artificial flavors sample list: benzyl isobutyrate, ethyl acetate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate (petroleum derivative), methyl benzoate (petroleum derivative), hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone. An artificial flavor may be made up of any number of synthetic chemicals.

7. Glycerol (Glycerine)

A natural or synthetic (petroleum) by-product of soap manufacturing. May be animal based. May be corn, peanut, or soy based. May be genetically modified. Used as a humectants (maintain moisture).

Health effects: Excess may cause headaches, nausea, elevated blood sugar,and may affect stomach and reproduction.

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8. Soy Lecithin

Made from soybean waste. Extracted with hexane, a gasoline by-product, through a “hexane bath”. May contain pesticide residues. May be genetically modified.

Health effects: The use of hexane in the making of soy lecithin raises issue since hexane is a neurotoxin.

9. Aspartame

Artificial sweetener. Made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

Health effects: Studies link it to cancer in rats. May cause neurological and behavioral issues. Reported symptoms include irritability, headaches, insomnia, hyperactivity, seizures, memory loss, migraines, depression, vision problems, memory loss. Should be avoided by those with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria.

10. Acesulfame K

Artificial sweetener. Not digested by the body, eliminated through urine.

Health effects: In animal studies, cause lung tumors, breast tumors, respiratory disease, leukemia, and cancer. Emits toxic fumes when heated to decomposition.

11. Hydroxylated Soy Lecithin

An emulsifier made from soy lecithin, which is made with hexane.

Health effects: The use of hexane in the making of soy lecithin raises issue since hexane is a neurotoxin.

12. Yellow 5 Lake

Pigment manufactured to make insoluble color. Done by combining yellow 5 (a coal tar derivative) with a form of aluminum, calcium, barium potassium, strontium, or zirconium.

Health effects: Linked to thyroid tumors, chromosomal damage, asthma attacks, hives and hyperactivity. Caution is advised if aspirin sensitive. When ingested, some aspirin sensitive patients have been reported to develop life threatening asthmatic symptoms. May contain aluminum, which has been linked with lung & kidney disorders, and reduced skeletal mineralization. Alzheimer’s victims have been found with aluminum deposits in their brains, implicating aluminum as a factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

13. BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene)

Antioxidant made from petroleum. Banned in the United Kingdom.

Health effects: Possible carcinogen. May cause chronic hives, asthma, aggressive behavior, and may affect liver, kidney, stomach, and reproduction.

Pregnant mice fed BHT gave birth to offspring with abnormal behavioral patterns. Possible link to DNA damage in mouse gut. Toxic to aquatic organisms.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Brian on January 12, 2019:

I am going to use this in my science project!

jolee on October 22, 2018:

wow im never going to forget this cite

Julie Barnett on May 05, 2018:

I Chew a lot of Juicy Fruit, but don’t swallow it, and my mouth around my lips burns then is itchy.

someone on November 29, 2017:

does it have gelatin?

Mariana on May 13, 2017:

Are they gluten free?

Mrs June Wood on August 16, 2015:

would not recommend buying this .. They have changed the flavour it now has a sickly sweet taste...Nothing like the juicyfruit i use to enjoy chewing...

teighlor on April 18, 2012:

wow i love juciy fruit but i never new it was that much stuff in that little yellow peace of gum WOW

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