April 29, 2002

[FOOD] - Orbit Gum -

[FOOD] - Orbit Gum - I bought some of this Orbit gum today. The ads are all over the place. What struck me funny is that it's a sugar free gum but states clearly on the package that it is not low calorie. And it isn't - there are 5 calories per tiny piece. It's not a diet buster, but where are those calories coming from, if not sugar?

Well, "Sugar Alcohols" - that's where. I know there are chemists in the audience, can anyone direct me to some information on what a sugar alcohol is? I know that alcohols and sugars are similar molecules, but I didn't know there are a middle ground. The mysterious ingredients include Sorbitol, Glycerol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Aspartame, and Acesulfame K.

Xylitol - where have I heard that one before? There was some gum in the 80's that used it, but that gum isn't around anymore. Apparently it's popular in the sweets of Finland. But this was interesting:
Medical Benefits of Xylitol Pneumococcus growth is apparently inhibited by chewing xylitol gum or taking a xylitol syrup. What does that mean? Well it might mean that we cna prevent painful ear infections in children with some chewing gum, or lessen the severity and the need for antibiotics.

Oh, and the stuff tastes pretty darn good for a sugarless gum.

Posted by James at April 29, 2002 3:19 PM
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