Just the sight of it in my son's room reminds me of my ponytail softball days. Who didn't enjoy sticking a huge wad of Big League Chew in their mouth as a kid and chomping away until saliva almost starts dribbling down your chin? As an adult looking for fresh breath after a meal it is not my first chewing gum choice, but I am happy that my son (who is gluten free) can enjoy its shredded chewiness to his heart's content.
When toothbrush and toothpaste are not nearby, chewing on fresh mint, clove (natural options), or a stick of gum can be a good replacement. There is some controversy amongst online newsgroups as to which varieties of chewing gum are gluten free. People have commented about various flavors and varieties causing them abdominal distress. Most chewing gums do contain phenylalenine which is an ingredient in Aspartame and can cause some side effects in people, stomach upset being one of them.
To help get clarification, I went directly to the source and contact various gum manufacturers as to whether or not their chewing gum is gluten free. Here is a list of various brands that are gluten free:
Wrigley manufactures the following brands which are all gluten free.
- Orbit brand (all flavors)
- 5 gum (all flavors)
- Juicy Fruit
- Big Red
- Extra (all flavors)
- Eclipse gum (all flavors)
Kraft acquired Cadbury Adams in February 2010 and now manufactures the following chewing gum brands. Kraft always labels ingredients as well as any potential for cross-contamination. (UPDATE - 6/24/2012: As of January 2012, Kraft customer service reps stated they can not guarantee as gluten free any product containing natural flavoring, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or spices due to the fact that these ingredients are coming from different suppliers and may be derived from gluten containing grains).
- Trident (all flavors)
Hershey's manufactures Bubble Yum chewing gum in six flavors. While they do not maintain a list of gluten free products, they do not use gluten in any of their artificial flavors and will call out any gluten ingredients or gluten-derived ingredients right on the label.
And last but not least, all flavors of Big League Chew are gluten free. Prior to January 2011, Big League Chew was manufactured by Wrigley. It is now manufactured by Ford Gum company. They also manufacture many of the bulk gumballs that appear in vending machines nationwide and are gluten free as well.