Chewing Gum

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IS IT KOSHER?

CHEWING GUM

In 1939, when the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed, chewing gum was classified as a food– and rightly so.

Approximaely two-thirds of a stick of gum is swallowed and enters the digestive tract. Chewing gum manufacturers managed to secure an exemption from the labeling requirements for foods because it is impractical to list 25 ingredients on a package as small as the one that gum comes in. As many as 15 natural and synthetic ingredients are lumped together as gum base. Soon after 1939, another dozen or so ingredients were allowed to be designated softeners, and the F.D.A. itself suggested the reduction in the labeling of the sweeteners in gum. Incredibly, the F.D.A. also allowed gum manufacturers to not list sugar (60 percent of the average stick of gum) in the first position in the ingredient list, a common requirement for most products.

Consequently, the typical gum wrapper ingredient listing reads: "Made of gum base, sugar, corn syrups, flavor, and softeners." Only two of the more than 40 ingredients are recognizable. Some of the ingredients that do not appear on the label are: chicquilul, crown gum, masaranduba chocolate, residinha, ehilte, glycerin ester of partially hydrogenated wood resin, sodium stearate, potassium stearate, sodium sulphate, sodium sulfide. The two stearate ingredients are of special kashrus concern: stearates usually are animal derivatives.

The kosher consumer cannot tell what ingredients go into the gum from the wrapper, and therefore the only reliable rule is to avoid gums that are not known to be kosher.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE FDA REQUIREMENTS FOR GUM:

MASTICATORY SUBSTANCES NATURAL (COAGULATED OR CONCENTRATED LATICES) OF VEGETABLE ORIGIN

FAMILY GENUS AND SPECIES

Sapotaceae:

Chicle Manilkara zapotilla Gilly and Manikara chicle Gitty.

Chiquibul Manilkara zapotilla Gilly.

Crown gum Manilkara zapotilla Gilly and Manikara chicle Gilly.

Gutta hang kang Palaquium leiocarpum Boerl, and Palaquium oblongifolium Burck.

Massaranduba balata (and the solvent-free resin extract of Massaranduba balata). Manilkara huberi (Ducke) Chevalier.

Sapotaceae–Continued

Massaranduba chocolate Manilkara solimoesensis gilly.

Nispero Manilkara zapotilla Gilly and Manilkara chicle gilly.

Rosidinha (rosadinha) Micropholis (also known as Sideroxylon) spp.

Venezuelan chicle Manilkara williamsii Standley and related spp.

Apocynaceae:

Jetulong Dyera costulata Hook, F. and Dyera lowii Hook, F.

Leche caspi (sorva) Couma macrocarpa Barb. Rodr.

Pendare Couma macrocarpa Barb. Rodr. and Couma utilis

(Mart.) Muell Arg.

Perillo Couma macrocarpa Barb. Rodr. and Couma utilis

(Mart.) Muell Arg.

Moraceae:

Leche de vaca Brosimum utile (H.S.K.) Pittier and Poulsenia spp Lacmellea standleyi (Woodson), Monachino (Apocynaceae).

Niger gutta Ficus platyphylla Del.

Tunu (tuno) Castilla fallax Cook.

Euphorbiaceae:

Chilte Cnidoscolus (also known as Jatropha) elasticus Lundell and Cnidoscolus tepiquensis (cost. and Gall.) McVaugh.

SYNTHETIC SPECIFICATIONS

Butadiene-styrene rubber Basic polymer.

Isobutylene-isoprene copolymer (butyl rubber). Do. Paraffin Synthesized by Fischer-Tropsch process from carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which are catalytically converted to a mixture of paraffin hydrocarbons. Lower molecular weight fractions are removed by distillation. The resudue is hydrogenated and further treated by percolation through activated charcoal. The product has a congealing point of 200F-210F as determined by A.S.T.M. D-938-49 method; a maximum oil content of by A.S.T.M. D-721-56t method; and an absorptivity of less than 0.01 at 290 millimicrons in decahene at 190F as determined by A.S.T.M. D-2008 method.

Petroleum wax Complying with 172,886.

Petroleum wax synthetic Complying with 172,888.

Polyeethylene Molecular weight 2,000-21,000

Polyisobutylene Minimum molecular weight 37,000 (Flory).

Polyvinyl acetate Molecular weight, minimum 2,000.

PLASTICIZING MATERIALS (SOFTENERS)

Glycerol ester of partially dimerized rosin..Having an acid number of 3-8, a drop-softening point of 109 C-119C. and a color of M or paler.

Glycerol ester of partially hydrogenated gum or wood rosin Having an acid number of 3-10, a drop-softening point of 79 C-88C. and a color of N or paler.

Glycerol ester of polymerized rosin Having an acid number of 3-12, a melting point range of 80 C-126C. and a color of M or paler.

Glycerol ester of gum rosin Having an acid number of 5-9,a drop-softening point of 88 C-96C. and a color of N or paler.

The ester is purified by steam stripping.

Glycerol ester of tall oil rosin Having an acid number of 2-12,a drop-softening point (ring and ball) of 80 C-88C. and a color of N or paler.

The ester is purified by steam stripping.  Glycerol ester of wood rosin Having an acid number of 3-9,a drop-softening point of 88 C-96C. and a color of N or paler.

The ester is purified by steam stripping.

Lanolin

Methyl ester of rosin, partially hydrogenated…Having an acid number of 4-8, a refractive index of 1.5170-1.5205 at 20C, and a viscosity of 23-66 poises at 25.

The ester is purified by steam stripping.

Pentaerythritol ester of partially hydrogenated gum or wood resin Having an acid number of 7-18,a drop-softening point of 102 C-110C. and a color of K or paler.

Pentaerythritol ester of gum

or wood rosin Having an acid number of 6-16,a drop-softening point of 109 C-116C. and a color of M or paler.

Rice bran wax Complying with 172,890.

Stearic acid Complying with 172,860.

Sodium and potassium stearates Complying with 172,863.

TERPENE RESINS

Synthetic resin Consisting of polymers of a-pinene, b-pinene, and/or dipentene; acid value less than 5, saponification number less than 5,

and a color less than 4 on the gardner s 50 percent mineral spirit solution. Natural resin Consisting of polymers of a-pinene; softening point

minimum 155c, determined by U.S.P. closed-capillary method, United States Pharmacopeia XX (1980) (page 961)

ANTIOXIDANTS

Butylated hydroxyanisole Not to exceed antioxidant content of 0.1% when used

alone or in any combination.

Butylated hydroxytoluene Do.

Propyl gallate Do.

MISCELLANEOUS

Sodium sulfate

Sodium sulfide Reaction-control agent in synthetic polymer production. 

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