EFSA Approves Health Claim for Wrigley Chewing Gum

October 5, 2010

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) has approved a health claim for a sugar-free chewing gum intended to reduce tooth decay. The Article 14 health claim was submitted by Wrigley GmbH (Munich) for a chewing gum that contains xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) has approved a health claim for a sugar-free chewing gum intended to reduce tooth decay. The Article 14 health claim was submitted by Wrigley GmbH (Munich) for a chewing gum that contains xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol.

Wrigley’s claimed effect is that the “sugar-free chewing gum maintains tooth mineralization which reduces the risk of dental caries.”

Providing EFSA with 21 human intervention studies, and 37 publications overall, the agency’s panel on dietetic products, nutrition, and allergies (NDA Panel) concluded that “strong evidence supporting the biological plausibility for the effect” was provided.

“The de- and remineralization equilibrium of teeth is mainly driven by saliva and the main contributors are flow rate and concentrations of calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate,” wrote the NDA Panel in its opinion. “At rest, low amounts of saliva are secreted, but stimulation by chewing may increase saliva flow more than ten-fold. When flow rate increases, saliva concentration of calcium, phosphate and bicarbonate also increases, and such increases favor remineralization of tooth crystals.”

In order to receive the desired effect of the chewing gum, EFSA has suggested that 2-3 g of the gum be chewed for 20 minutes at least three times per day after meals.