Chewing gum launched to stop sweet cravings in their tracks27 Jan 2022
Now, instead of reducing sugar intake by selecting food carefully, consumers can stop sugary treat cravings in their tracks with botanical-infused chewing gum from the Israeli start-up Sweet Victory. This new gum blocks sugar receptors on the tongue within two minutes, and its effect can last up to two hours, the company said in a statement.
Currently, Sweet Victory’s gum is commercially available in the countries of Panama, France and Israel. Sweet Victory noted that its gum will “shortly make its way to the USA,” and that it has intentions to roll its product out globally. Where the gum is available, it comes in several flavors: peppermint, lemon and ginger.
The gum has a sweet flavor thanks to its formulation with the Indian botanical gymnema, (Gymnema sylvestre), which has molecules that are arranged similarly to glucose molecules. These fill taste bud receptor locations to prevent activation by the sugar molecules present in the food. As a result, sweet foods that normally trigger a sense of pleasure will taste bland or even sour, helping to curb sugar impulses, the company said.
High sugar intake has been linked to a variety of maladies, including tooth cavities, weight gain and diabetes. These findings are nothing new, nor is the fact that consumers have long expressed interest in reducing their sugar intake. However, it seems that now people are beginning to take action to actually reduce their overall consumption. According to a 2021 Innova Market Insights' Health and Nutrition Survey cited by Sweet Victory, 37% of global consumers indicated they decreased their sugar intake over the past 12 months.
Such a large reduction is fueled in part by companies’ quest to reformulate their products so as to limit the overall sugar content. One such startup is Better Juice, which employs enzymatic technology to convert fructose, glucose and sucrose into other molecules such as prebiotic dietary fibers. Nestlé has looked to tackle sugar at the source, by developing a sort of hollow sugar molecule that the company said can reduce the quantity of sugar in it candy bars by 30%. Other companies like Blommer Chocolate Company are taking less technologically-advanced approaches to sugar reduction in their products by switching to alternative sweeteners, such as DouxMatok's Incredo Sugar, which is a less-sugar sweetener.
However, not everyone can resist the pull of traditional sugar. In response, governments are stepping in to highlight foods with large quantities of this refined sweetener. In the EU, front-of-panel labels announcing sugar content are now required. In Mexico, there are now warning labels for products with high sugar content. Even in the United States, the overhauled Nutrition Fact label requires front-of-pack warnings about sugar content.
Despite outside efforts to reduce the total amount of sugar in packaged products, there are many for whom Sweet Vicory’s gum may prove useful. In the case of diabetics, for whom sugar intake must be closely monitored, this gum has the potential to become an effective barrier against consuming too much unwanted sugar that can affect blood sugar levels. Already, the gum has undergone a successful pilot study at the Obesity Research Center of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and the company said it plans to pursue further clinical trials to determine its effect on blood sugar levels in persons with diabetes.
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