Orbit Gum, a well-known brand in the chewing gum industry, is recognized for its wide array of flavors and its promise of delivering a “just brushed clean feeling.”
This popular gum has found its way into the pockets and purses of many individuals who appreciate its long-lasting flavor and oral hygiene benefits.
However, for people who follow a vegan diet, a crucial question often arises: is Orbit Gum vegan?
The short answer is: Yes, Orbit Gum might be vegan friendly.
To fully understand why Orbit Gum might be vegan and not fully vegan, we need to dive into the composition of Orbit Gum.
What Is Orbit Gum?
Orbit Gum is a product of the Wrigley Company (Mars Inc.), a giant in the chewing gum market.
It was launched in 1944 in the United States as a World War II rationing substitute, but it wasn't until 2001 that it was relaunched and gained popularity as a leading sugar-free gum brand.[source]
Today, Orbit Gum is sold worldwide and is recognized for its oral care benefits and wide range of flavors (from Peppermint and Spearmint to more exotic varieties like Strawberry and Citrus).
Each pack of Orbit Gum promises to deliver not just flavor, but also oral care benefits, such as stimulating saliva production, which can help fight cavities and maintain oral health.
At first glance, it might seem like Orbit Gum would naturally be vegan, given that it's essentially flavored and sweetened gum base.
However, the vegan status of Orbit Gum can vary significantly depending on the specific ingredients used.
In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into the ingredients of Orbit Gum, explore why it may not always be vegan, and look at vegan-friendly alternatives to this popular chewing gum.
Ingredients in Orbit Gum
The ingredients in Orbit Gum can vary depending on the specific flavor, but most varieties contain a similar base of ingredients.
These typically include:
- Gum Base: This is what gives the gum its chewy texture. It’s made from a mix of elastomers, resins, plasticizers, and fillers.
- Sweeteners: Orbit Gum is sugar-free, so it uses artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, xylitol, and aspartame to provide sweetness.
- Softeners: These are added to keep the gum soft and prevent it from hardening over time. Glycerol is commonly used.
- Flavorings and Colorings: These give the gum its specific flavor and appearance. They can vary greatly depending on the type of gum.
In the next section, we’ll answer the question, “Is traditional Orbit Gum vegan?” and explore the vegan status of these ingredients.
Is Traditional Orbit Gum Vegan?
While the majority of the ingredients in Orbit Gum are synthetic or plant-based, there are a few ingredients that could potentially be non-vegan.
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Orbit Gum
The ingredients that could potentially be non-vegan are:
This is a common ingredient in many food products, including chewing gum.
It acts as a softener and helps prevent the gum from drying out.
However, glycerol can be derived from both plant and animal sources.
Unless specified, it’s often difficult to determine the source of glycerol in a product.
Some artificial colors, such as E120 (carmine), are derived from insects and are therefore not vegan.
While Orbit Gum doesn’t contain carmine, it’s worth noting that not all artificial colors are vegan-friendly.
Why Orbit Gum May Not Be Vegan
Given the potential animal origins of some ingredients, traditional Orbit Gum may not be considered vegan.
The main issue lies in the lack of transparency about the sources of these ingredients.
Unless the company specifies that their product is vegan, or that they only use plant-based sources for ingredients like glycerol, it’s often impossible to confirm whether a product like Orbit Gum is truly vegan.
In the next section, we’ll explore vegan-friendly alternatives to Orbit Gum and provide tips on what to look for when choosing vegan chewing gum.
Vegan-Friendly Chewing Gums: Vegan Alternatives to Orbit Gum
While traditional Orbit Gum may not be vegan, there are several brands on the market that offer vegan-friendly chewing gums.
These brands often use plant-based ingredients and avoid using any animal-derived products.
Some popular vegan gum brands include:
- Simply Gum: This brand uses all-natural, vegan ingredients in their gum. They also avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners.
- PUR Gum: PUR Gum is not only vegan but also free from aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.
- Chewsy Gum: This is another all-natural, vegan gum brand. They use only five natural ingredients in their gum.
What to Look for in Vegan Chewing Gum
When looking for vegan chewing gum, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Check the Ingredients: Look for any potentially non-vegan ingredients, such as glycerol or artificial colors.
- Look for Certifications: Some products will have vegan certifications, which can provide assurance that the product is vegan-friendly.
- Contact the Company: If you’re unsure about a product, don’t hesitate to contact the company for more information.
More About Orbit Gum:
Is Orbit Gum Sugar Free?
Yes, Orbit gum is sugar-free. It uses artificial sweeteners to provide its sweet taste.
The specific sweeteners used can vary, but they often include substances like xylitol, sorbitol, and aspartame.
These sweeteners do not promote tooth decay like sugar can, which is why many dentists recommend sugar-free gum.
However, it’s always a good idea to check the packaging for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Is Orbit Gum Gluten Free?
Orbit gum is generally considered to be gluten-free. Wrigley, has stated that while they don’t specifically test for gluten, they don’t use any wheat, rye, barley, or oat derivatives in their products, which are the typical sources of gluten in food products.[source]
However, if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance, it’s always a good idea to check the packaging or contact the manufacturer directly to confirm, as formulations and manufacturing processes can change.
Naturally Gluten-Free Orbit Gum Flavors:
- Sweet mint
- Tropical Remix
- Peppermint DoublePak
- Spearmint DoublePak
- Orbit White – Bubblemint
- Orbit White – Peppermint
- Orbit White – Spearmint
Is Orbit Gum Vegetarian?
Orbit gum may be considered suitable for vegetarians. The gum base used in Orbit is synthetic and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
However, it’s worth noting that some strict vegetarians or vegans might choose to avoid it because the gum may contain glycerin.
Glycerin can be derived from animal sources, although it can also come from vegetable sources or be synthesized.
Wrigley, the manufacturer of Orbit, does not specify the source of the glycerin in their products.
Does Orbit Gum Have Plastic In It?
Orbit gum, like many other commercial chewing gums, contains a gum base that is made from synthetic materials, which can include plastics or rubbers.
The exact composition of the gum base is usually a trade secret and can vary between brands and types of gum.
However, it’s worth noting that these materials are food-grade and have been deemed safe for consumption by regulatory authorities.
While the synthetic components of the gum base are technically types of plastic, they are not the same as the plastic used in items like bottles or bags.
They are specially designed to be safe to chew but are not meant to be swallowed.
Is Orbit Gum Biodegradable?
No, most chewing gums, including Orbit, are not biodegradable. The base used for these gums is a synthetic rubber or plastic, which does not break down naturally in the environment.
The synthetic base is what gives the gum its chewiness and allows it to be chewed for a long time without dissolving.
However, this also means that when it’s discarded improperly, it can stick to surfaces and create litter that’s difficult to remove.
There are some brands of gum on the market that use natural bases, like chicle, which are biodegradable.
If biodegradability is a concern for you, you might want to look for these types of products.
As always, it’s important to dispose of gum properly, in a trash receptacle, to prevent litter and potential harm to wildlife.
Key Takeaways: Is Orbit Gum Vegan?
While the primary ingredients of Orbit Gum are synthetic or plant-based, the inclusion of potentially animal ingredients like glycerol means that traditional Orbit Gum may not be vegan.
However, this doesn't mean that those following a vegan lifestyle need to miss out on chewing gum. With a growing number of brands offering vegan-friendly gums, it's easier than ever to find a product that aligns with vegan principles.