Alisa Fleming ~ Did you know that not all chewing gum is dairy-free? In some of their gums, Trident uses Recaldent, a patented ingredient that is derived from milk (more specifically casein, or milk protein) and amorphous calcium phosphate. This complex of casein phosphopeptides is said to help rebuild and strengthen tooth enamel.
This still leaves quite a few dairy-free brands to choose from, but a little label reading will reveal that many chewing gums contain as many as five sugar substitutes, in addition to artificial colors, flavors, and chemical additives.
In my younger years, I was a habitual gum chewer, but jaw issues prompted me to cut it out over a decade ago. However, my interest in gum resurfaced when I found myself traveling quite a bit. Though I had no desire to pick back up with my pack a day habit, having some gum on hand for flights turned out to be quite handy. Even so, I hesitated purchasing whenever I read the ingredients … until I discovered Glee Gum …
Glee Gum is sweetened only with xylitol (note: for those who want xylitol-free, 6 of their 8 flavors are sweetened with organic cane sugar and brown rice syrup – those are those are the non-sugar-free flavors), which has been shown to help fight cavities without the hazards of other alternative sweeteners, and as far as gum goes, the ingredients are respectable. Plus, each piece gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of the top eight allergens (including dairy and soy – they use sunflower lecithin!).
Glee Gum comes in Chiclet-like pieces in seven varieties: Peppermint, Spearmint, Cinnamon, Lemon-Lime, Tangerine, Bubblegum (though this isn’t bubble blowing material), and Triple Berry. I thought all of the flavors were great, but my favorites were Spearmint and Tangerine. The flavor doesn’t last very long (again, similar to Chiclets), but this helped keep my gum chewing to a minimum, since I wasn’t tempted to channel my inner 10-year-old and blow annoying mini bubbles for an hour.
Glee Gum is a bit trickier to find when you are looking for gum on the fly, but with a little planning, you can find it in natural food stores, or easily order it online at www.gleegum.com (They offer bulk packs too – I may have to order a 1lb bag of the Tangerine!) or for a discount on Amazon.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.