Shaun White is spectacular, but the chewing gum mintacular is not. It warms anyone’s heart to hear the story of Shaun White overcoming a heart defect and eventually become an Olympic athlete. Mintacular, however, is just ANOTHER spearmint and melon artificially flavored chewing gum. The flavor reminds me of a cleaning compound or a shampoo, it is very cosmetic. The aqua color seems a bit cosmetic as well.
A current trend is spearmint gum is to combine it with an artificial melon flavor. Spearmint gums from Stride, Trident and Mentos all have this flavor blend. Wrigley 5 Rain and Ice Breaker Ice Cube spearmint gums have an authentic spearmint flavor. Spearmint and melon flavored gums on the market are reliant on synthetic l-Carvone as a spearmint flavor. l-Carvone compromises spearmint oil at 50-65% and can be manufactured from d-Limonene. d-Limonene, a natural component of citrus peel, is a bi-product of orange juice processing. d-Limonene is much less expensive than natural spearmint oil.
In contrast to spearmint flavor, which can be produced synthetically at a low-cost, peppermint flavor is cheaper naturally. The characterizing component of peppermint, l-Menthol, is not manufactured on a large-scale and is more expensive than the natural oil. Because there is a limited amount of natural peppermint oil, chemists are busily working on tackling this challenge. BASF has patented a new process which is the solution to the limited supply of natural oil. http://www.aroma-ingredients.basf.com/About_us/AboutLmenthol.aspx This is an amazing technological achievement; I’d say “mintacular”.
When not found naturally, l-carvone can have a “burn” which is very harsh. Mother nature packs spearmint oil with other flavor components that reduce the l-carvone burn. Flavor scientists add sweet fruity melon notes to l-carvone to reduce the harsh character. Synthetic high potency sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and ace-K can also cut the burn.
I think that more money went into the packaging of this gum than the flavor. The flavor is not new or interesting, but it has a fun package with lots of surprises.