Stride Shaun White mintacular artificially flavored sugar free chewing gum

Shaun White mintacular

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.

Mintacular chewing gum

 

 

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