Chewing gum has been part of human life for many centuries. People use it daily because of its flavours and other beneficial applications like oral care, removing food items stuck between teeth, stress relief, and calorie management. But, have you ever asked yourself whether you can chew gum that you had left it in a drawer a year ago? In other words, does gum expire?
Chewing gum does not expire. It is one of the most stable consumable products ever made. Furthermore, the product does not expire because it is non-reactive and has low moisture content. Therefore, once produced, the product will retain its original quality for a long time.
Since chewing gum does not expire, many countries do not require manufacturers to label the product with an expiration date.
Although chewing gum does not expire, keeping it for a prolonged period may cause it to decompose. So, can gum expire, and how long should you keep chewing gum before it decomposes. And after gum decomposes, should you use it?
What are the ingredients used to make chewing gum?
Often, most manufacturers use up to six ingredients to make chewing gum; gum base, colourings, flavourings, softeners, sweeteners, and preservatives. However, the most common item that prevents the product from expiring is the gum base.
Gum base is the insoluble part of chewing gum made up of different ingredients, including a combination of food-grade softeners, polymers, and waxes. It is what allows you to chew the product. When combined with the above ingredients, the gum base delivers the flavour and chewing sensation you get for the period you chew the gum in your mouth.
Is it OK to eat expired gum?
If the manufacturer has put an expiration label on chewing gum, avoid eating it. The manufacturing process may have used different ingredients that may harm you when you ingest them after their expiry period.
What happens if you chew expired gum?
If you chew expired gum, you will notice that the product has become brittle. Furthermore, expired chewing gum will lose its original taste. However, depending on the ingredients used to make the gum, it will remain safe to chew.
How long does gum stay good after the expiration date?
Chewing gum does not expire because it is not soluble and is non-reactive. However, once it has expired, avoid eating it. But if necessary, consider consuming it within three months after the expiry date. The only problem is that the gum will be hard, brittle, and less flavourful.
Does nicotine gum expire?
Nicotine gum is chewing gum that delivers nicotine to your body once chewed. Many people use it for medicinal purposes, including aiding in nicotine replacement therapy to allow people to quit smoking tobacco.
Nicotine gum manufacturers put an expiry date on their products. Therefore, it means nicotine gum does expire. When that happens, avoid using it. First, however, understand that the ingredients used to make nicotine gum are almost similar to those used in traditional gums.
The active ingredient in nicotine gum is nicotine polacrilex. But other ingredients include chewing gum base, glycerol, sodium carbonate anhydrous, sorbitol powder and solution, and flavourings.
Furthermore, storage of nicotine gum is crucial to ensure it gives you all the benefits you deserve. In other words, store the product in a tightly sealed container and place it in a cool, dry place.
Can chewing gum cause sore throat?
Chewing gum for a short period cannot cause sore throat. But when you chew gum for a long time, you exercise your jaws and the corresponding muscles. When you overwork the jaw muscles through continuous and aggressive chewing of gum, the muscles get tired and cause painful spasms in the jaw, head, and neck.
As a result, it can lead to temporomandibular dysfunction (or TMD). Furthermore, the overuse of a set of body muscles leads to contracted ligaments and debilitating pain, including headaches, toothaches, and earaches.
How long does it take for gum to decompose?
In most cases, the length of time for gum to decompose will depend on the storage conditions and packaging. It is why there is a difference between shelf life and expiration date.
Since one of the ingredients in gum is a food-grade polymer that contains carbon and hydrogen, it means chewing gum does not decompose. Thus, the polymer will guarantee the gum's consistency, quality, and purity for a long time, typically over five years.
Is it safe to swallow chewing gum?
Chewing gum is for chewing and not swallowing. However, it is not harmful when swallowed because the body cannot digest gum, and the gum will not stay in the stomach or even cause intestinal problems. Therefore, it will pass through the digestive tract and out of the body through excretion.
But in rare cases, swallowing a huge mass of gum in small pieces within a short period can block the digestive tract. For example, a blockage can happen if you swallow gum and another indigestible item like a sunflower seed. Again, however, the problem is more prevalent in children than adults.
When should children start chewing gum?
The parent is responsible for determining whether their children should start chewing gum. However, children below five years old cannot understand the dangers of chewing and swallowing gum. Many will equate gum to candy. Furthermore, the sugar in gum can be hard on a child’s dental work and cause cavities.
Does gum expire? Generally, chewing gum does not expire. The product is non-reactive and has less moisture content. Furthermore, one of the ingredients used to make it is a food-grade polymer containing hydrogen and carbon. The combination helps to ensure gum stays safe to use for a long time.
Yen.com.gh shared an interesting article about the most expensive fruit. Fruits are known to offer huge nutritional value to the body. Unfortunately, even though some are readily available at pocket-friendly prices, the most expensive could buy a car.
You might have to part with several dollars to purchase some of the most expensive fruits in the world. The high prices are associated with their scarcity and the distinguished process of their growth.