Microplastics found in popular sugar-free gum brands, swiss study reveals

A test, conducted by the Swiss magazine Saldo on 12 brands of chewing gum, revealed that a staggering 11 contained microplastics, a potential threat to the human intestine

In a revealing Swiss study, it has been found that microplastics, the minuscule pollutants known to pervade various aspects of the environment, are also present in chewing gum. The consumer magazine Saldo conducted tests on 12 brands of sugar-free gum available in supermarkets, uncovering a widespread presence of microplastics in 11 out of the 12 samples tested.

Ubiquitous microplastics

This investigation into the composition of sugar-free chewing gums reveals a concerning ubiquity of microplastics. Except for one, all samples tested contained these tiny plastic particles. The sole exception was Coop Karma Natural Base Gum Spearmint, produced in Italy but sold in Switzerland, which not only was free of microplastics but also received a “very good” rating from the testers.

Among the brands found to contain microplastics were:

  • Excitemint Xylit-Pro Spearmint (Aldi)
  • Jet Gum Mint Sugar Free (Lidl)
  • Mentos White Tutti frutti

Despite the presence of microplastics, the gums sold by Lidl and Aldi managed to earn a passing grade, whereas Mentos White Tutti Frutti was rated as “insufficient.” This lower rating was attributed not only to the microplastics but also to the presence of preservatives and sucralose, further compounding concerns.

The Swiss experts’ overall verdict on these products was decidedly negative, noting, “The majority of sugar-free chewing gums contain plastic and sweeteners that harm intestinal flora and pollute the environment.”

The risks of microplastics

The study did not specify the exact quantity of microplastics found in each packet of gum, but the Swiss experts highlighted the potential risks these particles pose to intestinal activity. Some research indicates that microplastics could attack the intestinal mucosa, compromising its protective function against harmful bacteria.

Manufacturers respond

Following the publication of these findings, the manufacturers involved in the study issued responses. They argued that the presence of plastic in chewing gum is not a significant issue and is still permitted under current regulations. Moreover, they claimed that synthetic gums offer better performance and taste compared to natural alternatives, which are less palatable and more sticky.

Source: Saldo

The article draws upon studies published and recommendations from international institutions and/or experts. We do not make claims in the medical-scientific field and report the facts as they are. Sources are indicated at the end of each article.
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