Oral delivery of flavors, sweeteners, sensates (which provide cooling, warming, or tingling sensations) and therapeutic agents is key to a successful gum composition, says patent application #20130316042, which was published last week (Nov 28, 2013) and originally filed in June 2011 before Kraft split into Kraft Foods and Mondelez International.
Lipophilic ingredients are difficult to release from gum without modification of their physical form
However, many flavors and certain sensate compounds such as cooling agents are hydrophobic (they don’t like water) or lipophilic (fat soluble), and often remain 'stuck' in the gum’s polymer base (which is also lipophilic), explain the inventors.
“Lipophilic, low water soluble ingredients are very difficult to release from chewing gum without modification of their physical form, such as encapsulation by using spray drying, spray coating, and other matrix encapsulation techniques.
“There is therefore a need for chewing gum compositions that can enhance the release of lipophilic ingredients. Furthermore, there is a need for chewing gum compositions to provide enhanced sensate effect while at the same time maintaining the consumer acceptance of the chewing gum texture.”
The pectin significantly enhances the release of the lipophilic ingredients from chewing gum during mastication
The patent application describes gum formulations containing powdered pectin that is unswollen and unhydrated and not used as an encapsulant or agglomerating agent.
The pectin “significantly enhances the release of the lipophilic ingredients from chewing gum during mastication”, say the inventors.
“Without being bound by theory, it is believed the pectin increases saliva penetration into the chewing gum bolus during mastication, resulting in a higher percent extraction of the lipophilic ingredients from the chewing gum."
They add: “A specific combination of an unswollen, unhydrated and powdered pectin, and a lipophilic flavorant or sensate exhibits a significantly enhanced flavoring release. This is particularly surprising given that the… pectin is not complexed with the lipophilic flavorant or sensate as it would be if the pectin were used as an encapsulant or agglomerating agent.”
A gum combining the powdered pectin with cooling agent N-ethyl-2,2 diisopropylbutanamide “showed significant enhancement of cooling in the back of the throat ”, says the patent application.
“This is surprising since pectin, which is used in throat drops for throat soothing, would be expected to decrease throat sensations rather than providing a sensation enhancement in the throat.”
Another benefit to adding the powdered pectin was that less rubber was required in the formulation, which in turn “reduces the amount of interactions between the rubber and lipophilic ingredients in the chewing gum, and improves the release of the lipophilic ingredients from the gum matrix during chewing”, they explain.
“Furthermore, it has been unexpectedly found that even with the reduced amount of rubber, the presence of the pectin provides a good chew texture to the chewing gum, giving the texture during chew sufficient bounciness.”
What is pectin?
Pectins are polysaccharides derived from structural components in fruits and vegetables such as citrus or apple peel and sugar beet. They are widely used in the food industry to add viscosity, texture, gelation and protein stability.
The patent application describes formulations containing pectin at anything from 0.01% by weight to 10%, but typically at around 0.4-0.5%.
A lipophilic ingredient is one that is not readily solubilized in water.
Click on the link below to read the patent application in full.
Click here to read about a Mondelez patent application outlining a quicker way to release flavors and actives in gum using a 3-D object made of polymers; and click here to read about its application for a degrabale gum composition.