Does Chewing Gum Expire or Go Bad?
Have you ever found a chewing gum you used to love years ago while cleaning your room?
You may have looked at the pack of gum and remembered some memories and decided to chew it just for nostalgia.
But then you stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Does chewing gum expire?”
Chewing gum technically doesn’t expire over a period of time. It’s a very stable product that’s moisture-free and non-reactive. However, it will likely be very brittle and devoid of taste. Even the minty flavor will have the taste over time change. It’s also considered harmful to eat if the packaging is torn or dirty.
Let’s learn a bit more about this.
Is There an Expiration Date on Chewing Gum?
In most countries, chewing gum isn’t required to have an expiration date mainly because of its composition. Yet, some manufacturers like Trident do have an expiration date, but the majority of chewing gum has none.
The main reason why most products expire is their fluid content, which is not found in gum. Moisture provides the best conditions for bacteria to reproduce. Thus, the more fluid there is in any food, the faster the bacteria will grow in it.
Chewing gum generally contains fillers, softeners, antioxidants, sweeteners, and flavoring agents.
However, since there’s a change in the taste and feel of a gum past expiry date, we can technically say that chewing gum does expire.
What Happens If You Chew Gum Past Its Expiration Date?
The word expiry means that the product is no longer safe for consumption. However, this isn’t the case for chewing gum.
After expiration, chewing gum would go stale and brittle. It will no longer be soft to chew and it will break into small pieces in your mouth rather than being chewy and stable.
There would also be a noticeable loss of taste that can make the whole experience a bit boring, to be frank!
But, consuming expired or old gum isn’t harmful to your body in any way. Just don’t do it repeatedly to avoid accidentally swallowing the small pieces over and over.
See, swallowing gum, especially in large quantities, could be dangerous because our bodies can’t digest it. Therefore, it may eventually cause a block in the intestines.
Should You Consume Expired Gum?
You probably won’t have an emergency where you’d need to chew that old pack of gum. But, if you wanted to do that for whatever reason, it’s generally considered safe.
However, there are three scenarios where that would be a bad idea:
Do Gummy Rolls Go Bad
Gummy rolls are long strips of gum that are rolled in like tape. These rolls tend to have more substances in them. The more components in a food consumable, the higher the risk of having expired material harm you.
Additionally, these rolls aren’t thoroughly wrapped like your normal gum and a lot of bacteria could be stuck there.
Does Extra-Sugar Gum Go Bad
Sugar itself is considered expiry-proof, but it’s much more likely to be infested with bacteria than most other food products.
If you have an expired gum that contains too much sugar, chances are there’s a lot of bacteria in it. It’s not recommended to eat it in this case.
People don’t save gum until they expire and eat them for science! The question of whether or not you should eat expired gum arises only when you find an old pack of gum somewhere.
There’s no guarantee that the packaging has prevented dirt and other harmful materials from going inside. If the packaging of the gum is dirty, it’s better to stay away from it.
What Is the Typical Shelf Life of Chewing Gum?
Most Chewing Gum will last a long time if it is stored properly – so you could say the typical shelf life of chewing gum is two years or more if stored out of sunlight and the temperature is not too hot.
There is an organization called the International Chewing Gum Association and they state that chewing gum is extremely stable. This is partly due to the low moisture content of the chewing gum formulation. Other candy products can be quite different as opposed to chewing gum-safe levels.
In fact, many countries do not even require an expiry date on chewing gum. Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the use of the term “expiry” on chewing gum.
When Should You Throw Out Your Old Gum?
If you suspect the gum is off because it has become discolored throw it out. You do not want to be like the South African Students that went to the ED after chewing expired sugar-energy gum.