If you enjoy chewing gum and you follow the gluten-free diet, you need to chew gluten-free gum. Yes, it's true that you don't actually swallow the gum (usually, anyway), but you certainly swallow enough of the juices and flavoring from it to give yourself a reaction, if it's not gluten-free.
The products on this list are considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million, or ppm; we refer to that as "GF-20" (smaller numbers being better).
Two notes: the list applies only to the U.S. (products and formulations vary in other countries). Also, just because it's considered "gluten-free" to 20ppm, that doesn't mean it's definitely safe for you. People can and do have different tolerance levels for trace gluten (gluten below 20ppm), and many react to products labeled "gluten-free." For more on this, check out:
- Glutened By 'Gluten-Free' Foods?
- Why Products' Trace Gluten Numbers Matter
- Trace Gluten Content of Popular Gluten-Free Manufacturers
My advice: Don't depend entirely on lists, which are only as good as the information provided by the companies. If you experience a glutening and you can trace it to a specific product, you should avoid that product in the future, even if it's labeled "gluten-free."
Here's the list of gluten-free gum products, followed by those that are not gluten-free, as of October 2012. I've grouped them in alphabetical order by manufacturer.
Gluten-Free Gum Manufacturers
Glee Gum. Billed as "all natural chewing gum made with sustainably harvested rainforest chicle" and "the #1 healthy alternative to synthetic chewing gum and bubble gum," Glee comes in Classic and Sugar-Free (sweetened with sugar alcohol xylitol) flavors. The gums do not contain gluten, and are "safe for people with celiac disease and any other wheat and gluten intolerances," according to Glee Gum's frequently asked questions. All flavors also are soy-free, and the sugar-free flavors are corn-free (the Classic flavors contain glucose derived from corn).
Trident. None of Trident's products contain gluten, according to the company's gluten-free statement. They're also all sugar-free. Trident Gum makes multiple flavors of gum in the following product lines:
- Xtra Care
Wrigley. One of the premier U.S. gum manufacturers, Wrigley's gluten-free gum offerings include all of the following:
- Big Red
- Hubba Bubba (except for Hubba Bubba Gummi Tape Candy, which contains wheat flour and wheat fiber)
- Juicy Fruit
Gum Brands That Are Not Gluten-Free
Farley's and Smathers. This company makes Fruit Stripe and Super Bubble gum. Farley's and Smathers does not maintain a gluten-free list and only will disclose wheat-containing ingredients on its labels (U.S. labeling laws do not require disclosure of all gluten ingredients, only wheat). Therefore, Farley's and Smathers products are not recommended for those following a gluten-free diet.
Hershey's. Hershey's, a top candy bar manufacturer, also produces Bubble Yum gum and Icebreakers. However, neither of those appear on Hershey's gluten-free list, so I'd steer clear.
Mondelēz International, Inc.. This company, based in New Jersey, makes the following brands of gum:
- Nostalgia Gum
Mondelēz International does not test for gluten, according to a customer service representative. The company will identify any wheat, barley, rye or oat ingredients on the label, but it can't guarantee that products are gluten-free because its suppliers may not provide gluten-free ingredients, the rep said. Therefore, Mondelēz International does not recommend its products for those on a strict gluten-free diet, she said.
The Bottom Line On Gum
As you can see, there are more than a few choices of gluten-free gum, including sugar-free, teeth-whitening and all-natural varieties. Just avoid the ones that aren't considered gluten-free, and happy chewing!