Australian Food and Pharmaceutical Industries has two varieties of our mastic chewing gum, Mast Chew, available. These are Mast Chew and Mast Chew ZERO. Both are sugar-free, plant-based, natural chewing gums that can support gut health. The main difference between the two is that, while Mast Chew ZERO contains no sweeteners at all (and, in fact, only contains three ingredients), our original Mast Chew uses xylitol – for those who like a bit of sweetness in their chewing gum.
While a lot of our customers are very informed when it comes to health and nutrition, we find that many people aren’t sure what makes xylitol different to artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes – some of which have gained particularly bad press, and for good reason.
Natural sweeteners like xylitol are great for providing the same sweet taste as sugar, without the calories and while keeping blood sugar levels stable. But with all the chemical-sounding names it can be hard to tell the different artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes apart. So here’s the low down on why Australian Food and Pharmaceutical Industries chose xylitol for our chewing gum.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. In medicinal and culinary uses, it is often extracted from wood. Xylitol has recently gotten a lot of talk in dental health circles because xylitol reduces the levels of a bacteria known as mutans streptococci in plaque and saliva, by disrupting the bacteria’s ability to produce energy, ultimately killing off the bacteria. It also reduces the ability of the mutans streptococci to stick to the surface of the teeth and reduces the bacteria’s ability to increase the acidity of the mouth. Xylitol, like any other non-sugar sweetener, also promotes mineralization by increasing the flow of saliva when used in chewing gums. Therefore, chewing gums that contain xylitol – like Mast Chew – are excellent for preventing tooth decay and keeping your enamel strong.
One caveat is that dog owners should be aware that xylitol is toxic to dogs, even when the relatively small amounts. If your dog eats a product that contains xylitol, it is important to immediately take your dog to the vet. Especially be mindful that xylitol isn’t present in human foods you might normally give to your dog; such as peanut butter.