ImmuneGum contains plant extract Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc and comes in a blackberry-mint flavor.
We spoke to Thomas Jahn, marketing manager for Fertin Pharma, at Vitafoods in Geneva earlier this week.
“It’s a product you take when you’re beginning to feel the onset of a cold. It’s designed so you take three pieces a day and then that should cover it.”
“We wanted to develop a chewing gum that we didn’t have in our range. One gap that we saw was something for cough and cold and immunity.
“We started looking at what ingredients would be interesting in that field. Probiotics is one ingredient that is interesting, but it’s also one of the more difficult ingredients.”
“So we tried to look beyond probiotics and we fell upon Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc because all three ingredients are back by a lot of clinical studies.”
EFSA health claims
Fertin Pharma has also developed a stress relief and weight management gum called SaffraGum in cooperation with its supplier Saffron Extract. The gum contains 15 mg of Saffr’Activ per piece and 1,6 µg (micrograms) Vitamin B12. Two pieces a day are needed to get the desired effect. “The thing is, there isn’t any EFSA an approved claim, so I guess it comes down to clever marketing,” said Thomas Jahn, marketing manager for Fertin Pharma.
“We try to spice it up with Echinacea, which although it doesn’t have an EFSA claim, has a lot of documentation and studies as an ingredient for cough and cold,” said Jahn.
A clinical trial of 246 people with the common cold found that intaking 13.56 mg Echinacea purpurea extract, the same amount in each piece of Fertin’s gum, three times daily for seven days relieved cold symptoms more than a placebo.
Jahn said that pharmacies were a likely trade channel for the product.
Gum production and composition
The gum is made through Fertin’s patented bi-layered compressed chewing gum technology, which uses a dry and cool manufacturing process to incorporate active ingredients.
Each piece of ImmuneGum contains a 30 mg dose of vitamin C that gives 37.5% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C in three pieces.
A single piece also contains 3.33 mg of zinc that meets 33.3% of the recommended daily allowance when three pieces are consumed.
The company recommends not consuming Echinacea for longer than three weeks. The upper tolerable intake for zinc is 40 mg for adults and 13-23 mg for children. The limit for vitamin C is 2000 mg for adults and 400-800 for children.
The gum is sweetened with xylitol, sorbitol, aspartame and acesulfame-K.