There are several ingredients used in the gum industry to create a cooling sensation in the end product, including peppermint, menthol and several known physiological cooling agents.
But in its patent filing, Wrigley said there are down-sides to all of these which prompted the gum maker to work on incorporating an alternative physiological cooling agent – using the compound Gly-OiPr (2-isopropyl-5-methyl-cyclohexanecarbonyl-amino-acetic acid isopropyl ester).
“It would be desirable to provide a chewing gum with a higher level of a cooling sensation, but without using materials that manifest the unwanted harshness or flavor characteristics that come from adding menthol,” Wrigley wrote.
“It would also be desirable to provide a clean, high-quality flavor chewing gum with a good cooling and less bitterness,” it added.
Peppermint, menthol and agents
Wrigley said that while peppermint oil and menthol are well-known and widely used ingredients in chewing gum to give a cooling sensation, they both leave flavors and odors in the end product that can be quite strong.
Peppermint notes can be found in non-peppermint flavored products and menthol can leave a strong minty odor or harsh notes in the composition, it said.
The physiological cooling agents also have objectionable flavor characteristics, Wrigley said, such as bitterness, biting and sharpness along with off tastes.
‘Refreshing taste’ and ‘considerable cooling’
“The use of Gly-OiPr at levels of about 0.01% to about 0.4% has been surprisingly found to provide a gum composition and gum products that have high levels of refreshing taste with considerable cooling and breat- freshening,” Wrigley wrote.
It even proved better than another compound similar to Gly-OiPr – WS-5 – that also left unwanted flavor characteristics.
Wrigley said the physiological cooling agent could be used in combination with other agents and also treated to control its release and enhance shelf life and stability.
It could be used as part of the cooling flavor composition or in the chewing gum coating.