The supplement, which aims to naturally stop children’s sugar cravings, was originally designed for adults. It blocks the tongue’s sugar receptors and gets to work in just two minutes, with the effects lasting up to two hours, according to Sweet Victory.
Founded by friends Gitit Lahav and Shimrit Lev in 2020, the start-up carried out trials among children in Israel, US and France to assess the impact of the gum. The results found that children enjoyed it but after chewing it could not eat confectionery because of the change in their receptors.
A traditional herb
Sweet Victory decided to use the traditional botanical, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2,000 years, because of its well-known metabolic impact.
Lev explains: “We have chosen to use the ancient Indian botanical gymnema, (gymnema sylvestre) known from Ayurvedic tradition for its positive effect on glucose metabolism. In India, it is known as ‘gurmar’, Hindi for ‘sugar destroyer’.
“At a molecular level, the arrangement of the gymnemic acid bioactive is similar to glucose, so it fills the receptors located on the taste buds and prevents their activation by the sugar present in the food, thereby curbing the sugar craving.”
Adapting to children’s tastes
Creating the new chewing gum took the product development teams at Givaudan and Sweet Victory several months. The use of cutting-edge technology helped them produce the functional, sugar-free supplement.
They decided to use a tutti-frutti flavour after children across the globe voted it one of their three top flavours.
“By producing a product so attractive to children that, regardless of its effect of blocking sweet taste, it can become a legitimate substitute for other sweets, simply because it's delicious,” adds Lahav.
“We turned to Givaudan to help us with that challenge. As a flavour expert, using advanced technologies, they helped us refine the product and develop a very flavourful, yet highly effective product - a sweet treat that can change eating behaviour and help parents control their kids’ daily sugar consumption.”
The gum’s launch follows new research, revealed earlier this year at European Congress on Obesity in the Netherlands, which found that four in five seven-year-olds exceeded the 10% recommended daily limit of calories from free sugars.
Currently a prototype, the product is expected to be launched by the end of this year.