Chewing a sugar-free gum instead of gum with sugar may help prevent tooth decay, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide website. Extra is a line of sugar-free gums manufactured by Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. While Extra gum products may be a good sugar-free gum option, you should keep in mind that these products do not provide many nutritional benefits and do contain some calories.
Extra Sugar-Free Gum comes in three different types, including Extra, Extra Dessert Delights and Extra Fruit Sensations. Each type has multiple flavors. The Extra Gum flavors include Polar Ice, Spearmint, Peppermint, Winterfresh and Classic Bubble. The Extra Dessert Delights include Strawberry Shortcake, Mint Chocolate Chip and Key Lime Pie, while the Extra Fruit Sensations flavors include Strawberry Banana and Sweet Watermelon. Although the nutritional facts for each flavor are very similar, the specific ingredients and amounts of certain nutrients may vary slightly.
The recommended serving size of Extra gum is one stick, which is approximately 2.7 grams. The number of sticks per package varies. Single Slim Packs contain 15 sticks of gum, while a four-pack multi-pack contains four packages of five sticks of gum each. The Slim Pack Three Pack contains three packages of 15 sticks of gum each. Remember to adjust the nutrition facts amounts based upon the number of sticks of gum you consume, not based on the size of the package.
Although the specific ingredients vary depending on the flavor, Extra gum products all contain certain base ingredients. A gum base is used to bind all the ingredients together and provides the gum with its texture. While other gum products use sugar as a sweetener, Extra Sugar Free Gum products use several different types of artificial sugar substitutes, such as aspartame, maltitol and sucralose. Glycerin and vegetable oil products make the gum soft and flexible, while ingredients such as sorbitol and mannitol control the density. Mint, fruit and spices are used to flavor the product, and coloring ingredients are used so consumers can distinguish between flavors. Preservatives may also be used to help the gum maintain its freshness.
The amount of carbohydrate in a stick of Extra gum may vary slightly depending on the flavor. The Key Lime Pie, Mint Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, Peppermint, Polar Ice, Spearmint, Supermint, Winterfresh, Strawberry Banana and Sweet Watermelon flavors all contain 2 g of total carbohydrate, all of which come from sugar alcohol. The Classic Bubble flavor contains only 1 g of total carbohydrate, which also comes from sugar alcohol.
Other Nutrition Facts
Although the flavor may affect the amount of carbohydrate in the gum, the other nutritional fact amounts remain constant regardless of the flavor. Each stick of Extra gum contains 5 calories. Extra gum does not contain any fat, sodium or protein. Like many other brands of gum, Extra Sugar-Free gum also does not contain significant amounts of any vitamin or mineral.