Inspired by candy-coated almonds, Frank H. Fleer invented a peppermint flavored, coated chewing candy. The name Chiclets is derived from chicle, a natural tree resin used to make gum. Fleer introduced its original peppermint flavor in 1906. By 1920, Chiclets were sold in a variety of flavors and colors. Mini Chiclets were introduced in 1962. Though no longer popular in the United States, Chiclets is a top selling chewing gum in the Middle East.
A serving size of original peppermint and fruit flavored Chiclets gum, 3 g, contains 10 calories, 0 g of fat, 0 g of sodium, 2 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of sugars and 0 g of protein. Tiny Size Chiclets, available in a variety of flavors, has the same nutritional values, but is available in 30-piece servings. In the original size, two pieces is a serving.
Ingredients in Chiclets original and fruit flavored gum include sugar, gum base, corn syrup, modified food starch, artificial and natural flavoring, and artificial coloring. Although named for chicle, Chiclets uses a different gum base with added flavoring oils.
While Chiclets has few vitamins and nutrients to speak of, it’s not completely void of benefits. Fleer introduced his new product at a time when gum was popularized for freshening breath and used an after-dinner mint.
Flavor and Coloring
Artificial coloring and favoring are used to get the distinctive bright colors and flavors of Chiclets fruit-flavored gum. These artificial ingredients help extend the shelf life and enhance the appearance of candy. Artificial flavoring, especially, allows candy to be sold inexpensively. Whether these ingredients have negative health implications is something that is being studied. In 2007, the Lancet published a study by Donna McCann indicating that artificial colors in the diet may be associated with increased hyperactivity in children.
At 10 calories, chewing Chiclets will not lead to weight gain, unless you chew several packs a day. In fact, Medical News Today reported in 2007 that chewing gum could help you drop pounds. A study presented at the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Society found that chewing gum in the afternoon prior to eating a snack could help reduce cravings and hunger and make you feel fuller. People who participated in the study indicated that chewing gum reduced their intake by 25 calories.