For some reason, humans have managed to incorporate animal-based ingredients into an infinite amount of things. Gum, unfortunately, is one of those things.
Yet not every gum is filled with animal ingredients.
In fact, Orbit Gum may be vegan. Whether that’s true or not depends on factors such as the origin of certain ingredients, your personal views, and the different flavors.
I don’t want you to be confused, so let’s see get this out of the way.
What Makes Most Gums NOT Vegan?
Ingredients such as gelatin, stearic acid, and glycerol may not be considered vegan.
Actually, gelatin is 100% from animal origin — while the remaining ingredients may come from either plant-based or animal-based sources.
Gelatin is made by boiling the skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and/or bones of cows and pigs. It is a binding agent that holds the ingredients together, and most likely the reason you can chew gum without it splitting into fragments.
This substance can be found in both plants and animals. When derived from animals, stearic acid comes from the fat of cows, sheep, pigs, dogs, and cats. It can be used as a thickening and lubricant, as well as used to modify the melting point of candles.
Glycerol an ingredient that may be created synthetically, or originate from plants or animal fat. It can also be a blend of animal fat and vegetable oils. Glycerol tends to be derived from animal fats and is used frequently by the food industry.
Ingredients In Orbit Gum
The ingredients in Orbit Gum are identical among all flavors.
Here’s how the list of ingredients looks like:
Instead of gelatin, Orbit contains soy lecithin that acts as a binding agent. That in itself is a great sign since most non-vegan gums use gelatin as a binding agent. In addition, Orbit Gums don’t contain stearic acid, but instead, they have hydrogenated starch hydrolysate.
However, Orbit Gums still contain glycerol which may be derived from an animal source. Natural and artificial flavors may also come from an animal source but in this case, I don’t think that’s likely considering the gum flavors.
Regardless, here’s what the FDA has to say about natural flavors:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means…which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice… or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products…”
Lastly, artificial colors are known to have been tested on animals, so as a result, some vegans decide to avoid them.
Different Orbit Flavors
Orbit Gum has about 8 different flavors:
- Freeze Mint
- Sweet Mint
All of which contain similar ingredients. However, if we compare them side to side, you can find flavors with a higher chance of being vegan.
Here’s a short table to illustrate:
– Artificial colors (Blue 1 Lake)
|Freeze Mint||– Glycerol|
|Sweet Mint||– Glycerol
– Artificial colors (Blue 1 Lake)
– Artificial colors (Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6)
– Artificial colors (Red 40, Red 40 Lake)
– Artificial colors
Peppermint and Wintermint both only have glycerol, which improves the chances of the product actually being considered vegan.
As you know, artificial colors are a by-product of controlled animal testing, and thus not every vegan is willing to consume products with artificial colors.
Orbit Gum Belongs To The Mars Company
Mars company is a huge company that owns a multitude of brands, including Orbit. Most of the brands owned by Mars Company sell products that either contain animal ingredients or products that have been tested on animals.
Despite the huge wind farm in Texas, the non-deforestation policy, and the certification and traceability goals for raw materials, and other sustainable and ethical goals the company has accomplished in recent years — we can’t deny the fact this company makes its billions with products that exploit animals.
As such, some vegans avoid products that belong to the Mars company or any other company with a similar background. I’ve also questioned whether I should or not buy from non-vegan companies/brands. And so I came across an interesting video:
What was said in the video is also happening with a multi-billion dollar company like Mars.
Mars is looking to launch a vegan ‘milk chocolate’ bar, which speaks volumes about the impact of the vegan movement, and the power of vegan consumers. It is possible to produce change, and shift the tides of demand.
However, we’re free to make our own decisions, and I know that not every vegan agrees with what was said in the video above.
Summary: Orbit Gum Might Be Vegan
Some websites like Peta2 suggest that some Orbit Gum flavors are vegan.
But I cannot confidently say the same for three reasons:
- The artificial colors that are a by-product of animal testing;
- There’s a good chance glycerol may come from animal fat;
- And Orbit Gum belongs to the Mars company.
Stricter vegans may avoid Orbit Gum, but “casual” vegans are probably fine with eating Orbit Gum because it doesn’t contain “blatant” animal-based ingredients.
Frankly, if we were to dive deep into each product’s ingredients, we’d probably find ourselves with a scarce amount of products to consume. I believe that we, as vegans, should definitely make an effort in avoiding animal-based ingredients, but we should also realize that there’s only so much we can do from a consumer perspective.
I personally don’t feel compelled to avoid every little ingredient, but I make a conscious effort to avoid meat, dairy, eggs, and even honey.
Follow your own convictions!
Lastly, I always appreciate your feedback, so if there’s anything I’ve written wrong, feel free to pinpoint my mistakes. I’ll gladly make changes to this blog post.
Thank you very much!