After of meal of garlic lemon sauce over gluten-free pasta and a side of garlic bread, sometimes you need a mint. Or five. Before you pop one into your (stinky) mouth, check out the ingredients, manufacturing, and the most important question, “are Lifesaver mints gluten-free?“.
Life Savers is owned by Mars Wrigley Confectionery. In addition to Life Savers, Mars Wrigley owns world-famous brands including M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, and Skittles. Life Savers goes way back to 1912 when Clarence Crane created the original Pep O Mint flavor. He called them Life Savers because they looked like little life preservers.
At the time of this post, Life Savers Mints do not have a gluten-free label or where their mints are manufactured. I’ve contacted them to confirm their manufacturing process and potential for cross-contamination. However, based on the ingredients, the Life Savers Mints listed below are gluten-free.
Mars Wrigley provides this statement on their website:
The ingredient statement on each wrapper is the best source for this information. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network advises consumers to rely on ingredient labels, not lists that can become outdated when products change. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-627-7852 if you have any specific product questions.
INGREDIENT DETAILS: LIFE SAVERS GLUTEN-FREE MINTS
LIFE SAVERS WINT O GREEN
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavor, Stearic Acid.
LIFE SAVERS PEP O MINT SUGARFREE
Ingredients: Sorbitol, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Stearate, Aspartame, Color (Titanium Dioxide), Soy Lecithin. Excess Consumption May Have A Laxative Effect.
LIFE SAVERS SPEAR O MINT
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Stearic Acid.
LIFE SAVERS ORANGE MINTS
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Aspartame, Color (Yellow 6)
LIFE SAVERS PEP O MINT
Note: Ingredients for Pep O Mints are not listed on the Life Saver website. I’ve contacted them to confirm the ingredients and manufacturing process.
SCIENCE! SPARK IN THE DARK
Have you ever hidden in a closet and bit into a Lifesaver Wint-O-Green mint to see it spark? It’s like candy lightning! However, this spark isn’t a myth or magic, it’s simple science known as triboluminescence.
When you bite into or crush a candy made of real sugar, the atoms in the crystalline sugar molecules lose electrons that end up colliding with nitrogen molecules in the air we breathe. The nitrogen absorbs energy from those electrons, some of which is then re-emitted as light—an effect called triboluminescence.
Wint-O-Green Life Savers are particularly well-suited for observing this effect, because of the oil of wintergreen — methyl salicylate — that flavors them.
Remember that products, manufacturing processes, and ingredients can change at any time. Always check those mint labels to see if they are gluten-free. If you’re unsure, contact the company for clarification. Then grab a few gluten-free mints, find a dark room, chomp away and let the sparks fly!