Mints, mints, nothing but mints!
· Home
· Mints Guide
· Mints Poll
· Mints Facts
· Buy Mints Now
· About Us
· Contact Us

E-mail Newsletter.

August 04, 2003
For nearly 40 years, Certs have been providing breath-freshening mints to the American public. Here's the truth about their secret ingredient, and a review of their current product line.

One of the most clever marketing schemes in the world of breath mints was developed for Certs mints, with their introduction in 1960 of the revolutionary, yet scientifically curious, ingredient "Retsyn®", to their mints. What does Retsyn® do? How do its mysterious properties affect bad breath? In the past, you could have visitd the "Center for Extended Retsyn Technology" on the Certs.com web site, but, alas, the Center is no longer available (or was that some clever marketing ruse, as well?).

Fortunately, ordinary citizen Robert Dobrin wondered about Retsyn®, too, and so he wrote to the Warner-Lambert Company (the company that manufactures Certs) and asked them for an explanation. A Senior Clinical Scientist for Dental Affairs at the company responded, and Dobrin published his letter, and Warner-Lambert's response, on his Web site. According to Ralph S. Richter:

Retsyn is a trademark of the Warner-Lambert Company and is the term used to designate the active ingredients in Certs, copper gluconate and hydrogenated cottonseed oil. The hydrogenated oil is an oil-in-water emulsion with the oil droplets reduced to a size of less than 10 microns. This finely micronized oil can, therefore can absorb more odor from the oral cavity than droplets of a larger, more common size. The copper gluconate in Certs acts as a chemical deodorant.

This unique combination of ingredients has been shown in laboratory and clinical studies to effectively neutralize oral malodor for an extended period of time after the mint itself is gone.

With the mystery of Retsyn uncovered at last, mint lovers can rest easy knowing that you can just pop a Certs into your mouth to get that copper gluconate and hydrogenated cottonseed oil working on your bad breath right away.

As popular as Certs are, they're not at the top of Warner-Lambert's best selling products. The company sold $123 million worth of Certs products in 1998, but that falls short of the sales of some of the company's other breath-fighting gums and mints:

  • Clorets, $180 million
  • Chiclets $151 million
  • Dentyne $136 million
  • Trident $325 million

All those products pale in comparison to the real leader in the bad breath fight:

  • Listerine, with sales of $430 million in 1998
Certs has produced some memorable television commercials over the years, such as "The Certs Encounter" and "It's Two-Two-Two Mints In One."

There are several different mints now available under the Certs brand name. Here's a rundown:

Certs Mints
These are the classics, in the gold foil wrapper and with the sparkling blue-green specks in the center (meant to suggest the breath-cleaning action of Retsyn®, I suppose). They are available in five flavors: Cinnamon, Mixed Fruit, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Wintergreen, and in a new sugarfree edition under the Certs Extra moniker (see below).

Certs are the old standby, and probably available at the widest number of grocery, discount, and convenience stores in the country.

    Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 5 per piece.
  • Carbohydrate: 2g per piece.
  • Sugars: 2g per piece. Not a significant source of other nutrients.
  • Contains the breath freshener, Retsyn®.

Certs Extra (Sugarfree)
The "Extra" in Certs Extra must be Sorbitol, an alternative sweetener. Interestingly, Certs Extras apparently have the same number of calories as Certs (5g per piece), even without the sugar. Otherwise, Certs Extras are essentially the same as Certs, except there's no Cinnamon Certs Extra flavor, and the "Mixed Fruit" has been renamed "Assorted Citrus" in the sugarfree variety. (Peppermint, Spearmint, and Wintergreen are the other three flavors).

    Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 5 per piece.
  • Carbohydrate: 2g per piece.
  • Sugar Alcohol (Sorbitol): 2g per piece. Not a significant source of other nutrients.
  • Contains the breath freshener, Retsyn®.

Certs Powerful Mints
In 1997, Certs introduced a new line of mini-sized mints with more intense mint flavor, reflecting consumer's growing desire for "super-strong" mints. The tiny mints are packaged in a plastic container about the size of three credit cards stacked together, with a drawer that slides out to dispense a single mint. According to the packaging, Certs Powerful Mints are manufactured in Italy, giving a somewhat international flair to them, and are available in Peppermint and a new Spearmint flavor.

These mints are indeed quite intense, and while the packaging is innovative, it can be hard to know when you're running out of mints since you can't see how many are left in the box.

    Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 0.4 per piece.
  • Total Carbohydrate: less than 1g per piece.
  • Sugars (Sugarless): 0g per piece.
  • Sorbitol (Sugarless): less than 1g per piece. Not a significant source of other nutrients.

Certs Cool Mint Drops
With the introduction of Certs Powerful Mints, the company also introduced another new product with a stronger flavor, Certs Cool Mints. This sugared mint is white, oval shaped, and has an intensely flavored soft center that may throw you for a loop the first time. It has a somewhat grainy texture on your tongue, and if you happen to look inside your mouth while chewing, you'll notice that the center is black in texture.

Certs Powerful Mints come in a cardboard slide-top box (the company calls it "stylish," but it's anything but that after a few days in the front pocket of my jeans). The mints are available in Cinnamint, Freshmint (I haven't heard of that herb or plant before), and Peppermint flavors.

    Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 5 per mint.
  • Carbohydrate: 1g per mint.
  • Sugars: 1g per mint.

The Certs.com web site currently doesn't do anything more than promote a rock festival that Certs is sponsoring, but you can request samples of their Powerful or Cool Mints from the site. For more information on Certs and the other Warner-Lambert Co. gums and mints (Dentyne, Chiclets, Trident, and Clorets), you can check out the company's Gum-Mints.com web site instead. You can even order some of the mints from their online store.

Hopefully, the Certs.com web site will come back to life with a somewhat cooler persona.

Visit the Certs.com Web Site
Visit the Gum-Mints.com Web Site

[email protected]

Copyright © 1999 JustMints.com