Cert Mints Were Popular For Decades. Why Were They Discontinued?

certs mints
certs mints - Facebook / Totally Awesome 80s

If you remember the breath mint called Certs, you likely recall the commercials that accompanied them. Developed in 1956, the mint hit its stride in the mid-70s with a series of fashionable and sexy commercials that highlighted its unique breath-cleaning effects due to a special ingredient called Retsyn. These wildly popular mints were sold just about everywhere for years but they were officially discontinued in 2018. While no one knows the true reason for their disappearance, most speculate that the questionable chemical makeup of Retsyn had a lot to do with it.

Retsyn was a proprietary combination of copper gluconate, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and flavoring. While the copper gluconate sounds suspect, the ingredient that likely led to the mint's disappearance was the addition of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. The slow disappearance of Certs seems to coincide with the downfall of partially hydrogenated oils which were tied by several studies to contributing to heart disease. These oils were officially banned for use in food by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 18, 2018.

Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most

How Retsyn Likely Led To The Rise And Fall Of Certs

Scientist looking at molecules
Scientist looking at molecules - Gerenme/Getty Images

While the official discontinuation of the once-popular mints was likely due to the trans-fat-laden oil, the other not-so-natural ingredients of Retsyn probably also contributed to its demise. Retsyn was commonly referred to as a "glowing drop" in the commercials and ads, giving it a halo of health. But, upon taking a closer look, the mints were actually completely devoid of mint or mint oil. The stand-in, at least for looks, was a greenish-blue flakey dietary supplement called copper gluconate.

Copper gluconate is a salt that is designated as generally recognized as safe by the FDA at a low amount. It does not have a mint flavor, so the flavor of Certs was from an artificial source. When the company could no longer use the partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil for the mints, it likely ceased to make them due to the growing popularity of other more natural mints.

Other Mints To Try If You Want Fresh Breath

Spearmint Altoids in a box on wood table
Spearmint Altoids in a box on wood table - Noderog/Getty Images

If you were a fan of Certs, plenty of other mints can freshen your breath with more natural ingredients. According to data from 2020, Altoids are the most popular mint in America, followed by Tic-Tacs, Ice Breakers, and Life Savers. Unlike Certs, Altoids contain all-natural mint oils and are known for their strong flavor and potent breath-freshening abilities. They also come in a variety of flavors. If you're looking for Altoids Sours, however, you're out of luck because they are part of a long list of discontinued candies that everyone misses.

If you're looking for a fruity mint, there are several varieties to choose from; Tic-Tac and Ice Breakers both make several good flavors. If you're in the mood for a sensory experience along with your fresh breath, try Ice Breakers Sparkling in raspberry lemon seltzer flavor. These are particularly exciting because they fizz like old-school Pop Rocks as they dissolve. Who needs Certs anyways?

Read the original article on Daily Meal