The fruitiest flavour? Amazingly, it's fruit!
You want fruity flavours, eat fruit. That's the unsurprising but easily forgotten conclusion of the independent food watchdog Food Commission's latest study.
Many of the products that are marketed as fruit products often have very little or even none of the actual fruit in them. Using strawberry flavour products as an example, the Food Commission revealed that many products contain no strawberries at all, or use just tiny amounts of the fruit. This is totally legal and very common.
Jordans Frusli All Fruit Strawberry Bars contain only 0.5% strawberry juice concentrate. Hartley's Strawberry Jelly marketed as having a 'New Fruitier Taste' contains no strawberries at all. Nesquik Strawberry Milkshake Mix contains no strawberries (and is almost 100% sugar). ASDA's Great Stuff Strawberry Milkshake marketed as 'endorsed by ASDA nutritionists' contains no strawberry. Nor does Yoplait Yop Strawberry Yogurt.
So where does the flavouring come from? If you're lucky, from another fruit such as apples - as used in the Jordan's bar - but usually from artificial sources. There are currently around 2,700 flavourings which can be added to food but none of these need to be declared as ingredients, leaving us unaware of what we are really eating.
Ian Tokelove of The Food Commission, said, "Flavourings allow companies to cut costs at the public's expense. With thousands of cheap flavourings to choose from, many food manufacturers can now flavour their products using these specialist additives instead of real ingredients."
The Food Commission is calling for all flavourings to be individually identified on food labels. In the meantime, check ingredients lists to see what is really in, or missing, from your food. And if you want fruit flavours, the best guarantee is to buy fruit.
The Food Commission, which has set up a website action on additives, are particularly concerned about seven additives known to cause hyperactivity in children.
The guilty additives are:
- Tartrazine- E102 -artifical, yellow food colouring
- Quinoline yellow - E104 - artifical, yellow food colouring
- Sunset yellow - E110 - artifical, orange / yellow food colouring
- Carmoisine - E122 - artifical, red food colouring
- Ponceau 4R - E124 - artifical, red food colouring
- Allura red - E129 - artifical red food colouring
- Sodium benzoate - E211 -artifical preservative
Page created on February 25th, 2008
Page updated on December 18th, 2009