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Wendyl Nissen: Healthy fish snack caught with care

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Deli Menu Fish Pie with tuna. Photo / Supplied
Deli Menu Fish Pie with tuna. Photo / Supplied

A quick lunch or snack at work or school is sometimes a necessity. As much as we'd like to have time to make a healthy sandwich in the morning, it sometimes just doesn't happen. So, grabbing one of these pots to put in the microwave seems like a great idea. One pot will give you 948kj so it's perfect for a light lunch or a big snack.

The problem with some pre-prepared foods is that there are too many additives to make it a healthy real food meal. Let's see how this one stacks up.

Deli-Menu Fish Pie with Tuna
200g for $3.79.

Ingredients: Tuna (25 per cent)

This product is made in Thailand from tuna which according to the label is "dolphin friendly". The logo is one used by New Zealand fishing company Sealord which uses the certification and monitoring of the Earth Island Institute, an American environmental group. Dolphins and tuna are often found in the same areas and dolphins can be caught in the nets used to catch tuna.

To avoid this other fishing methods are used. But saving dolphins does not mean that there aren't other bycatch species such as albatross and sharks at risk. It is interesting to note that dolphins don't associate with skipjack tuna which is why this species is regarded as truly "dolphin safe".

A quarter of this 200g serving is tuna which gives 19.2g of protein.

Cooked potato (17 per cent)

This wouldn't be a fish pie without potato. There is 12.4g of carbohydrate in here provided by the potato and other vegetables in the ingredients list.

Water

Cream

There is quite a high amount of saturated fat (6g) in this product which will be due to this cream. Some people try to avoid saturated fat for heart health.

Green peas

Peas are another essential ingredient in fish pie. Unlike some processed foods which list vegetables yet you can only find one pea in the product, these peas are plentiful.

Carrot

Lots of carrots in here, too.

Sweet corn

Lots of sweetcorn.

Mozzarella Cheese (3 per cent)

This will be in here mainly as a flavouring with such a small amount included in the pot.

Onion

Also likely to be in here as a flavouring.

Thickeners (1442,412,415)

Before heating this product is extremely solid. You can tip it upside down and it won't budge. This will be due to the thickeners hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (1442) which is basically a starch derived from corn which has been treated to be more stable and work as a thickener. The other two are guar gum (412) and xanthan gum (415). Both are naturally derived and common additives in processed food.

Salt

Black pepper

Natural smoke flavour

Smoke flavour is achieved by burning wood chips or sawdust which produces smoke which is condensed into solids or liquids. The flavouring is safe for human consumption. However the European Food Safety Authority is testing some smoke flavours after animal testing showed that it can damage DNA, the genetic material in cells.

Dried Parsley (0.03 per cent)

My recommendations: I am very pleasantly surprised to find that the only additives in here are three thickeners. The rest of the ingredients are natural and I was even more astonished to find that once heated the very solid mass of food tasted, well, real if a little highly spiced. This is a good choice if you are looking for a quick meal to sustain you. By the way if you don't have a microwave, like me, you can simply heat the food gently in a pot.

Highlights:

* Only three additives in the can.
* The vegetables listed on the label can be found well represented in the can.
* Uses "dolphin-friendly" tuna.

Do you have a food product you would like to feature in Wendyl Wants to Know?

Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately Wendyl cannot correspond with readers.

- Herald on Sunday

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