Every week, Wendyl Nissentakes a readily available packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.
Food products using kids' favourite cartoon characters are always going to leap off the shelf and land in your kids' hands. These fruit tails use cartoon characters The Simpsons, along with Spongebob Squarepants, Scooby Doo, My Little Pony, and Dino.
By the time this product makes it into your hands for approval at the supermarket you are most likely to see the words "made with 65 per cent fruit juice" and think it can't be all that bad.
But, on closer investigation you will find that there's quite a sugar sting to these fruit tails.
Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity):
Reconstituted fruit juices (65 per cent) [apple, strawberry (1 per cent), raspberry (1 per cent) blueberry (1 per cent)]
It is good to see that there's a lot of fruit juice in here, but we do need to remember that there is a lot of sugar in fruit juice.
This is a fruit sugar, which is very sweet.
And more sugar here. In fact, rather shockingly, this product is 57 per cent sugar. Per fruit tail your child will be consuming 11.4 g or nearly three teaspoons of sugar.
This is a natural product usual used in food as a gelling agent and it is usually made from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones, most commonly pork.
Acidity regulator (citric acid)
This is citric acid which is a natural preservative but can also be used to add a sour taste to foods.
Good to see natural flavours are used here.
This is cornstarch and will be in the product as a thickener.
Gelling agent (agar)
Agar gum is also known as guar gum, a natural gum which comes from ground guar beans.
Not sure which oil is in here.
Natural colours (carmine, anthocyanins)
Carmine is a red colour which is made from insects and anthocyanins are red, blue or purple colours obtained from plants.
On the surface this product looks great. There is indeed 65 per cent fruit juice in it, natural colours and flavours and it is 98 per cent fat free. But, it is also 57 per cent sugar which puts it in the realm of a lolly, not a lunchbox snack which is how it is marketed on their website.
Your kids will get a free "Stick-ems" which is a plastic gold figurine (not painted as indicated on the packaging) of a cartoon character which you can stick to surfaces.
And despite the high level of fruit juice there is no nutritional value to these fruit tails.
If you want a lolly as a treat for your kids then this isn't a bad choice. But don't make the mistake of thinking this is a good fruit product to put in a lunchbox.By Wendyl Nissen Email Wendyl