Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: Drink-maker getting fresh with label info

11 comments
Meadow Fresh Strawberry Drinking Yoghurt — $2.69 for 300ml

This drink has a lot of sugar and plays games with you when you are trying to read its nutritional breakdown.
This drink has a lot of sugar and plays games with you when you are trying to read its nutritional breakdown.

I chose to look into this product because it advertises itself as 99.5 per cent fat free, has a Heart Foundation tick and is Low GI which are all great things to look for when you are a healthy eater.

But it also has a lot of sugar and plays games with you when you are trying to read its nutritional breakdown. The bottle contains 300ml, yet the "per serving" information is for a serving size of 250ml.

The chances of anyone noticing this are rather slim, and if they did, the chances of them pouring off the extra 50ml before they drank the bottle are very remote.

It's a small bottle, you're going to gulp the lot.

Most people consuming this bottle would glance at the "per serving" information and presume it was for the whole bottle.

I think this is wilfully misleading the consumer, so I have given nutritional details for a 300ml serving as well.


Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)

Skim milk - This is milk which has had much of the fat taken out of it. This will be why the label can say it is 99.5 per cent fat free. Per 250ml serving you will get just 1.2g of fat. Per 300ml bottle you will get 1.44g of fat.

Apple juice - This will be simple apple juice, not concentrate, but it will also be a significant contributor to the sugar levels in this drink.

Water

Sugar - There is a lot of sugar in here which includes the sugar found in the apple juice. Per serving of 250ml you will get 24g, or nearly six teaspoons. If you drank the whole 300ml bottle, however, you will get nearly seven teaspoons.

Strawberry (2.7 per cent) - At this small percentage there isn't a lot of strawberry in here. Per 300ml bottle there is just 8.1ml or about 1 teaspoons (5ml) of strawberry pulp.

Cream - Not a lot of cream in here, more likely there is a dash for flavouring. Thickeners (1440, 1442)These will keep the drink creamy and are hydroxypropyl starch (1440) and hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (1442) - both are treated starches.

Pectin - This is naturally occurring in fruit and helps thicken a product, such as jam.

Halal gelatine - Gelatine is used in food as a gelling agent and it is usually made from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones, most commonly pork. Halal means lawful in Arabic and is a food code by which Muslims live which bans the eating of pork and says that cattle should be slaughtered following certain rituals. Therefore this gelatine can be consumed by Muslims. Some people are opposed to Halal slaughter which involves slitting the throat of the animal.

Food acid (330) - This is citric acid (330)

Lemon juice - This will be in here to help with the tart yoghurt flavour.

Flavour - This will be artificial and will be helping the product taste like strawberries.

Preservative (202) - This is potassium sorbate (220) which neutralises scorbic acid.

Culture (acidophilus and bifidus) - Acidophilus is a strain of bacteria which has many good health effects such as encouraging good bacteria in the gut, particularly useful after a course of antibiotics which may have killed off that bacteria. However much depends on which strain of acidophilus you ingest. Bifidus is a probiotic which can relieve and treat many intestinal disorders. However, there is some doubt that these two bacteria can be alive in a commercially prepared yoghurt. As a consumer we have no idea of knowing unless the producer states that the cultures are "live".


My recommendations

I wouldn't support a food manufacturer who misleads consumers by listing the serving size as 50ml less than that bottle's contents.

And I think that nearly seven teaspoons of sugar a bottle is very high for something which presents itself as a healthy food product.

Teach your kids how to make a simple smoothie out of milk, fruit and a dash of yoghurt.

They can take it to school in a container and sip that instead. You'll be cutting down on sugar and increasing their fibre. And you'll be very clear on the actual serving size.


Highlights

• Gives serving size details for 250ml not actual 300ml size
• Low in fat
• Nearly seven teaspoons of sugar per bottle

- NZ Herald

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