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

Wendyl Nissen: Sugary porridge better if you toss the syrup

Real Foods Instant Porridge with syrup Forest Fruit $2.99 for 90g. Photo / Supplied
Real Foods Instant Porridge with syrup Forest Fruit $2.99 for 90g. Photo / Supplied

Instant porridge is becoming a strong contender in the cereal aisle. With most of them all you have to do is add boiling water and you have a lovely hot porridge in a matter of minutes, which is great on a cold winter's morning. But as a trade-off for the convenience you get some other things you wouldn't normally get if you made porridge from scratch.

Real Foods Instant Porridge with syrup Forest Fruit $2.99 for 90g

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)

Porridge sachet (56 per cent)

Australian rolled oats (42 per cent)

New Zealand skimmed milk powder

Freeze dried strawberry (0.36 per cent)

There isn't a lot of strawberry in here, in fact when you calculate it out there is 0.18 grams.

Freeze dried blueberry (0.19 per cent)

Even less blueberry in here - 0.09 of a gram.

Syrup sachet (44 per cent)

There is a very high amount of sugar in this sachet. Per 90g of this product (or 215g when made up with water) you will get 36.4g, which is more than eight and a half teaspoons.

Tapioca syrup

The syrup sachet looks a lot like honey, so this will be what tapioca syrup looks like. Tapioca is a starchy root crop.

Natural mixed berry flavour

Nice to see natural flavour used in here. The syrup smells very strongly of berries.

Freeze dried raspberry (0.18 per cent)

Not a lot of raspberry - 0.07 grams.

Apple extract

This will be in here to help with the sweet flavour.

Food acid (citric)

This will be in here for flavour or as a natural preservative.

My recommendations

There's bad news, then there's good news. The bad news is that this small cup will give you eight and a half teaspoons of sugar at breakfast time, which isn't ideal. It will also deliver you very little fruit. But the good news is that if you don't add the syrup sachet, you actually get a porridge which has no sugar added, apart from the minute amount of freeze dried berries. So you can quite happily eat this and know you're not consuming vast amounts of sugar.

It can be hard to find an instant porridge without sugar on the shelf, in fact I couldn't find one. I compared this with a similar product by Pams, which is a mixed berry instant oat cup. While it was smaller and only had 15g of sugar per serve, per 100g it had 28g of sugar, whereas this product has 16.9g per 100g.

So, if you want an instant porridge without sugar, then opt for this one, throw the syrup out and add your own berries for extra flavour and nutrition.

Highlights

• High in sugar at 36.4g of sugar (8.5 teaspoons per serving).

• Only 0.34g of freeze dried berries in the pot.

• Leave the syrup out and you cut the sugar.

- NZ Herald

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