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: Unnatural recipe takes the biscuit

Cameo Cremes are an old-fashioned favourite, so it would be nice to see some old-fashioned goodness in them.
Cameo Cremes. $3 for 250g. Photo / Supplied
Cameo Cremes. $3 for 250g. Photo / Supplied

Who doesn't love a Cameo Creme?

Many of us grew up with these delicately designed, old-fashioned chocolate, coconut cream biscuits, a particular favourite of the older generations, I've found.

But though many old favourites have been remade in recent years to get rid of artificial flavours and colours, Cameo Cremes are sticking to the same old recipe.

Cameo Cremes. $3 for 250g.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

Wheat flour
This is to be expected in a baked biscuit.

Sugar
Quite a high sugar count as the second ingredient on the list. Per 32g serve, or two biscuits, you will get 10.2g sugar.

Vegetable fats (emulsifier (soya lecithin), antioxidant (307B:Soy)
This is an oil which also has an emulsifier and two antioxidants added to it for preservative purposes. Two are soy-derived and the other is a tocopherol (307B) which is a natural, fat soluble antioxidant also known as vitamin E.

Invert syrup
This is sugar which has been treated to split into glucose and fructose, which is sweeter than sugar and when used in processed foods remains more moist and less prone to crystallisation.

Milk solids
This what is left of milk when the liquid is dehydrated.

Cocoa powder
This will be here for flavouring.

Coconut
This will be in for flavouring too.

Cornflour
This is cornflour, a common thickener used by home cooks.

Salt
Not too much salt in here. You will get 80mg of sodium per 32g serve or two biscuits.

Colours (150C, 110, 155)
It's disappointing to see that in a time when many biscuit manufacturers are opting to change out artificial colours for natural ones, there is still artificial colour in here.

There is caramel III (150C) which is a dark brown colour made by reacting sugar with ammonia and sunset yellow (110) which is a yellow colour included in a voluntary phase-out called for by the UK's Food Standards Agency. An EU-wide health warning must now be put on any food or drink that still contains these colours as they are thought to cause hyperactivity in some children.

And finally brown HT (155) is an artificial colour which is not used in the United States because it causes allergic and/or intolerance reactions as well as skin sensitivity. It is allowed here and in the EU.

Emulsifier (soya lecithin)

Raising agents (500,450)
These are baking soda (500) and diphosphates (450) which are salts of phosphoric acid.

Flavours
These will be artificial flavours.

My recommendations:

I swear these are smaller than they were in my childhood, but putting that aside the fact that they contain artificial flavours and colours is enough to send me searching for an alternative.

There are now many alternatives on the shelves in the biscuit aisle and many of them now have changed their recipes so they no longer rely on artificial flavours and colours.

Highlights:

• Uses artificial colours.
• 10.2g sugar or about 2.5 teaspoons of sugar per 32g or two biscuits.
• Uses artificial flavours.

- NZ Herald

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