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: Flavour chemists do good job, but no duck here

These chips taste like the real thing but that’s down to clever chemists.
Eta Uppercuts Deli Cut Peking Duck. $2.50 for140g. Photo / Supplied
Eta Uppercuts Deli Cut Peking Duck. $2.50 for140g. Photo / Supplied

A reader suggested I have a look at these chips after I reviewed the Copper Kettle Wagyu Beef and Wasabi chips a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually had Wagyu beef in them and no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

The challenge given to me by the reader was to find the duck in these duck-flavoured chips.

I didn't have to look too far for a packet as my daughter had popped them in the supermarket trolley and was happily munching away on them when I got home.

Eta Uppercuts Deli Cut Peking Duck. $2.50 for140g.

Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity first):

Potatoes
As these are chips you would expect the main ingredient to be potatoes.

Sunflower oil
Like the Copper Kettle chips these are cooked with sunflower oil which means that trans fats should be eliminated and there is a low saturated fat content.

But looking at the nutrition information I see that there is some trans fats in here. Per 35g serving you will get 1g of saturated fat, less than 1 g of trans fat, less than 1 g of polyunsaturated fat and 9.2g of monounsaturated fat. That's a total of 11.3g of fat per serving.

Peking Duck Flavoured Seasoning
So this is where it gets interesting, in my opinion.

The rest of the packet, once you have put in the potatoes and oil is made up entirely of flavourings to imitate the taste of Peking Duck.

Let's take a moment to think about what Peking Duck actually is.

It's a Chinese dish of crispy skinned roast duck served with pancakes, spring onions, cucumber and sauces.

So how do we imagine that might taste in a chip? I guess that's why we have people called Flavour Chemists.

Spoiler alert - there is no duck in this mix.

Salt
This is a standard addition to potato chips. You will get 241mg of sodium per 35g serve.

Dextrose
This is a form of glucose made from starch.

Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is a white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, wheat and also tapioca.

It is made by cooking the starch then adding acids or enzymes to break it down.

The result is a white powder which is water-soluble and has a neutral taste. It can be used as a thickener, a filler and a preservative in processed foods

Sugar
There's not too much sugar in here at just 1.2g per 35g serve.

Tapioca starch
This is like cornflour but made from tapioca instead.

Dehydrated onion
This is dried onion.

Soy sauce powder (soy, wheat)
A common ingredient in processed foods this is dehydrated soy sauce which has been derived from both soy and wheat.

Dried garlic
dehydrated garlic

Spices

Hydrolysed vegetable protein (soy)
Hydrolysed vegetable protein is commonly used as a filler in commercially produced foods but also as a flavour. It can be made from wheat or soy.

Acidity regulators (270,327)
These are lactic acid (270) which occurs naturally in milk and calcium lactate (327) which is a natural acid produced from milk sugar.

Herbs

Spice extracts (Colour (160c))
This is paprika a natural red colour.

Flavour enhancer (635)
Disodium 5'ribo-nucleotide a chemical flavour enhancer commonly found in processed food to replace the unpopular MSG.

Flavouring
Unsure what this flavouring is, but as it doesn't state that it is natural I'm going to read it as artificial.

My recommendations

Unlike the Copper Kettle Wagyu Beef and Wasabi chips, these do have artificial flavour and that will most likely be because there is no duck in the Peking Duck chips.

Instead there are 16 flavourings all put together to make the chips taste like Peking Duck.

And I have to be honest, when my daughter finally got around to offering me some, they did in fact taste duckish with a Hoisin sauce tang.

I've got to hand it to Eta - their flavour chemists really got the flavour right, but without any real duck in these I won't be eating them.

Instead I'll stick to plain chips with three ingredients without 16 flavourings,

I just wish I could say the same for my daughter.

Highlights

• No actual duck in here.
• Artificial flavour.
• Natural colour.

- NZ Herald

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