Wendyl Nissen: Spoonfuls of sugar help latte go down

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Cafe-style treats titillate tastebuds with flavours and extra sweetness.

If you're a fan of a Smoked Butterscotch Latte or the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, then chances are you're downing a lot of sugar with your caffeine hit.

Recently a UK charity Action on Sugar analysed 131 hot drinks and found a third contained at least as much sugar as a can of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, which contains nine teaspoons. The charity said in some of the worst cases the drinks contained 20 or more teaspoons of sugar.

British coffee shop chains Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero said they were committed to reducing sugar content in their drinks.

It would seem that a coffee is no longer served black, or with a little bit of milk. Instead everything but the kitchen sink is being added to entice your taste buds and a stroll down the coffee and tea aisle in your supermarket will reveal a plethora of sweet coffee sensations to tempt your tastebuds.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)

Sugar
As this is listed as the first ingredient on the list it tells us that the biggest ingredient in this sachet is sugar. In fact, once you've mixed the sachet with 150ml of hot water you will get 11.4g of sugar which is nearly three teaspoons. It's not quite the nine teaspoons found in some coffee house drinks but it's a lot for a small cup of coffee.

Milk solids
This is basically dried milk, so once reconstituted with hot water it becomes milk.

Glucose syrup
Another form of sugar.

Hydrogenated vegetable fat
The package says this drink is 97% fat free, so you will get just 2g of fat in this drink - 1.9g of it saturated fat which is the one you need to avoid. Not sure what the vegetable fat is in here but it has been hydrogenated which means it has been is treated with hydrogen to give it a higher melting point.

Instant coffee (9%)
This is the coffee component, you will get 1.8g of instant coffee in each 20g sachet which is just under half a teaspoon, so not a huge caffeine hit.

Flavours
This will be artificial flavours to get the raspberry flavour in there.

Cocoa powder (1.5%)
A very small bit of cocoa to get the chocolate flavour.

Stabiliser (340)
This is potassium phosphate which is a salt of phosphoric acid. It will be in the powder to stop it clumping.

Salt
I can't remember ever putting salt in my coffee but there is some in here. Not a lot at 76mg per sachet. Possibly in here for flavour.

My recommendations
If you regularly put three teaspoons of sugar in your coffee then you won't mind this concoction a bit.

But let's be honest, this is a sweet treat. I have to confess I really enjoyed the taste of it in the same way I enjoy a chocolate biscuit, not a coffee.

The marketing is all about finding "time to escape wherever you are" and treating yourself to a relaxing "cafe in a sachet".

But don't pretend you are just having a coffee, this is a highly flavoured, sweet drink, just like all the others.


Do you have a food product you would like to feature?
Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately, Wendyl cannot correspond with readers.

- NZ Herald

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