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: Yoghurt suckies easy snack, but high in sugar

Putting food into tubes that children can suck seems to be the latest marketing idea for food manufacturers.
Putting food into tubes that children can suck seems to be the latest marketing idea for food manufacturers.

The Collective Probiotic Yoghurt Suckies Banana - $5.99 for 8 tubes

These appeared in my fridge the other day having been bought by my teenage daughter for lunch snacks.

"How old are you? Four?" I said, rather unkindly.

Putting food into tubes that children can suck seems to be the latest marketing idea for food manufacturers. At the moment they can suck fruit puree, baby food and yoghurt out of plastic tubes and I can see that from a parent's point of view it's easy to throw one in a lunchbox.

These tubes come from a very progressive company which is hard not to like. They are all over social media and have plenty of cute drawings on their packaging and phrases like "luff the herd" and "suckies rule".

The main things to look out for with yoghurt is the amount of sugar used to make it palatable to children and whether the cultures in it are still alive after processing.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

Yoghurt (milk, milk solids non fat, pectin, yoghurt cultures [including acidophilus, bifidus, casei]) - The milk and milk solids are no surprise in here as that is what yoghurt is made of. This is a low-fat yoghurt with just 1.4g of fat per serve. Pectin will be in the yoghurt as a thickener as an alternative to gelatine which is often used in yoghurts. As pectin comes from vegetables this means this yoghurt is vegetarian.

There are three yoghurt cultures which include acidophilus, a strain of bacteria with many good health effects such as encouraging good bacteria in the gut. This is 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.

And casei or lactobacillus casei is commonly found in probiotic drinks like Yakult. I found a study in the American journal Pediatrics which found that this bacteria is an effective treatment of diarrhoea in children.

So there are three great cultures in here but are they alive? Many commercially prepared yoghurts can be heated at very high temperatures to increase the product's shelf life and reduce the tart flavour. If this is done after the addition of the cultures, then they will not have survived. I'm not saying they are not alive but it would be good if there was some assurance such as "live" or "active" cultures listed in the ingredients.

Banana puree (10 per cent) (banana, citric acid, ascorbic acid) - I'm very pleased to see banana puree in here, after my review a few months ago of banana icecream which had no banana in it. This will be adding some flavour and the citric and ascorbic acids will be in the banana as natural preservatives.SugarAnd here's the sugar. Each 70g tube will deliver 11.1g or 2.6 teaspoons of sugar which is about usual for yoghurt aimed at children who don't like the tart taste of unsweetened yoghurt.

Natural flavour - Not sure what this flavour is, but at least it's natural.


• Natural banana flavour.
• Three yoghurt cultures, but are they alive?
• 2.6tsp sugar in each serve.

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

Read Wendyl's columns on other food products.

- NZ Herald

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