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: What's in those Choco-ades?

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As a treat food, the Choco-ade comeback is okay - but only in small doses, says Wendyl Nissen.

Choco-ade, $4.99 for 200g.
Choco-ade, $4.99 for 200g.

This biscuit is a testament to the power of Facebook. If it hadn't been for Kiwi mum Amber Johnson who started a Facebook page titled "Get Griffin's To Bring Back Choco-ade", this biscuit would have remained as a fond memory of the 1980s.

After 15,000 people voted for the return of the biscuit, Griffins have put it back into production labelling it as "The Great Kiwi Comeback."

For those not familiar with this biscuit it is a shortcake crust filled with orange jelly and topped with chocolate. But just because it's a Kiwi favourite, does it mean it's good for us too?

Sugar

Coming in at the top of the ingredients label this means there is more sugar in this product than anything else. And the nutrition label tells us each 17g biscuit is nearly half sugar with 48.3 per cent sugar.

Wheat flour

This is flour as you would use in baking.

Vegetable fats
[emulsifiers (492, soy lecithin)

The first emulsifier is sorbitan tristearate which is a new one on me. It is most commonly used in chocolate and comes from sorbitan and stearic acid. The second is soy lecithin which is a natural product.

Antioxidant
(306: soy)
This is a tocopherol which is a form of vitamin E derived from soybeans.

Glucose syrup
More sugar in the form of glucose.

Milk solids
These are what are left over once the liquid is taken out of milk.

Apple pulp
The apple pulp will most likely be in for flavour and as a filler.

Cocoa powder
This is ordinary cocoa as you would use to make a chocolate cake.

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.

Thickeners (1442, pectin)
The first thickener is hydroxypropyl distarch adipate which is a treated starch. The second is pectin, a natural substance found in fruit and essential in jams to help them thicken.

Salt
Not too much salt in here to worry about at 30mg of sodium per biscuit.

Emulsifier (soy lecithin)
Soy lecithin as mentioned above.

Acidity regulator (citric acid)
Citric acid is a natural and common acidity regulator and preservative.

Flavours
These will be artificial flavours responsible for the orange flavour.

Raising agent (baking soda)
This is sodium bicarbonate, a common raising agent.

Colours (160a, 160b)
Good to see natural colours have been chosen over artificial ones. The first colour is carotene which is found in fruits and vegetables and the second is annatto which comes from the seed coat of the tropical annatto tree. Some people do have an allergic reaction to this with headaches and irritability.

Antioxidant (300)
This is ascorbic acid otherwise known as vitamin C.

My recommendations: When there's more sugar than anything else in a food product you know it's not a great healthy choice option and one of these small biscuits comes in at 320kj/80 calories. But as a treat food this is okay in small doses.

When I tasted one it really did take me right back to the 80s when some of us didn't have to worry about calories or sugar because we were young and carefree!

- NZ Herald

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