Salted caramel is one of those food trends, like quinoa and chia, that you simply can't get away from. Look away for a minute and the next thing they are showing up in everything.
This is a new addition to the Jarrah hot chocolate range and has a few sweet secrets in its ingredient list.
Jarrah Hot Choc Salted Caramel. $7.99 for 275g.
Ingredients (greatest quantity first)
These are a common ingredient in chocolate and are what is left over in milk when the water is removed.
This is a form of sugar, often found in chocolate and confectionery. There isn't a lot of sugar in this product at just 4g or 1 teaspoon per 200ml serving.
Not sure what this oil is.
This will be providing the chocolate flavour.
Surprisingly high in sodium at 222mg but I suppose the salt needs to be in here to complete the salted caramel taste.
Mineral salts (341 or 340 or 339, 452,451)
I'm not happy about the use of "or" in this list. The reason an ingredients list exists is so consumers can check to make sure they know what they are eating.
In this case you may be consuming calcium phosphate (341) or you may be eating potassium phosphate (341) or maybe sodium phosphate (339).
All are salts of phosphoric acid and possibly don't make much difference but I think it is important to know. So make up your mind, Jarrah. Other mineral salts in here are diphosphates (452 and 451).
Emulsifiers (471 or 472c, 481,322(soy)
Here we go with the "or" again. You may be eating mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (471) which are produced primarily from hydrogenated soya bean oil or you may be eating fatty acid esters of glycerol (472c) which are produced from glycerol.
Flavours (including caramel flavour 1%)
These will be artificial flavours as there is no mention of natural flavours on the packet.
Anticaking agent (551)
This is silicon dioxide, commonly known as silica.
Vegetable gum (415)
This is xanthan gum, which is made from fermented sucrose and glucose.
These are artificial sweeteners and will be in here to reduce the calorific value of this drink. You will get just 55 calories per 200 ml serve, yet it tastes very sweet.
The sweeteners are sucralose (955) which is the only non-calorific artificial sweetener made from sugar and acesulfame potassium (950) which is a chemical that is 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Acidity regulator (330)
This is citric acid.
Nice to see a natural colour, carotene, used in here to achieve the light brown, gold colour of this drink.
We all like a hot, chocolate drink on a cold day and better still if it is only 55 calories. But with this drink you are taking on a lot of additives including artificial sweeteners and flavours.
Instead make an instant hot chocolate drink using 2 tsp of cocoa (8 calories), 1 tsp sugar (16 calories), some boiling water topped with 50ml Blue top milk (31 calories) and you have a clean ingredient drink of hot chocolate for just 55 calories.
Personally I leave out the sugar and love the taste which is not nearly as bitter as coffee without sugar.
As for the salted caramel flavour I can't really help you with that - but you could grab some salted caramel chocolate, pop a square in your hot chocolate and melt it into the drink.