Summer is near and that means lots of light, fluffy desserts. One of my favourite summer desserts is a sort of Eton mess where you bash up some meringues and sprinkle them over icecream and strawberries or fresh fruit.
These caught my eye because they were pretty pastel colours and a quick look at the label told me the ingredients were all natural and ones I would use myself if I was making meringues. But there were a couple of ingredients lurking in there that I hadn't noticed.
Heritage Delight. 12 coloured meringue twirls. $4.29 for 12.
Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)
This is a high-sugar product, which all meringues are. Per serving, which is two of these meringues, you'll get 14.6g which is just under 3.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Good to see real egg white used in here instead of a substitute.
The vinegar makes the egg white more stable in a meringue and gives you the slightly chewy centre which is in these swirls.
This is xanthan gum which is fermented glucose and sucrose.
Really nice to see natural flavours used in these, although I could not really discern a difference in flavour between the four colours. I think most of the flavouring would be vanilla.
We're off to a good start with two natural colours; cochineal (120), a red colouring made from insects, and annatto (160b), a peach-coloured dye made from the seed coating of the annatto tree.
But there are two artificial colours. Tartrazine (102) is a yellow colour which has been voluntarily phased out by food producers in the UK and any food producers who use this must now put a compulsory warning on their labels which says "may have effects on activity and attention in children". Brilliant Blue (133) is a blue colour which can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics.
These are just lovely and use natural ingredients except two artificial colours which leaves me wondering why the manufacturers would go to all the trouble of using good ingredients and then let themselves down by using artificial ones? Replacing artificial with natural can cost more but in this case I think consumers would gladly pay a bit extra for a bit more natural.
• Uses real egg whites.
• Uses natural flavouring.
• Uses two natural colours and two artificial colours.