Food Label Check – Custard
In today’s food watch, I am checking out “Pauls Premium Custard”.
There is no specific reason, other than wanting to know if I am not accidentally consuming something that could be harmful to my health.
I always get a bit skeptic, if I see too many numbers on a “Nutrition Information” label, however, not all numbers are created equal 🙂
If I am buying a processed food, which I don’t do that often, I am opting for a label which states; No Artificial Colors and No Preservatives, and hoping that it is true.
My next observation is focused on the ingredients, which is followed by the nutrition information, how much Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat, among others, such as salt, or certain minerals like Calcium.
Only if my curiosity has been reasonable satisfied will I part with my money.
By example, often you see a food brand described as being rich in Protein, or a high source of Protein. Obviously, if after checking the label, you see that the Carbohydrate content is still much higher than the Protein content, you know that someone tries to temped you to buy expensive sugar.
Lets come back to my yummy Custard, obviously being custard they had to add some sugar, fair enough, I accepted that in a “dessert type of food”, and it wasn’t over the top. But I was a bit concerned about all those numbers, here they are:
407 > Carrageenan ‘Irish Moss’:
Fiber extracted from seaweed, used as a setting agent.
There have been some concerns; it may become contaminated when ethylene oxide is added to an inferior product, which would result in ethylene chlorohydrin forming, a highly carcinogenic compound.
I like to assume, that a high quality non-degraded Iris Moss extract is used in above product.
410 > Carob Bean
Possible cholesterol lowering. Used as thickener, stabilizer, vegetable gum.
No known side affects.
412 > Guar gum
Derived from the Seeds of Cyamoposis tetragonolobus of Indian origin;
may cause nausea, flatulence and cramps.
415 > Xanthin gum
Derived from the fermentation of corn sugar with a bacterium. Flow improver.
No known side affects.
452 > Sodium and potassium polyphosphates, is added to enhance the antioxidant effects of other compounds present, and also as an acidity regulator.
… some question marks here … possible harmful side effects
Phosphoric acid is banned in organic food and drinks.
The way the kidneys excrete Phosphoric acid is by bonding it with calcium taken from the bones, which can then leave the bones porous and brittle, and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
160a > Natural Carotene, alpha-, beta-, gamma:
Sources: Carrots, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes, for an orange-yellow colouring. – No known side affects.
.. and finally it states on the label: “Contains Milk” … one would hope so …..and it contains Calcium.
But, where is the Vanilla?
For some strange reason, I couldn’t find any reference on the label to indicate that it contained any Vanilla, after all it is Vanilla Custard, beats me .
I am not happy eating numbers, but that’s what you may have to expect when eating a processed food. However, if you eat a specific food regularly, please check out the numbers, you may not like what you read.
Most side-effects will only be problematic if you consume a product regularly or too often, as in the case with fizzy soft drinks. ( Phosphoric acid )
There is always the alternative to do your own Custard, with Organic Milk, Organic Cream – real Vanilla pods or extract., some custard sugar or maybe try maple syrup, and to thicken it a bit, try some corn flour. I am sure there are plenty of recipes online.
If you have a product you want me to check out, send me the details and a picture of the label or product.
All in good Health, Dieter L. – useNature Editor