We know that manufacturers change ingredients – sometimes for the better, sometimes not.
Recently we wrote about Parker’s Pretzels, who had changed manufacturers and as a result, ended up with a nasty antioxidant in their product. After a lot of backlash from the public, they made the change back for the better. Hurray!!!
Every now and then I pick up a ‘bad’ product and have a look at the ingredients – you know, just for fun! We have been telling people for a while now that Tim Tams contain several artificial colours, I mean why wouldn’t a chocolate biscuit need 4 artificial colours? We all need a little bit of brilliant blue, allura red, sunset yellow, and tartrazine in our lives don’t we (insert sarcasm here)? Several side effects from these colours are hyperactivity, skin rashes, restlessness, asthma and depression. They are also suspected carcinogens. Not to mention some have been banned in other countries for many years! Oh and did I mention the fact they are made from coal tar and petroleum?
Imagine my surprise when I picked up a packet the other day to find these 4 artificial colours no longer there!!! I started to get a little bit excited and then realised that they have replaced these artificial colours with 2 natural ones – cochineal and annatto – and yes, they used the names and not the numbers (120 and 160b respectively).
If you have been following us for a while, you will know that you still need to be cautious of natural colours. These two in particular have very similar side effects to the artificial ones that have been removed – so essentially, the product is no better than it was before!
This highlights, once again, how manufacturers try to trick the consumer. Whereas before they listed the numbers of the colours and used artificial colours, they can now claim that they contain no artificial colours on the front of the package (I’m not sure if they do, I actually didn’t even look at the front!) – what they don’t tell you is that the natural colours they replaced them with are no better for you – and they’ve used the names instead of the numbers – because people are becoming more aware of avoiding the numbers! People often tell me they don’t buy anything with numbers in it – this just proves that you need to read the labels more carefully! More and more manufacturers are replacing numbers with names. Sneaky sneaky!
This would be a good time to tell you some exciting news – our website is almost fully mobile responsive! It’s not an app but if you view it on your smartphone you will be able to use it easily – so you can decipher what all the names and numbers mean! Alternatively, you can subscribe to our database of safe foods where we have done all the work for you!
So in short, nice try Arnott’s but we’re on to you!