Sunday, 3 June 2012
Butterkist food labeling
OK, so I am starting to take more of an interest in the labeling on food, and as I was waiting for some popcorn to pop, I read the labels. Interesting.
But then I was puzzled by how different the two are. The ingredients, as it says, are basically maize, and vegetable oil with some salt (and in one case flavouring and colour).
Note that, as I understand it, ingredients are in order. So even if the butter popcorn is 0.67% salt, that means the flavouring and colouring are each less than 0.67%, as you would expect. This leaves the main differences in the ratio of maize and vegetable oil alone.
The fact the salted version has more salt (2.8 times as much) is no big surprise. It is "Salted" popcorn. Even so, the salt is a tiny fraction of the contents (0.67% or 1.9%).
So how much of each major ingredient (protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre) must exist in the two key ingredients of maize and vegetable oil?
The butter flavour has 39% more protein in it and 41% more carbohydrate, yet under half the sugar and just over half the fat.
And where is the fibre from. Correct me if I am wrong but you get no fibre from vegetable oil, so must be from the maize. The butter flavour has 67% less fibre in it. That would suggest 67% less maize. But to be honest, I would notice if there was 67% less maize in my popcorn. Looking at it, it looks like the same amount of maize in each. I am not keen to count the kernels, but on volume alone, it is not 67% different. It seems maize should be the most significant ingredient in either version. Surely vegetable oil is the main source of fat in this, suggesting the salted version has twice as much.
So somehow the salted version has twice as much vegetable oil and three times as much maize, or something.
I cannot work it out. Am I missing something obvious here?
Does anyone ever check this stuff?