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Tag: thickener

When I saw the advertisement for Jack in the Box’s Bacon Shake, I had to know what was really inside. Do they actually blend up bacon and ice cream?  As with the 21 ingredients in McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, I’m finding a trend with fast food menus. They give you a simple description of what’s in the product, but don’t actually tell you the ingredient list without some serious digging. Case in point. When you look up the Bacon Shake, here is what you see:

Bacon Shake
Made with real vanilla ice cream, bacon flavored syrup, whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.

While the descriptions sounds fairly simple and straight forward, there are some early warning signs. First, is the “bacon flavored” bit. If it really contained bacon, it would tell you so. Second is the “whipped topping.”  This is not to be confused with whipped cream as they are entirely two different things. Third, we’re all aware that no cherry is that candy-red in nature, so be assured you’re about to consume some red dye.

Here is the full ingredient list for the Jack in the Box Bacon Shake…all 48 of them:
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This week we’re doing a deep dive on the very popular, Greek-style yogurt. The first post, Greek-style yogurt 101,  was dedicated to explaining what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. The second post was all about what to look for at the grocery store including fat (we’re pro-fat around here), flavors, and additives. Today, is all about the brands. We took 9 popular brands and compared everything from price to additives. The one thing missing? Taste! We want to see what our readers think:

 

 

The Results

The brands below are listed in order from best to worst. We looked at the following information to rank the yogurt:

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Yesterday, we took an in-depth look at what Greek-style yogurt is, why it’s different than regular yogurt, and how to make it at home. In today’s post we’ll show you what to look for when buying Greek-style yogurt.

What to Look For at the Store

Not all Greek-style varieties are created equal. As always, you have to read the ingredient label. Traditionally, Greek yogurt is only made with 3 ingredients: milk, cream and live cultures, but many of today’s versions contain other “stuff.”

Flavor

We’re starting with flavor because that might be the most important decision when buying yogurt. The best advice here is to look for plain Greek-style yogurt. It is often the flavored varieties that add additional calories, sweeteners, thickeners, and colors. If you need to sweeten it, add your own toppings such as fresh fruit, granola (try this homemade tropical granola recipe), 100% pure maple syrup, or raw honey.

Additives

Milk Protein Concentrate – This cheap ingredient is added to Greek-style yogurt to increase thickness and the raise the protein levels. The concerns with MPC is that it is “ultra processed,” almost always imported, and highly unregulated (not a good combination). There is no reason to add this ingredient in pure Greek-style yogurt.
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Ingredient Spotlight: Guar Gum

This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back regularly to see new ingredients.

Guar Gum

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By: VirtualErn via Flickr

Names: E412, Gyamopsis Tetragonolobus, Gum Guar, Guar Flour, Guaran

Uses: Thickener, Stabilizer

Description: Extracted from the guar bean; made with the ground up guar seeds. Used as a thickener, binder, and stabilizer in a variety of foods. The guar bean plants are mainly grown in India and Pakistan. Also used as a bulk laxative.

Found In: baked goods, cereal, fruit drinks, frozen fruit, cheese spread, dressing, jelly and preserves, yogurt, kefir, sauces, ice cream

Possible Health Effects: If consumed in large quantities or without enough water, may swell and cause throat blockage. As with many fiber products, may cause flatulence and abdominal cramping…read more on Guar Gum.

Related Ingredients: Gum Arabic, Guaiac Gum

Copyright August 8, 2010 Be Food Smart

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Be Food Smart was created to educate and inform the public about what’s really in the foods we eat every day. The site has a huge database of food additives, chemicals, food colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives and allows one to search for over 400 ingredient names. Our unique ingredient reports contain simple and easy to understand descriptions, alternate names, possible health effects, and allergy information. The site is completely free and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, health care professionals, dietitians, and concerned consumers.

Image: VirtualErn