Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Food Label Detective: Sunshine Snacks: Gourmet Crunch

The nutrition label of this snack is not surprising because it is basically sweetened popcorn. One serving (1oz/28g) of the butter toffee, flavoured  popcorn contains 17 g sugar whilst an entire bag contains 68g sugar, 560 calories and a mere 4g fibre.
However, the presence of a 'Heart-Check symbol' and the 'No Cholesterol' nutrition claim are the most interesting aspects of the popcorn's food label.
The 'No Cholesterol' claim is misleading because butter is listed as the sixth (6th) ingredient. Butter is an animal product and contains cholesterol (1 oz/28g butter contains at least 30mg cholesterol). Regardless the amount of actual butter contained within one serving of this butter toffee flavoured popcorn, cholesterol would be present. Therefore, stating 'No Cholesterol' on this food label is as good as stating the popcorn is also 'Salt Free'.

The issue with a 'heart-check symbol' being present on the label implies the product has a heart-healthy benefit once consumed. This implied health claim (Q 40) is misleading because the popcorn is sweetened ( with sugar and corn syrup), contains 17g sugar and 1g saturated fat per serving. The American Heart Association's Heart-Check Food Certification guideline states:

Unsweetened popcorn is the only certifiable product in this snack category

All grain-based products to use the heart-check symbol "must be a good source of dietary fibre (10-19%  daily value) and contain less than 7g of sugars per serving."

This snack is great for those looking for a caramel popcorn alternative.  However, consuming this product for heart healthy benefits is not suggested, whether diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease/illness or not. Plain, unsalted, unsweetened popcorn sprinkled with a dash of chilli/garlic/onion powder, or stevia and/ or cinnamon just before serving would be an alternative for those seeking a tasty heart healthy popcorn alternative - no cholesterol, low sodium and high fibre.

No footnote available on the product regarding the butter ingredient (date 2/Mar/2012))
Check out the Nutrition facts and decide whether  Air-popped or Oil popped popcorn is for you.

Thank you for reading! 
Leave a ⓒⓞⓜⓜⓔⓝⓣ below.

dditional References:
US FDA Food Labelling Guidelines

Gourmet Crunch Image source: Sunshine Snacks

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