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BAKERY

“Top cream biscuits high in fat, sugar; Standards required,” says CERC
Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Harcha Bhaskar, Mumbai
Indian consumer rights organisation Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) conducted research on leading brands of cream biscuits and found that the sugar and fat content in them were unacceptably high. Following this, it appealed to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator, to formulate mandatory standards for the same.

The results of the test were as follows:
Cream biscuit test results

Brand

Rank

Overall Score1 (Percentage)

Price/100g (Rs)2

Fat content

(g/100g)3

Label claim for fat (g/100g)

Sugar content (g/100g)4

Label claim for sugar (g/100g)

Windsor Mix Fruit

1

96

13.33

13.1

12.27

32.7

30

Patanjali Orange Delite

2

83

13.33

19.8

21.67

30.2

26.72

Dukes Bourbon

3

80

16.67

19.2

18.4

33.1

34.8

Parle Hide and Seek Bourbon

4

78

16.67

16.6

16

38.9

40

Britannia Bourbon

5

76

19.33

23.2

20

31.8

37.5

Sunfeast Bourbon Bliss

6

74

17.33

22.9

20.7

33.6

32.1

Britannia Treat Jim Jam

6

74

20.00

22.9

19

33.1

33

Cadbury Original Oreo

7

72

25.00

20.8

19.5

37.7

38.7

Sunfeast Dark Fantasy

8

70

20.00

20.5

22

39.6

33

Parle Hide & Seek Fab Orange


9

67

25.00

22.9

22

38.9

39.7

Weightage (Percentage)




50


50






Notes:
1 The overall score was calculated by giving the following weightages - Sugar content: 50 per cent and fat content: 50%
2 Price/100g calculated from the maximum retail price (MRP) and rounded off
3 and 4 For both sugar and fat, a lesser value is better

Speaking to FnB News, Pritee Shah, chief general manager, CERC, said, “We have appealed to FSSAI to formulate mandatory standards (fixed upper limits) for fats and sugar in cream biscuits. Our key findings show that most of brands of biscuits contained more than 25g/100g of sugar, whereas the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar as per the latest norms of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is 25g (six teaspoons).”

“Also, the fat content of six of the leading biscuit brands was above 20g/100g. The recommended desirable visible fat intake per day is 20g for both men and women,” she added.

Focusing on product labelling, Shah said, “The labels of biscuit packets should indicate clearly whether the product is high in fat, salt and sugar content, as the case may be. The United Kingdom has a system of colour coding on food packets to indicate this. Why can’t India follow such global best practices?”

The UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) recommended that the fat content of over 17.5g/100g and sugar content of over 22.5g/100g may be labelled or colour coded as high.

CERC has also urged manufacturers to ensure that the values of fat and sugar content mentioned on the labels are accurate.  

Shah said, “Manufacturers should make conscious efforts to lower the fat and sugar content in cream biscuits and also try to improve their nutritive value in terms of fibre content, vitamins and minerals.”

The Centre is yet to receive any response to the letter it sent the FSSAI.

However, the manufacturer took an opposite view on the claim, stating that every company’s product was based on different formulations, therefore stating a specific standard was practically not possible.
 
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