Today's Chewsday review is of Mother Earth Oaty Slices, and I chose the “Very Berry” bar to put under the microscope today. Just another sugar-filled snack, or is this a good option for lunchboxes?
🔶Ingredients: whole grain cereals (39% oats), berries (12%) butter (11%), brown sugar, wheat flour, invert sugar, raisins (with added sunflower oil), sultanas (with added sunflower oil), whole egg powder, raising agents (450, 500), natural flavour, citric acid.
🔹The berries include cranberries (53%) but the cranberries are only 65% of this by weight with the rest coming from sugar and oil. Berry pieces make up the other half of the ‘berry’ and these are made up of fruit puree with invert sugar, glycerol, sugar, wheat fibre, gelling agent, natural flavour and malic acid). So essentially a big part of the ‘fruit’ is added sugar.
🔹Raising agents 450 and 500 are substances that produce gas in the dough to bulk it out. These are non-harmful ingredients, although a small minority of people may have a sensitivity to 450.
🔹Common allergens include: gluten, milk and egg
🔹Good fibre content. Works out to 2.7g per Oaty Slices bar. This works out to 19.3% of a young child’s fibre recommendation, and 15% of an older child’s daily fibre recommendations.
🔹The convenience of these bars is another positive, but I do feel like I'm scraping the barrel here...
🔹These bars have a high fat content, and my particular concern is about the high saturated fat content. These Oaty Slices have 13.3g of fat and 5.9g of saturated fat per 100g. That is almost double the saturated fat content (but actually less than half the saturated fat of the golden oat flavour in this same brand!) It's also a lot more than most other muesli bars out there. Most of the fat content comes from the butter and the oil added to the fruit pieces.
🔹The sugar content of Oaty Slices is also high at 28.6g per 100g, exceeding recommendations of 15g per 100g. This sugar comes from a variety of places, but a lot has been added to the fruit pieces and the actual bar in different forms
🔹The sodium content of these bars also seem to be a lot higher than most other muesli style bars with 260mg of sodium per 100g. This is below the general recommendations, but is 8 times more than some Carman's or Uncle Toby's muesli bars.
🔹“Source of fibre” Yep, that is a positive.
🔹They “add NATURAL ingredients like butter and whole grains”. Natural does not necessarily equal good for you. In fact, the butter is the main source of the saturated fat and sodium in these bars.
🔹They "bake the bars, just like you would at home". Wow, they use an oven just like you. I’m guessing most people don’t add whole egg powder, raising agents (450, 500), natural flavour and citric acid at home. I think Mother Earth might be scraping the barrel here too...
🔹These are a sugar, fat and salt filled snack marketed as a wholesome oat bar. Don’t be fooled.
🔹If you want a 'muesli-style' bar then I'd prefer Carman's fruit & nut bars or some of the Uncle Toby's muesli bars with a lower saturated fat, sugar and sodium content. More reviews of these coming up!
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