- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Food
We tested 19 brands and 6 loose ones of sweet and semi-sweet biscuits and crackers against the BIS and PFA Act. Moisture lowers shelf-life and crispness and may lead to spoilage of biscuit by microbes. Loose samples â€” LS-2 and LC-2 (5.3 per cent) and LC-3 (5.4 per cent) did not conform to the levels of the BIS (not more than 5 per cent). November-December 2002
- We tested 19 brands and 6 loose ones of sweet and semi-sweet biscuits and crackers against the BIS and PFA Act.
- Moisture lowers shelf-life and crispness and may lead to spoilage of biscuit by microbes. Loose samples â€” LS-2 and LC-2 (5.3 per cent) and LC-3 (5.4 per cent) did not conform to the levels of the BIS (not more than 5 per cent).
- Acid insoluble ash over the limits is not desirable. Among the sweet biscuits, Britannia Tiger (0.01 per cent) was of good quality along with Kelloggâ€™s Glucose and Windsor Glucose. Britannia Nice Time (0.10 per cent) did not meet the BIS (not more than 0.05 per cent) even though it carried the BIS certification mark. Among the crackers, LC-2 (0.07 per cent) and LC-3 (0.06 per cent) did not meet the BIS standard.
- Rancid biscuits give an off flavour and cannot be eaten. A high acidity of extracted fat indicates rancidity. The biggest problem with loose samples was rancidity. Among the sweet ones, LS-3 (2.2 per cent) did not comply with the PFA Act (not more than 1. 5 per cent). Among the crackers, LC-3 (1.2 per cent) barely conformed to the BIS (not more than 1.2 per cent). LC-1 (8.8 per cent) and LC-2 (1.9 per cent) did not comply with the PFA Act nor did they conform to the BIS.
- A high peroxide value indicates short shelf-life of the biscuit and lack of freshness of ingredients. Among the sweet biscuits, loose samples showed more than double the values of branded biscuits. Loose crackers had more than 7 times the peroxide value of branded ones.
- Protein repairs the tissues and is needed for growth. Semi-sweet biscuits gave marginally higher protein than the crackers. Sweet ones offered the least.
- The higher the fat, the crisper the biscuit, which is why crackers come with higher fat content.
- Crackers in general came with less carbohydrates. ICMR recommends that about 60 per cent of our energy has to be from carbohydrates, not more than 30 per cent from fat and 10-12 per cent from protein. The brands gave 63-82 gm.
- Calcium helps to form and maintain teeth and bones. There wasnâ€™t a large difference between the three categories of biscuits in their calcium content.
- Sodium adds to the flavour and regulates the flow of fluids within the body. But people with a high blood pressure must control their sodium intake. Crackers and loose biscuits in the sweet category gave high sodium.
- Iron helps form haemoglobin and in transporting oxygen. Britannia Nice Time (9.8 mg) and Parle-G (8.4 mg) among the sweet biscuits, Parle Marie Choice (11.6 mg) among the semi-sweet ones and the loose crackers, gave a reasonable amount.
- Crackers, with the highest fat content, also carried the highest calories.
- Bakemanâ€™s Gluco Gold gave less than the labelled weight in 4 packs, Cremica Glucose in one, Bakemanâ€™s Original English Marie and Cremica Salties in 10, Parle Krack Jack and Bakemanâ€™s Honie Lite, in 6 samples out of 17.
- The two brands of Windsor did not give the complaint slip with the batch or code No. as required by the BIS.
- Sweet biscuits in general were priced the least and crackers the highest.
- In the sensory tests, among the sweet biscuits, Britannia Tiger and Cremica Glucose scored the highest in sensory tests. In case of semi-sweet biscuits, Bakemanâ€™s English Marie and Britannia Marie Gold scored the highest. Crackers found Britannia 50-50 at the top in sensory parameters.
- Among the sweet biscuits, Cremica Glucose, Parle G and Britannia Tiger topped the list with 72, 71 and 70 respectively. Bakemanâ€™s English Marie and Britannia Marie Gold topped the semi-sweet bisuits with 76 and 75 respectively. Crackers saw Britannia 50-50 at the top with 79.
- Parle-G, Parle Marie Choice and Windsor Avanti were the â€˜best buysâ€™ in sweet, semi-sweet and crackers, respectively.