- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Food
We tested samples of 10 brands of cream biscuits that were filled and/or coated. Filled biscuits are generally sandwiched with a filling of cream, jam or chocolate. Coated biscuits are covered with chocolate or caramel.
Fat content:Â According to the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), ICMR, the recommended desirable visible fat intake per day is 20g for both men and women. In six of the 10 brands, fat content was above 20g/100g.Â Britannia BourbonÂ had the highest fat content (23.2g/100g) whileÂ Windsor Mix FruitÂ had the lowest (13.1g/100g). This means that a 100g packet ofÂ Britannia BourbonÂ contains more fat than you should consume in a whole day! (See table for details)
Sugar content:Â The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar as per the latest norms of World Health Organization (WHO) is 25g (6 teaspoons). All the 10 brands of biscuits contained more than 25g/100g of sugar.Â Sunfeast Dark FantasyÂ had the highest sugar content (39.6g/100g) whileÂ Patanjali Orange DeliteÂ (30.2g/100g) had the lowest. This means that a 100g packet ofÂ SunfeastÂ Dark FantasyÂ contains much more than your RDA for sugar!
(To zoom click on table)
Why biscuits are unhealthy:Â The basic ingredients of biscuits are wheat flour (usually refined flour orÂ maida), hydrogenated fat, sugar and baking powder. Eating refined wheat flour is not recommended because it is almost devoid of nutrients and fibre. Consumption of hydrogenated fat is known to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The high sugar content gives a sudden spike of energy but constitutes empty calories.
Agreed, cream biscuits come in the category of HFSS (High Fat, Sugar and Salt) foods. But how unhealthy the brands available in the market were, was a revelation. Packaged food is the reality of the day. But so are lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes and heart ailments caused by excessive consumption of fat and sugar. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is well aware of this reality. Cream biscuits are not a new entrant in the market. Why, then, has FSSAI not set mandatory upper limits for these ingredients in cream biscuits? As of now, there are neither FSSAI nor Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standards for fat and sugar in cream biscuits.
Urgent action needed
- CERC has appealed to FSSAI to formulate mandatory standards (fix upper limits) for fat and sugar in cream biscuits.
- Labels of biscuit packets should indicate clearly whether the product is high in fat, salt and sugar content as the case may be. UK has a system of colour coding on food packets to indicate this. Why canâ€™t India follow such global best practices?
- Manufacturers should ensure that the values of fat and sugar content mentioned on labels are accurate.
- Manufacturers should make conscious efforts to lower fat and sugar content in cream biscuits and also try to improve their nutritive value in terms of fibre content, vitamins and minerals.
For details Report CLICK HEREÂ