Yes, Yoplait has introduced a new product line a few weeks ago, called Yoplait Delights Parfait. They come in 4 different flavors, Chocolate Raspberry, Creme Caramel, Triple Berry Creme, and Lemon Torte.
There’s a definitive European touch to these treats, which Yoplait classifies under the SNACK category, in case anyone is wondering. If you have mistaken this product for yogurt, we invite you to learn together with us what’s inside the label.
What you need to know:
We took a look at the Chocolate Raspberry flavor. Yoplait touts these snacks as a 3pm pick me up to tide you over til dinner. At 100 calories per container, it sounds like an appealing option. And the packaging promises that this product “Meets National Yogurt Association criteria for Live and Active Culture Yogurt.” What could be bad?
Well, there’s not much going for this product from a nutritional standpoint. It’s unclear why there are 12 grams of sugar (3 teaspoons) here, as the product has been pumped up with artificial sweeteners (see below). There is absolutely no fiber content and that’s a shame, because fiber helps our body feel fuller.
And the so called National Yogurt Association is nothing more that a trade group sponsored by Yoplait and other manufacturers in order to place a stamp of self approval on their products.
Here is the Ingredient list:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Fructose, Nonfat Milk, Raspberries, Kosher Gelatin, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Dextrose, Color Added, Pectin, Chocolate Liquor, Salt, Agar-Agar, Potassium Sorbate Added to Maintain Freshness, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.
Let’s decode the ingredients:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk – All those adjectives, just for milk! “Grade A” is actually an FDA approved definition of milk, making sure it has a low bacteria count, was pasteurized, kept at certain temperatures, and not mixed with water, among other parameters.
Sugar – it’s unclear why added sugar appears as the second ingredient here, because the product is also artificially sweetened.
Modified Corn Starch – an additive used as a thickener.
Fructose – more sugar.
Nonfat Milk – this milk has no fat, unlike the milk listed above that has a tiny bit of fat.
Raspberries – probably a very small amount.
Kosher Gelatin – Generally, gelatin (E441) is a translucent, colorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent. It is in almost every “gummy” confectionery as well as other products such as marshmallows and some low-fat yogurt. Kosher dietary laws don’t allow for gelatin from animal products in dairy. Vegetable sources are agar-agar (a seaweed), carrageenan, or pectin.
Cocoa Processed with Alkali – Also known as Dutch Processed Cocoa, helps to remove the natural acidity of the cocoa bean. Unfortunately, it also removes the beneficial flavanoids found in the cocoa beans.
Dextrose – Yet more sugar. Dextrose is a term for Glucose. Glucose and Fructose together make Sucrose, which is commonly known as table sugar. This is the third time sugar appears in the ingredient list.
Color Added – the beautiful luster of this snack comes not from the expected ingredients, rather by adding colors.
Pectin (E440) – derived from apples and other fruits. Found in and between a plant’s cell walls and used to regulate water flow in and out of cells. In food, used as a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer.
Chocolate Liquor – we wonder how much alcohol is in this…a liquid form of chocolate formed in the processing of cacao beans.
Agar-Agar – a gelatin derived from seaweed.
Potassium Sorbate (E202) – used to inhibit molds and yeasts in many foods, such as cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meats, apple cider and baked goods.
Natural and Artificial Flavor - that raspberry flavor you’re enjoying came from a lab, not real raspberries.
Sucralose – an artificial sweetener with zero calories approved by the FDA for use since 1998. Some tests in the past have shown that it may damage the autoimmune system of rats, but more recent tests have shown the product to be safe.
Acesulfame Potassium – A zero calorie sweetener. Some studies suggest that prolonged usage, especially if begun as a child, increase the risk of cancer.
Colored with Carmine – carmine is a code word for a red dye powder derived from the ground up bodies of female cochineal insects.
Vitamin A Acetate – a form of vitamin A
Vitamin D3 – a form of vitamin D.
While this may be a tasty snack, it lacks fiber and thus may not be the most appropriate bridge to keep you full between lunch and dinner. How about an apple? or a banana? or a slice of whole wheat bread with a thin layer of peanut butter?
What to do at the supermarket:
As snacks go, you could do worse. But since this product will be waiting for you in the dairy section of the supermarket, don’t confuse it with regular yogurts. The best yogurt to get is a plain lowfat yogurt, to which you can add some of your own raspberries, strawberries, or cherries – fresh or frozen. If it’s not sweet enough, a spoonful of sugar (not three) should be enough.
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