While walking around in Publix I noticed a stand in a prime location near the bakery section promoting a new product my Special K and the name peaked my interest. The new product was called “cracker chips”. I normally do not purchase Special K products because the ingredients do not provide the nutrition that other ready-to-eat cereals provide. I also do not prefer the taste or the “diet” image this company represents. But knowing that my clients like to get reviews on new products, I purchased a box and put the cracker chip to the test.
It is not quite a cracker, and not just a chip, so the texture threw me off a little bit. I was so unsure of what to expect. 27 cracker chips make up one serving which supplies 1 carbohydrate exchanges and ½ fat exchange. The product had a mild flavor which tasted good, but highly processed.
The cost of a box of cracker chips was slightly expensive. One box was slightly over $4.00 and the amount the box contained only provided my household with 4 servings! After the initial sticker shock, I reviewed the ingredient list which included:
POTATOES, POTATO STARCH, LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), WHOLE YELLOW CORN MEAL, OAT FIBER, SALT, ONION POWDER, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF SOUR CREAM (CULTURED CREAM, NONFAT DRY MILK), DEXTROSE, BUTTERMILK, NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SODIUM CASEINATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, NATURAL FLAVORS, WHEY, WHEAT FLOUR, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, SESAME FLOUR, CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SPICE, YEAST EXTRACT, MALIC ACID, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SOY LECITHIN
A few additives I’ve explained below:
- TBHQ is the short name for tert-butylhydroquinone. TBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant that is added to oils and fats to slow down spoilage. Vegetable oils contain a natural antioxidant called tocopherol (aka vitamin E); however, the amount present in oils is often not enough for oxidative stability and the addition of extra tocopherol does not really help so a synthetic was created.
- Dextrose is better known as glucose and occurs naturally in foods.
- Corn Syrup Solids are produced when corn syrup has been concentrated to contain less than 10% of water. To qualify as "corn syrup solids," the glucose content must be at least 88% of the weight of the concentrated syrup.
- Disodium Inosinate is a food additive often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks and used as a flavor enhancer.
- Disodium Guanylate is a flavor enhancer which belongs to the same family as a monosodium glutamate (MSG). Disodium inosinate is often used in conjuction with disodium inosinate. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than monosodium glutamate and enhances a variety of flavors, modifies salty or sweet flavors, and suppresses undesirable flavors.
Another important fact to point out about the ingredient list is the small amount of wheat flour used in the product. I can tell this by where the ingredient falls within the ingredient list orders. When reading an ingredient list, all items are listed in order that represents the ingredient used most to the ingredient used the least within the designated product.
In summary, the product had a pleasant taste, but in general I would not recommend this product to a client. There are many other whole grain options for a better price, both monetarily and nutritionally!