Easter treat analysis highlights e numbers within key seasonal ranges

Malaysia, 23 March 2017. Cadbury Easter Creme Chocolate Eggs, are organized neatly in the basket for sale during Easter at Jaya Grocery, Kuala Lumpur

As the nation prepares to celebrate this weekend, analysis of the some of the most popular UK Easter chocolate treats has examined which products contain the most e numbers, reports Neill Barston.

The study from the Check My Body Health organisation examined a total of 80 sweet treats in its study, with general ranges as well as seasonal favourites coming under the microscope.

According to its findings, Cadbury’s Mini Eggs had the highest e numbers, totalling, 7, followed by Cadbury Oreo chocolate egg (with 5), Smarties milk chocolate eggs (5), Maltesers Bunny Milk Chocolate bar (4), and Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini Eggs (4).

As  Check My Health noted, e numbers have raised concerns regarding their potential to cause hyperactivity within children, yet they also have other key functions including as preservatives, antioxidants, sweeteners and emulsifiers, such as Lecithins, which are the most frequently occurring in the products analysed, with the ingredient present in 76% of chocolates.

However, all of the bars and packs chose to list it under its full name, rather than it’s assigned number, as allowed in the EU regulations.

According to the organisation, despite many of us associating food colourings with E numbers, they aren’t used for this purpose as often as we may think.

Only three of the chocolate products analysed included E163, Anthocyanins, which are one of the E numbers used for colouring, these being Cadbury Roses, Mini Eggs and Revels. Surprisingly, despite the range of colours used in their sugar coatings, Smarties don’t include any E numbers for their colouring, instead using fruit and vegetable concentrates such as Radish and Hibiscus to make their products more ‘natural’.

When looking at the chocolates with the most E numbers, Revels come out as the top offender (with 12), which may be in part due to the variety of flavoured and coloured centres in their chocolates.

Twelve different E numbers are listed in the ingredients list, with their purposes ranging from colourings to emulsifiers, in order to produce the required colours and textures. Cadbury Heroes and M&Ms (Peanut with 10) come in joint second, with ten E numbers each, followed by Cadbury Roses (9 E numbers), Cadbury Boost (8 E numbers), and Cadbury Milk Tray and Cadbury Mini Eggs (both 7 E numbers).

At the other end of the scale, 24 of the chocolate products analysed have only one E number listed on their packaging including Ferrero Rocher and Galaxy Caramel.

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