Snack bars low on fruit but heavy on added sugar
THE fruit content of some 'fruit' snack bars is 'farcical'.
That's the finding of consumer advocate Choice after it examined the ingredients of 224 products that use images of real fruit on their packaging.
The sugar-laden snacks are sold in supermarkets across Australia.
Key among the offenders are brands from Aldi, Kellogs, Go Natural and Weight Watchers.
Aldi's popular Hillcrest Chewy Muesli Bars Strawberry & Yoghurt has pictures of fresh strawberries on its box but the product actually contains "strawberry-flavoured fruit pieces" made from fruit puree concentrates, flavour and a range of additives.
The Choice researchers also found that there was only raspberry juice concentrate and just 2% apple in Kellogg's K-Time Twists Raspberry and Apple.
The twists have high levels of sugar due to ingredients like juice concentrate, apple powder, fructose and brown sugar.
Go Natural's Macadamia Dream bars contain about 40%, mostly added, sugar as do Woolworths Homebrand Oven Baked Fruit Bars Apple & Blueberry.
Weight Watchers' Coconut Delight Indulgent Bar has 37% mostly added sugar.
Emma & Tom's Life Bar Cacao & Orange was also found to contain 40% sugar, but as all of that sweetness comes from real fruit it is rated as healthier.
Naturally Good Wholefood Bar Cocoa Lamington has 37% sugar from whole fruit ingredients so it also gets a healthier tick.
Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said the fruit content of some products was farcical.
"Unfortunately, when it comes to snack bars, relying on marketing messages and brand names in the supermarket
is no recipe for finding real fruit in processed foods and can leave you drowning in a sea of added sugar," Mr Godfrey said.
"If you're putting your kid's lunchbox together you'd be far better off with fresh fruit and some wholegrain crackers." - ARM NEWSDESK