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Coffee ingredients

Coffee ingredients in General

Coffee is expected to contain certain ingredients as part of the manafacturing process - depending on the manafacturer there may be additional information as to product that is used in the roasting process.

There is increasing transparency in referring to the type of beans used to manafacture coffee. Eg Trung Nguyen has for a long time referred to its famous 4 bean mix used as a basis for many of its coffee range.

In the past couple of years the Vietnamese have changed food standards to make manafactures be more specific as to the bean type used to make the coffee - this information is now included on the pack and there is a move away from general terms such as Lady Fox to brand a coffee, it now has to describe the percentage of coffee beans that are related to the "fox" or more correctly known as palm civit that digests the beans and then the scat is washed and treated to create the distictive style.

Coffee flavour may be added in small quantities to maintain consistent flavour profile - this may or may not be declared on the pack and is often at insignificant levels in relation to food standards.


Instant coffee Labelling

Ingredients lists are produced with the main and largest quantities of ingredients at the beginning of the list going sequentially down to the smallest ingerdients.

Where an ingredient is added and it contains other ingredients the breakdown of those ingredients may or may not be individually itemised,  as it is in the ingredients that are mixed/manfactured that are combined (for example to make non-dairy creamer) that nondairy creamer is expected to contain those ingredients to make up its consitituent parts.

labelling of the ingredients in Instant coffee has improved with regards to the ingredients and it is now common to see breakdowns of the major ingredients into their parts and notation of the presence of Sodium Caseinate (which may be of milk or vegetable origin) as part of the ingredients of Non-dairy creamer. FDA (US) states that the protein (Sodium Caseinate) is not in sufficient quantities in non-Dairy creamer, and does not have lactose or lactose in sufficient quantities, to provoke an allergic reaction that may be assoicated with milk or lactose intollerance.

An Example of how labelling is used to substantiate claims is with the Sugar free Collagen added G7.  At the time of writing May 2018 - The ingredients list as is follows

Non-Dairy creamer [Glucose syrup, Hydrogenated Pal Kernel Oil, tatbilizers (E340ii, E452i), Sodium Caseinate (milk protein), emulsifier (E471), Anti caking agent (E551), Salt, Natural and artificial flavour], Sugar Free (Maltilol), Soluable coffee, maltodextrin, collagen.

In this labelling the non-dairy creamer has constituent parts that include glucose a sugar - however as its a consituent part of the non-dairy creamer its interpreted that this is not a sugar on its own.

Where Maltitol is labeled as sugar free this is a reference to this being an added ingredient but not the traditional sugar of dextrose, sucrose or fructose. It has different characteristics to the aforementioned sugars. it has sweetness but not the calories and has a different impact on our body such as it being seen as sweetener that does not ability to drive up blood sugar as Glucose can.

"Maltitol is a sugar alcohol (a polyol) used as a sugar substitute. It has 75–90% of the sweetness of sucrose (table sugar) and nearly identical properties, except for browning. It is used to replace table sugar because it is half as caloric, does not promote tooth decay, and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose. In chemical terms, maltitol is known as 4-O-α-glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol. It is used in commercial products under trade names such as Lesys, Maltisweet and SweetPearl."

However 'Sugar' can be disguised in a number of ways for example Maltodextrin.

"Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder.[1] Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless (depending on the degree of polymerisation).

It is commonly used for the production of soft drinks and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods."

Maltodextrin when digested produces Glucose So in summary this coffee is best described as being suitable for those wanting to reduce calorific intake that is associated with table sugar.

Hugh Collin

May 2018

Disclaimer  - I am not a food scientist or nutritionist - these oberservations cannot be considered expert opinion and for any questions about dietary management of sugar please speak to your medical manager. Ingredients lists as provided by the manafacture are presented in good faith

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