Milk Shakes and Flavoured Milk
Adding up the numbers on protein, calcium, fat and sugar
For consumers looking for an optimal combination of taste, health and convenience, milk shakes and flavoured milk are presented as an alternative to many other beverages. These products are expected to be a source of energy, protein and calcium, especially for children. Keeping this factor in view, the following report analyses the information pertaining to these nutrients given on the label of seven brands. We have also rated the sugar and fat quantities as per traffic light colours to enable consumers to quickly decide if the product they are picking up fits in with their general ‘healthy food' choices.
We chose seven popular brands of milk shakes and flavoured milk to interpret the nutritional information given on their labels.
Energy, Protein and Calcium
As milk shakes and flavoured milk are consumed mainly by children, we have calculated the RDA percentage of energy, protein and calcium with reference to children aged 7–9 years.
• Energy value is highest in Cavin’s (109 kcal per 100 ml) and lowest in Paras (61.2 kcal per 100 ml). • Drinking one can of Amul Kool (200 ml) by a child in the 7–9 years age group means approximately 12.4 per cent of his/her daily requirement of energy has been met. • Protein value is highest in Ananda (4 gm in 100 ml) and lowest in Hershey’s (2 gm in 100 ml). • Drinking one tetra pak of Mother Dairy (200 ml) by a 7–9 years old child means 23 per cent of his/ her daily requirement of protein has been met. • While declaration of calcium on the label is not mandatory as per Indian law, it has been declared by all brands except Paras. • Calcium is highest in Hershey’s (161.38 mg in 100 ml) and lowest in brands Cavin’s and Nilgiris (each 107 mg in 100 ml). • Drinking one tetra pak of Hershey’s (200 ml) by children of 7–9 years means 53.8 per cent of one’s daily requirement of calcium has been met.
Nutritional labelling of packaged food products refers to the disclosure of the main nutrients, such as energy, fat, protein, carbohydrate, sugar and salt content, on the label. As per India’s Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, mandatory nutritional information or nutritional facts per 100 grams or 100 millilitres or per serving of the product shall be given on the label. Such information shall contain the following: a) energy value in kilocalories (kcal) b) the amounts of protein, carbohydrate (specify quantity of sugar) and fat in gram (gm) or ml c) the amount of any other nutrient for which a nutrition or health claim is made
Note that declaration of salt/sodium and calcium is not mandatory.
As per Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011: ‘Flavoured milk’, by whatever name called, may contain nuts (whole, fragmented or ground), chocolate, coffee or any other edible flavour, edible food colours and cane sugar. Flavoured milk shall be pasteurised, sterilised, or boiled. The type of milk shall be mentioned on the label.
Per-Day Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Indians
This is as per the manual of Dietary Guidelines for Indians, 2011, prepared by National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. RDA refers to the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy people.
Traffic Light Labelling
In year 2007, Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the United Kingdom developed traffic light labelling guidelines with these objectives: • to allow consumers to correctly identify healthier food products • to assist consumers to make comparisons between products easily • to allow consumers to make these comparisons at a glance The traffic light labelling system uses three colours – green, amber and red – to show at a glance if a particular food has low, medium or high amounts of fat, sugar and salt. Foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt are linked with obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. As yet, the UK labelling system is not followed in India.
This is how the criteria for fat, sugar and salt in drinks (per 100 ml) are set out in the traffic light labelling system:
Results can be interpreted as follows: Green: drink often (desirable); amber: occasionally (neutral); red: sparingly (undesirable)
Traffic Light Rating of Milk Shakes and Flavoured Milk
• Traffic light for fat is green for Ananda and Paras – this means one may consume these often. For all other brands, it is amber – this means eat these occasionally. • Fat is lowest in Ananda and Paras and highest in
Amul Kool. • Traffic light for sugar is amber for all brands – this means one may consume these occasionally. • Sugar is highest in Cavin’s and lowest in Paras. • None of the brands has declared salt. (Declaration of sodium/salt on food products label is not mandatory as per Indian law.)
The unit price gives a fair idea about the cheapest and costliest brands.
• As per unit price, Ananda Flavoured Milk is the cheapest brand. The costliest brand is Hershey’s Milk Shake.
*NM – not mentioned