Another from the stable of chocky that claims to be good for you, this one came courtesy of the health food aisle in our local Woolworths.
There seems to be a trend in making and selling things high in antioxidants, it’s the new Big Thing – we have adverts on TV from a large multinational food maker for their coffee containing green beans, because this blend is supposed to be high in antioxidants. There are numerous other examples.
The label in this block prooudly proclaims: “Very High in Antioxidants”. The back label is even more flowing with hyperbole, claiming an 80g block has an antioxidant value equivalent to 12 cups of green tea. Oh, and this is a sugar free product as well, so it must be good for you!
The Açaí fruit is supposed to make this even better. But what the heck is Açaí fruit? From the picture on the front of the pack it looks a lot like a blueberry. A check of Mr Google yields an answer. The Açaí ah-sa-ee) is a palm that grows in South America, the fruit is quite large, has a big seed, and is high in all sorts of fats. Oh, and grapes have a higher antioxidant potency! You’d be better off eating a mango, though. In this case, the Açaí is “restructured”, which means the pieces you find are Açaí puree 27%, apple and pear concentrate 70%, cellulose powder, palm oil, and pectin. Hmm.
I have admit to being skepical of the wonderous antioxidant claims on just about anything, especially when a little research courtesy of Dr Ben Goldacre, and Wikipedia, would seem to indicate otherwise.
The sugar free part comes about because the sweetener is polydextrose and sucralose (aka Splenda, Sucraplus, E955). After reading the ingredients list I feel in need of brushing up my high school chemistry lessons.
The saving grace in all this is that it is 70% cocoa, which keeps my dark side placated. In appearence, it’s nothing very special. A bling-free-zone, moulded so you can break bits off.
In spite of the chemistry lessons, it doesn’t taste too bad. It has a slightly bitter, slightly sweet, slightly fruity flavour and there is plenty of richness from all that yummy cocoa. The fruity bits, when you find them, have a strange flavour that is hard to identify – not unpleasant, just a bit unusual. We shared this around among the family, the consensus is that it’s not bad.
Youngest son thinks its Very Good Indeed. The Lady of the house found a slightly bitter after-taste, which I can also pick if I try hard. My suspicion is that this is linked to the artificial sweeteners, because of the similarity to the after-taste with other artificially sweetened products.
Summary: It’s OK. But I’d rather eat something with a bit less pushing of it’s virtues, and a bit more of nature in the ingredients list.