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Myths and legends: 10 naive questions about food

Some kind of folklore is always associated with your favorite food: anecdotes, jokes along with myths and legends. Representatives of Moscow factories, food producers, answer ten naive questions about well-known products.

1. How can chocolate be low-calorie
when it tastes as sweet as the regular one?

JULIA DOROFEEVA, Director of the Marketing Department at OOO Uniconf

Techniques vary – for example, you can reduce calories without compromising taste by using soluble dietary fiber or the sweetener stevia instead of sugar. Soluble dietary fiber has a low glycemic index and is slowly digested by the body. And despite its sweetness, chocolate with stevia contains four times fewer carbohydrates than regular dark chocolate. Manufacturers also enrich chocolate with inulin and oligofructose, natural prebiotics that support digestive health.

2. Is it true that milk does not get sour in triangular packaging?

ALEXANDER ABALAKOV, General Director of ZAO Lambumiz:

I think that this is a legend, born of an April Fool's prank. It refers to mystical ideas associated with Egyptian pyramids. Legend has it that a pyramid with golden section proportions has special energetic properties. But we possess no scientific data which would confirm this information.

3. How is it possible that Coca-Cola Light has no calories?

A representative of the Coca-Cola company in Russia:

Currently, we do not produce Coca-Cola Light – in the range of products it is replaced by Coca-Cola No Sugar. Besides water, caffeine and natural flavorings (all of which have zero calories) the drink contains sweeteners that replace sugar and give sweetness to the product: sodium cyclamate, acesulfame potassium, aspartame.

Acesulfame potassium and sodium cyclamate contain zero calories, but aspartame is loaded with calories: 4 kcal/g. But since it is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it takes very little of this ingredient to make the final product taste sweet, and it adds almost no calories to the drink. CocaCola No Sugar has only 0.2 kcal per 100 ml, as mentioned on the package. In accordance with the technical regulations of the Custom Union (TR CU 022/2011 "Food products in terms of labeling"), this number of calories allows us to consider Coca-Cola No Sugar a calorie-free drink.

4. Is it necessary to eliminate bread from one's diet to stay in shape?

MARINA KOSTYUCHENKO, Director of the Research Institute of Baking Industry:

Absolutely not! Bread and bakery goods are the basis of our diet, their reduction or exclusion leads to a deficit of essential substances. For example, rye bread contains a lot of dietary fiber, which is crucial for normal intestinal function, and has three times more iron than beef. Rye bread contains difficult to obtain group B vitamins (B₁, B₆), PP, mineral salts, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chromium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and many bioactive compounds. Wheat bread contains carbohydrates, which give strength to the body, allows us to feel awake and active for a long time, and vitamins B and E have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. So, white bread is a great source of energy.

Modern technology allows us to keep the proteins, amino acids, vitamins, dietary fiber and other micro-and macronutrients in the final product. The most useful products are made of whole wheat flour.

Excessive weight, as a rule, is caused by an unbalanced diet and our unhealthy eating habits, but not by the consumption of bread. The diet must be well balanced and diversified, containing all the substances necessary for a fulfilling life. Think carefully before going on a no-carbohydrate diet or completely giving up bread!

RYE BREAD COVERS

30%

OF THE BODY'S DAILY REQUIREMENT FOR PROTEIN

5. If the chocolate candy has turned white, has it gone bad?

IRINA MATYUKHINA, production technologist at French Kiss:

The short answer is no. If candies became white within the shelf-life period, they can be eaten – they just lost their marketable appearance. Chocolate turns white due to improper storage conditions, temperature changes, for example. There are two types of chocolate bloom: fat bloom (most commonly found in stores) and sugar bloom. In the first case, high temperatures cause the migration of cocoa butter to the surface of the product. And in the second, due to low temperatures a condensate forms on the surface and reacts with the sugar. Then the condensate evaporates, and the sugar remains on the surface in the form of microcrystals.

18оС+/- 3оС

IS THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE FOR STORING CHOCOLATE

6. What is the difference between Hercules and oatmeal?

TATYANA SHKARUPA, Head of Development and Innovation Russian Product:

According to GOST, Hercules is a cereal processed by a certain method. In addition to this method, there are two other types of processing: these are used to make petal flakes and "Extra" flakes. Oatmeal is a broader concept. It can be cooked from flakes (of any processing), and from whole unprocessed grains. But if we think in terms of positioning, Hercules is a recognizable brand. The name caught on in Soviet times and became a household name for oatmeal porridge. Today, in everyday life, Hercules is both a dish made of whole oats, as well as porridge made of oat flakes. Under Hercules brand we produce nine different kinds of oat flakes of various size and flaking – the preparation time and the consistency of ready oatmeal depend on these product qualities.

7. Do potato chips contain potato, and what else is in the final product?

A representative of the Coca-Cola company in Russia:

Potato chips are made of fried potatoes, vegetable oil and spices. To make chips you need potatoes of special kinds, which contain less water and more fiber and starch. Such potatoes are grown for PepsiCo by 70 Russian suppliers, there are even farms in Siberia. Potatoes arrive at the plants in 20-ton trucks and are immediately poured into the reception tanks. Moving along the conveyor belt, potatoes are carefully sorted, cleaned, washed, cut to size, and then pushed into a slicer which cuts the tubers into thin slices. The acceptable thickness of each slice is no more than 1.3 mm.

Slices are thoroughly washed to get rid of excessиstarch and sent to the frying stage, which takes place in a closed container at 180оC. The chips stay in the fryer for only three minutes. During that time, each slice is immersed in a red-hot mixture of vegetable oils. Moisture meters located at the outlet of the machine check if the potatoes are well cooked. If the slices do not pass this test, the system alerts the operator, and he has no choice but to dispose of the batch.

The next stage of inspection is optical sorting, when defected chips are "shot out" with the help of nozzles. After that, the product is sent to the spice spreading area. The chips are pushed into a large spinning drum, inside which seasonings are sprayed: herbs (dried parsley, onions, or dill), spices, flavorings, and salt. Since the slices are oily, the seasoning sticks to each slice. This is the final stage of production. After that, the slices are moved to a weight dispenser and then into an open bag that looks like a sleeve. The former fills the bag with nitrogen and seals it: that way the product can be stored for a long time and does not go bad.

- By the way -
It takes just under an hour to cook one batch of potato chips.
8. Why does 100% juice taste different from freshly squeezed juice, and is it true that reconstituted juice is made from soft, spoiled fruit?

A representative of the Coca-Cola company in Russia:

All commercially produced juices undergo thermal treatment, so they retain their properties longer and, of course, they differ from freshly squeezed juices in taste. Reconstituted juices are made from concentrated juice or a mixture of concentrated juice, directly squeezed juice, and drinking water. When producing juices we use ready-made raw materials, processed fruits and vegetables in the form of juices and purees, which are obtained by the producer mechanically: by mashing, pressing, crushing, etc. depending on the type of fruit or vegetable. The quality of raw materials is monitored in the lab before they are used in production – tainted fruit will not pass the test.

- By the way -
Cooked sausage is the most popular of all sausages in the world, as it has the lowest number of calories.
9. Why do they say "sausage loaf"?

The representative of the company Dymov:

The word "baton" comes from the French "baton", which literally means "stick". Therefore, the phrases "sausage loaf" and "sausage stick" are quite legitimate. In regulatory and technical documentation (e.g., GOST R 23670-2019) the term "loaf" is used in relation to sausage products, whether it is uncooked smoked or cooked sausage. Also, no specific terms concerning the shape, size and tying of a loaf (oval loaf, round loaf, straight loaf) exist.

10. Can you eat natural casings of sausages and wieners?

The representative of the company Dymov:

Of course, you can! Natural casing substance is similar that of meat protein. This is an eco-friendly, natural and edible product, the main thing is to have it processed correctly. There are standards of heat treatment of meat and by-products, and these are strictly observed at our production facility.

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