Cornflakes – Does your brand declare salt and dietary fiber?

The general perception is that cornflakes are an ideal quick-fix breakfast option. Ideal because they are considered healthy. Yet, fact is that there is the sugar (high-fructose corn syrup) and the salt to think of. In this report we have rated the quantities of these as per traffic light colours. It must be noted that declaration of salt is not mandatory as per Indian law. However, most of the featured brands have declared salt on their labels and this is a consumer-friendly step on their part. Other label information that we have looked at and compared here are with regard to energy, protein and dietary fibre. Again, declaration of dietary fibre is not mandatory as per Indian law but most of the brands have done so. These are factors that consumers should definitely consider when choosing their brands.

Brands Compared: Bagrry’s, Kellogg’s, Mohun’s, Patanjali,  Reliance, Spencer’s, Tops

 Cornflakes are popular breakfast option for most. However, we often get misled by the labels on them and unable to decide among the various brands available in the market - should we opt for a high protein one or a high energy and less protein one? Consumer VOICE has decoded the brands of top 7 cornflakes brands on the following parameters:

Parameters Compared

  • Energy
  • Protein
  • Dietary Fibre

Cornflakes Brands

 

 
*NM – not mentioned

 Key Findings

Energy value is highest in Patanjali (385 kcal per 100 gm) and lowest in Bagrry’s (366.7 kcal per 100 gm).

  • Consuming 100 gm of Kellogg’s cornflakes by a woman engaged in sedentary work means one- fifth (20 per cent) of her daily requirement of energy has been met.
  • Protein value is highest in Reliance (8.2 gm in 100 gm) and lowest in Tops (3.9 gm in 100 gm).
  • Consuming 100 gm of Patanjali cornflakes by a man means 8.5 per cent of his daily requirement of protein has been met.
  • Declaration of dietary fibre on the label is not mandatory as per Indian law. However, except Mohun’s, all other brands have declared dietary fibre on their labels. This is a consumer-friendly step on the part of these brands.
  • Among the brands that have declared dietary fibre, the highest amount is in Bagrry’s (4.7 gm per 100 gm) and the lowest is in Kellogg’s (2.7 gm per 100 gm).
  • Consuming 100 gm of Patanjali cornflakes by a person means 15 per cent of his/her daily requirement of dietary fibre has been met.

 

What are dietary fibers?

Dietary fibre includes all parts of plant foods that our body cannot digest or absorb. Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins, or carbohydrates that our body breaks down and absorbs, fibre is not digested. Instead, it passes relatively intact through our stomach, small intestine, colon, and out of our body. Dietary-fibre requirement can be met by adopting a diet that incorporates plant-origin foods including fruits, vegetables and grains.

A high-fibre diet offers many health benefits, which include:

  • Normalising bowel movements
  • Maintaining bowel health
  • Lowering of cholesterol levels
  • Helping control blood sugar levels
  • Aiding in achieving healthy weight

The WHO Committee on Chronic Degenerative Diseases has recommended a daily dietary-fibre intake of 30 gm.

Read more on Recommended Dietary Allowance

Traffic Light Rating of Cornflakes

NM: Not mentioned

*Sodium multiplied by 2.54

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.

Read here on traffic light labelling

Key Findings

  • Traffic light for fat is green for all brands – this translates into ‘desirable’ so far as fat is concerned.
  • Traffic light for sugar is green for Spencer’s. For rest of the brands it is amber – this means one may consume these occasionally so far as sugar is concerned.
  • While declaration of sodium/salt on food products label is not mandatory as per Indian law, five brands – Kellogg’s, Mohun’s, Patanjali, Spencer’s and Tops – have done so. This is a consumer-friendly step.
  • Bagrry’s and Reliance have not declared their sodium/salt amount.
  • In brands that have declared salt, traffic light is green for Patanjali and amber for Mohun’s, Spencer’s and Tops. Traffic light for Kellogg’s is red – this means consume it sparingly so far as salt is concerned.

 

WHO (World Health Organization) Guidelines on Dietary Salt

Adults should consume less than 2 grams of sodium, or 5 grams of salt, per day, according to guidelines issued by the WHO. The main source of sodium in our diet is salt, although it can also come from sodium glutamate, used as a condiment in many parts of the world. A person with elevated sodium levels can be at risk of raised blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Unit Price

The unit price gives a fair idea about the cheapest and costliest brands.

Key Finding

As per unit price, Tops (Rs 25 per 100 gm) is the cheapest brand. The costliest brand is Spencer’s
(Rs 35.60 per 100 gm).