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When Multigrain Means… Well, Nothing

Posted Mar 05 2010 10:01pm

371In “big whoop” news this week, multigrain Pringles are now on supermarket shelves across the country.

It’s quite a laughable exercise in “healthifying junk food”, as you will soon see.

The product description gets under my skin, since it plays into the so-tired-it’s-comatose cliché that whole grain foods taste like cardboard, and can therefore only be consumed when hidden in popular snacks:

“…while the can says “multigrain,” the three new delicious flavors will leave your taste buds saying “MMMMMM.”

A quick glance at the Nutrition Facts label and the ingredient list left me saying “Huh?”

Here is the ingredient list for multigrain Pringles:

“Rice flour, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and/or sunflower oil), dried potatoes, corn flour, maltodextrin, wheat starch, modified rice starch, sugar, and triglycerol mono-oleate. contains 2% or less of: malted barley flour, wheat bran, dried black beans, salt, and citric acid.”

And here you have classic Pringles’ ingredient list:

“Dried potatoes, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and/or sunflower oil), rice flour, wheat starch, maltodextrin, salt and dextrose.”

In essence, multigrain pringles have more rice flour, some added sugar, the inclusion of triglycerol mono-oleate, a pinch of wheat bran, a sprinkling of barley flour, and dried black beans (?).  Notice, too, that there are on that list!  Multigrain simply means “many grains”; it makes no statements about whether those grains are in their whole form or not.

The Nutrition Facts labels, meanwhile, are practically mirror images:

  • Calories: 150 (Classic) vs. 140 (Multigrain)
  • Sodium: 160 (Classic) vs. 150 (Multigrain)
  • Fiber: 1 gram (Classic) vs. 1 gram (Multigrain)

Consider me unimpressed.

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