Back of Packs
On the wrappers of all our products you will find useful information like the Best Before Date, the Nutritional Information Panel (NIP), and Ingredients list. It can look a bit technical, so we’ve dissected it for you so you can understand the basics.
Remember the area of nutritional science is very complex, so this is only a brief overview. For expert nutritional advice, we recommend you see an accredited practising dietician, nutritionist or your family doctor.
Best Before Date
The Best Before Date can be found on the back of all our product wrappers. Obviously it’s a good idea to scoff your Cookie or Bumper Bar before this date rolls around. It’s not going to harm your health after this date, but it’s not going to be as fresh and delicious as we like you to have our cookies and bars! If you have such steel willpower that you want to stash our products to eat another day, then chuck them in the freezer - all our products last really well frozen!
There is nothing too unusual about the ingredients we like to use for our cookies and bars, in fact most of the ingredients are things you’re likely to have yourself in the cupboards at home! For example, did you know that ‘Raising Agent (500)’ is just a fancy name for baking soda? We always strive to use the highest quality, freshest ingredients we can find, and of course, we don’t use any genetically modified ingredients.
The ingredients list as seen on the back of our wrappers states the ingredients used to make that particular product. These are listed in descending order of the quantity used so the main ingredients are always at the top. All the yummy ingredients (ie. chocolate!) have their average percentages listed so you know exactly what you’re getting. To give you even more information, any ingredients we use which are made from other foods have their constituent ingredients listed to show you what goes into them as well (so instead of just saying ‘chocolate’, we show you all the ingredients used to make the chocolate.)
For those of you that suffer from food allergies, some of the most common food allergens are eggs, milk, nuts and gluten. So we’ve made sure that ingredients such as flour and rolled oats, which may contain some of these allergens either themselves or by contact during processing, are shown in the ingredients list whenever present. For example, you may notice some of our fruitier products have ‘Antioxidant (220)’ listed. 220 is Sulphur Dioxide, a sulphite that some people are sensitive too. While we don’t add this ingredient ourselves, some of the ingredients we buy, such as dried apricots, contain 220 to maintain their natural colour and flavour.
Some people are very allergic to nuts which is why you’ll see ‘May contain traces of nuts’ on our product wrappers. A potential source of nut traces is chocolate, and because we use a lot of chocolate, we feel that you should know.
Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)
The NIP located on the back of all Cookie Time’s wrappers helps you to understand the nutritional make up of your cookie or bar.
Energy is the fuel we need from food to function and be active (especially important if you’re still growing!) Your individual energy requirements will depend on your age, size and level of physical activity.
It’s important to monitor your energy consumption if it gets out of balance with the energy you use. Fat, protein and carbohydrates in the foods we eat all provide energy (which is measured in calories or kilojoules). You get 17kJ of energy per gram of carbohydrate, 37kJ of energy per gram of fat and 16kJ of energy per gram of protein.
Protein is important for growth, maintenance and repair of body tissues.
Fat is an essential nutrient required to provide fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, along with energy. As an energy source it is the most concentrated so it is the first nutrient to look at tweaking if your energy intake is out of balance with your energy output. The ‘total’ fat figure is in the NIP for those who are interested in their daily fat consumption because they want to increase or decrease it to balance their energy needs, or monitor their fat intakes for health reasons. ‘Saturated’ fat is just one of the types of fat that goes to make the total fat content. It is separated out for people with a special interest in tracking their intake of it (eg. people monitoring their cholesterol levels.) While not all saturated fats have undesirable effects on the blood and body, in general they tend to raise undesirable LDL cholesterol and plasma cholesterol levels in the blood. If it all sounds a bit complicated - don’t worry! The general guideline you should aim for is getting around 30 - 33% of your energy from fat, with 10% or less from saturated fats.
Carbohydrates are the most readily converted energy source. They can be separated into different types:
- Complex Carbohydrates - these are the main type found in starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta.
- Sugars - these tend to be sweet. These include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit and honey, plus sugars that are added to food.
Sodium is an essential and important mineral that helps maintain our body’s fluid balance. It gets involved in all sorts of useful functions to do with our blood, cells, muscles and nerves. For most people, the recommended dietary intake of sodium is 920-2300mg per day. However, if you have a problem with high blood pressure, the idea is to tally up your daily sodium intake and keep it low.
For more in depth information about food labelling and the NIP, head to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.