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Hummus, garlic bread and pesto are under threat from strict new calorie limits, the food industry has warned.
Dozens of other products popular with middle-class shoppers including hollandaise sauce, sweet potato chips and guacamole also face being changed beyond recognition.
Backlash - Industry - Calorie - Guidelines - Government
There is a growing backlash in the industry against the calorie guidelines, first announced by the Government’s health agency last spring.
They are among a raft of measures to tackle obesity and call for the calories of 15 categories of food to be cut by 20 per cent over five years.
Manufacturers - Retailers - Guidelines - Response - Nation
But manufacturers and retailers say the guidelines are ‘unworkable’ and the wrong response to the nation’s obesity crisis.
They have accused Public Health England (PHE) of basing the targets on an oversimplified mathematical model which does not work in practice.
Products - Way - Calorie - Content - Guidelines
For some products, the only way to reduce the calorie content to comply with the guidelines is to remove a crucial ingredient.
They include the ‘bread with additions’ category, which has a proposed limit of 254 calories per 100 grams.
Garlic - Bread - Calories - Portion - Focaccia
Garlic bread typically contains 374 calories per 100g and the same portion of an olive and basil focaccia loaf has 300 calories.
Only if the garlic butter was removed from the garlic bread or the olives from the focaccia would the calories be sufficiently reduced, manufacturers claim.
Problems - Hummus - Guacamole - Accompaniments - Calories
There are similar problems for hummus and guacamole, which are classed as ‘meal accompaniments’, with a 193 calories per 100g limit.
Hummus typically has about 278 calories per 100g and even a reduced calorie version is 219 calories. Guacamole is about 228 calories.
Pesto - Calories - Times - Calories - Guideline
Pesto, meanwhile, contains 453 calories per 100g, five times the 79 calories guideline for the ‘cooking and serving sauces’ category.
Manufacturers say the calorie content of these products cannot easily be reduced without radically altering their taste and consistency.
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