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News not so sweet in candy bar research

Treats sit months before getting to consumer: study


Misty Harris, Canwest News Service Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A study of candy bars from eight major retailers found the average confection sat for 140 days, or about 4½ months, before reaching the consumer. On average, slightly more than 3% were past the estimated shelf life of a year, although at certain stores the proportion was as high as 6%.

The study, funded in part by a grant from Canada's Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council, is just one of a growing number asking questions about the quality, traceability and safety of everyday items in our grocery carts.

"Quality doesn't drop off on a magic day, it's going to gradually decline in terms of freshness, texture and taste," says lead author Michael Armstrong. "Chocolate raisins go from soft and chewy to hard and crunchy. Bars with a mousse in them go from moist to dry."

Researchers from Brock University and Carleton University examined more than 3,000 chocolate bars from retailers in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

The Brock researcher was "somewhat surprised" to learn the type of store was less influential than the logistics of the supply chain in terms of getting chocolate to consumers quickly.

For example, high-traffic, high-volume retailer Wal-Mart and lower-traffic, lower-volume 7-Eleven boasted the youngest candy bars in the country, while Loblaw, Couche-Tard and Rexall had the oldest. Regarding the lower ranking of a major player such as Loblaw, the study points to the fact the company has "struggled with supply chain problems," which include longer times in transit, and in warehouses, for product than a company such as Wal-Mart, which he says puts greater emphasis on getting candy bars off trucks and into stores.

Broken down by brand, candy bars manufactured by Mars and Hershey took the shortest trip to consumers, while Nestle and Cadbury took longer.

Food scientist Massimo Marcone has been pushing for more transparent labelling laws regarding product shelf life. The University of Guelph professor explains that just because something doesn't carry a best-before date -- chocolate included -- that doesn't mean it doesn't have a shelf life. It just means it doesn't expire within the government-regulated period of 90 days.

"One of my biggest beefs is with diet drinks," said Mr. Marcone. "Between 90 days and six months, we start seeing a breakdown of the aspartame and end up with products that give an extremely bitter flavour -- and we don't even know the safety of that yet. They should absolutely bear a label."

Increased traceability and better communication be-tween manufacturers, retailers and government are also needed, according to a Canadian expert on food safety. Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the University of Regina, estimates that just 2% of what we eat is "monitored and verified by competent agencies" such as municipalities, provinces and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=750959
 

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ShipWreck said:
"One of my biggest beefs is with diet drinks," said Mr. Marcone. "Between 90 days and six months, we start seeing a breakdown of the aspartame and end up with products that give an extremely bitter flavour -- and we don't even know the safety of that yet. They should absolutely bear a label."
This is interesting...
 

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ShipWreck said:
ShipWreck said:
"One of my biggest beefs is with diet drinks," said Mr. Marcone. "Between 90 days and six months, we start seeing a breakdown of the aspartame and end up with products that give an extremely bitter flavour -- and we don't even know the safety of that yet. They should absolutely bear a label."
This is interesting...
Wow, that explains why their are so many over weight people walking around, their diet drinks are old and they don't work.... I'm sure the big "O" has a plan to fix this lol...... :lol:
 

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Maybe that is why I like fresh made candies so much.
 
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