(18/04/16) Having had some great news from Alpro this morning I am updating this post!…
Have you heard of the new Alpro yogurts called Go On? I was keen to try them having seen a few positive reviews. They come in blackcurrant, mango and passion fruit flavours and I bought mine from Ocado on a 4 for £3 deal. So how are they?
The yogurts are thick and creamy, 100% plant-based (so vegan) and high in soya protein, with about 7.5g protein per 150g pot. They are low in saturated fat and have added vitamins D2 and B12. They have a generous layer of fruit compote at the bottom.
They really are tasty. My favourite is the blackcurrant. The mango and passion fruit are a bit too sweet but the blackcurrant has remained nicely tart to contrast with the yogurt.
The price is comparable to cow’s milk single pot varieties like Danio Layer Yogurts, Total Greek or Tims, but more expensive than Muller Greek Style Corners.
As you can see I was a bit excited about getting into these and dropped one! Oops! Waste nothing though and I just went in through the underneath instead. Creative thinking, right?
All sounds good so far. But they had one ingredient which made me nervous. They have added the antioxidant ‘fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid’. Say what? OK, fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid can also be known as Ascorbyl Palmitate, E304, or vitamin C. According to the UK Food Guide it is an ester formed from ascorbic acid and palmitic acid.
Trying to spot these names is hard isn’t it? For a comprehensive list of possible palm oil names you can download this from Palm Oil Investigations.
I thought it interesting that they had avoided declaring the E number or palm-inclusive name on the ingredients. On their Plain and Fruit Soya Yogurt Alternatives they list Ascorbyl Palmitate under antioxidants. When I questioned them about the origin of this ingredient back in December 2015 they said ‘A small part is derived from palm oil. It is supplied according to RSPO’s green palm principles’, and ‘our supplier is a member of the RSPO and produces palm kernel oil under the RSPO’s ‘green palm’ principles.’
(You can see what Alpro and other manufacturers have to say about the palm oil in their products on this page.)
How far you take your avoidance of palm oil is of course up to you. It is well documented that RSPO members still participate in the deforestation & peat land burning which is destroying the homes of endangered tigers, orang-utans and elephants.
The great news is, Alpro hasn’t listed Ascorbyl Palmitate as the ingredient because it has managed to find a PALM OIL FREE alternative for fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid! I was very relieved to hear this.
So please, go and buy these yogurts. They are a delicious, creamy, fruity indulgence that is officially palm oil free.
Now, to persuade Alpro to swap the Ascorbyl Palmitate in their other yogurts for this new antioxidant. Will you help me? The more people voice a concern about the use of palm oil, the more likely we are to increase responsible sourcing.