How much of the real fruit pictured on the label actually makes it in these products?
Slick images of strawberries, lemons, limes, oranges, and other wholesome-looking fruit adorn the front labels of a number of popular grocery store items, beckoning consumers with a healthy snack on their shopping list. But how much of the real fruit pictured on the label actually makes it in these products, which also often have the highlighted fruit in their product names?
According to a recent trend in class-action litigation, not much.
Instead, the lawsuits allege, the fruit flavor derives from a lab and is the product of mixing real-fruit extracts with additives and solvents, resulting in a “synthesized, stripped-down version” of the fruit depicted on the label.
Or in the case of Kashi’s “ripe strawberry” breakfast bars, the gooey strawberry filling “enlarged to show tastiness” on the front label
is “mostly made up of pear and apple ingredients,” according to a lawsuit
against the company filed in May.
The lawsuit cites the ingredients list on the side label, which lists “strawberry puree concentrate” as the fifth most predominant ingredient in the strawberry filling, after pear juice concentrate, tapioca syrup, cane sugar and apple powder.
The lawsuits argue consumers reasonably expect to receive the health benefits of the advertised fruit, but because the fruit ingredient is often natural or artificial flavor (which actually aren’t all that different when it comes to composition
), they aren’t getting any of those benefits.
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