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We’d all love to live a healthy, active life. Many health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and liver disease are preventable so we believe we have a real opportunity to support a healthier society by making the freshest and most nutritional products accessible to all our customers. Our ‘Pick of the Week’ fruit and vegetable promotions and Healthy Checkouts scheme are just two of our initiatives.
Colours and preservatives
Colours are added to food to boost the colour of a product according to customers’ expectations. This is generally achieved through using either natural or artificial colours.
Using colours counterbalances any loss of naturally occurring colour during the production process (e.g. through cooking). However, colours are also added to products such as sweets to suggest a particular flavour that the customer would naturally associate with that colour (for example, red equals cherry flavour).
To ensure a high quality and a natural flavour, we have already removed artificial colours from a large number of our own-label products. Wherever this is the case, we make it evident to our customers by emphasising this on the front of the packaging.
Drying, smoking and curing are amongst the oldest methods of preserving food. With the advent of large-scale food production, however, the practice of adding preservatives began in order to lengthen shelf life and to prevent easily perishable foods from spoiling.
Using the latest technology, we are already removing artificial preservatives from a large number of our own-label products.
We use oils and fats daily in the preparation of meals to improve flavour. Fats are therefore part of our daily diet.
With this in mind, we were the first discounter in the UK to use high quality sunflower oil in the production of our Crusti Croc crisps. This ‘high oleic’ sunflower oil contains a higher percentage of unsaturated fats in comparison to other oils.
As part of our commitment to continually improve our recipes, we have since revised the recipes of our entire Harvest Basket range of frozen potato products to use sunflower or rapeseed oil.
Fats are essential for a healthy body; they are a source of energy, carry nutrients around the body and add flavour to food. For a healthy lifestyle, however, the level of fat intake, as well as the type of fat consumed, is important.
As part of the production process, liquid oils are ‘hardened’ to become hydrogenated fats so that the product has the required consistency and shelf life. However, if consumed in excessive amounts over a long period of time, hydrogenated fats may have an effect on the human body.
We began taking this into consideration years ago and reformulated all our own-label products in our product range that contained hydrogenated fats. Consequentially, while taste remains our top priority, we have no more own-label products on our shelves that contain hydrogenated fats.