Fruit smoothies and frappes ‘hidden’ sugar concerns, CHOICE finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd January 2013

While it is commonly known that fruit and vegetables are a healthy option for a snack, new CHOICE research has found that consuming these in beverage form can often contain “larger serving sizes than the average plate of food.”

CHOICE analysed 95 popular Australian brands of smoothies and frappes recently and found that many had “added sugar” and “fruit concentrate” which ruled them out as a healthy option.

Of the smoothies and frappes reviewed by CHOICE, 81 of 95 beverages were deemed as “high in sugar” containing up to 31 teaspoons of sugar in a single beverage.

Further, the serving sizes of a ‘regular’ or ‘medium’ sized beverage were considered well-above the Australian Dietary Guidelines for a snack by CHOICE’s review panel.

“[This] poses serious health issues for people consuming these drinks as between-meal ‘snacks’,” a CHOICE spokesperson said.

“When fruit is juiced, the sugars, fluids and flavours are extracted from the fruit fibre, but the kilojoule content remains much the same. In addition to the fruit concentrate that is already high in natural sugars, some drinks also contain added sugar,” the CHOICE spokesperson added.

The CHOICE article provides a breakdown of nutrient information, commentaries and recommendations in relation to a wide range of competing fruit smoothie products in the Australian market.

The full CHOICE report can be found here.