I was in the supermarket the other day and I was interested to see what the ingredients of packaged Guacamole dips would look like.  My kids are a huge fan of Guacamole.  I make it regularly.  I picked up a couple of different types and this is what I found:

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1.  Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients: Guacamole (50%), Cream Cheese (Milk, Cream, Stabiliser (410), Starter Culture), Corn (14%), Spring Onion, Capsicum (5%), Jalapeno Chilli, Canola Oil, Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Sugar, Food acids (270, 296, 300), Emulsifier (471), Soy Solids, Thickeners (415), Colour (140), Preservatives (202, 211)

This is a very interesting “FRESH” guacamole dip!  Ingredients are required to be  listed on a label in order of quantity in the product.  It is surprising to me, that a Guacamole dip is only 50% avocado.  I don’t know about you, but I have made guacamole, and I would say the most prominent ingredient in a Guacamole dip is avocado, with a few extra spices?!  I would have expected the Guacamole content to be sitting around 90-95%?  I also have never needed to add any oil?

Another surprise for me is the number of ingredients included in this “FRESH” dip? I can count at a minimum 23 ingredients! My Guacamole dip would have a max of 5-6 ingredients?! What does this scream to you?! Perhaps, we are trying to maintain our costs, and we will create a dip with only half avocado and fill it with fillers like corn, emulsifiers, thickeners, colours and preservatives to make it look like a home made Guacamole? Most of the additives included in this dip are safe food additives.  However, this dip contains preservatives 202 and 211. These preservatives can cause the following symptoms:

Preservative 202: allergic reactions, asthma, headaches, hyperactivity, stomach upsets and skin irritations.

Preservative 211: asthma, headaches, skin irritations, stomach upsets.

2. Avocado, Lime and Sea Salt

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Ingredients: Avocado (40%), Food acids (270,300), Neufchatel Cheese (milk, cream, starter culture, salt, stabiliser (410)), Food acid (lactic), Canola oil, white vinegar, lemon juice (223), lime juice (220), chives, salt, herbs & spices.

This dip is only 40% avocado! I am buying an avocado product that only contains 40% avocado and contains at least 16 ingredients! To top it off, the second largest ingredient in this product are food acids 270 and 300.  I wasn’t sure what neufchatel cheese was, I needed to google that!! (If you are wondering, it is a cheese similar to Camembert but sharper and saltier in taste!). I am not sure when lemon juice required a number next to it?  The number 223 is actually an additive known as Sodium metabisulphite.  Doesn’t sound like lemon juice to me?  Lime juice is lucky enough to also be sporting an additive next to it – 220 otherwise known as Sulphur dioxide. I am aware that natural lemon and lime juice act as natural preservatives.  However, why would they then need to be labelled with these additive numbers? These are actually additives, they are well known preservatives that can cause the following symptoms:

Preservative 223: hayfever, suspected respiratory, kidney and immunotoxicity.  Prohibited in foods for infants.
Preservative 220: Asthma, bronchitis, diarrhoea, nausea, stomach upsets, swelling, hives.  Prohibited in foods for infants.

In the supermarket I visited this particular day, these are the two of the better ones I could find.  I know the packaging is so convenient, however, I would prefer to bring a few ingredients with me and whiz it up wherever I was!  How about you? Do you make your own dips?

(Symptoms by additive sourced from Chemical Maze – Bill Statham)

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