Are KitKats hydrogenated?



D

David Johnson

Guest
Hello,

I'm trying to avoid trans fats in my diet, and I'm also fond
of KitKat bars. One of the listed ingredients is "refined
palm kernel oil". Does anyone know if "refined" could
potentially mean "hydrogenated"?

Thanks in advance for any information from those who
might know.

-David
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> I'm trying to avoid trans fats in my diet, and I'm also
> fond of KitKat bars. One of the listed ingredients is
> "refined palm kernel oil". Does anyone know if "refined"
> could potentially mean "hydrogenated"?

They probably contain some hydrogenated fats, since it helps
prevent melting of the chocolate. But occasional KitKat bars
aren't going to do any harm, even if they contain
hydrogenated fats. How many do you usually eat? Has your
doctor imposed any specific dietary restrictions?

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D

David Johnson

Guest
> > I'm trying to avoid trans fats in my diet, and I'm also
> > fond of KitKat
bars.
> > One of the listed ingredients is "refined palm kernel
> > oil". Does anyone know if "refined" could potentially
> > mean "hydrogenated"?
>
> They probably contain some hydrogenated fats, since it
> helps prevent melting of the chocolate.

I suspected that might be the case as well, except that
cocoa butter is listed higher up in the ingredients listing.
So my suspicion is that cocoa butter is used to solidify the
chocolate coating, and the "refined" palm kernel oil is used
in the layers between the wafers. I'm just wondering whether
"refined" means the oil is somehow filtered, skimmed,
hydrogenated or processed in some other way. A mental image
of a Toxco refinery comes to mind... you'd think they'd
choose a better word to describe the way it's processed. :)

> But occasional KitKat bars aren't going to do any harm,
> even if they contain hydrogenated fats. How many do you
> usually eat? Has your doctor imposed any specific dietary
> restrictions?

I usually only eat one bar a day, as dessert, but since no
amount of trans fats is safe, and since their detrimental
affects are cumulative, I make every effort to find
alternative snacks without them whenever possible. Since
this is a snack I enjoy, I'd rather not strike it off my
shopping list unnecessarily.
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> I suspected that might be the case as well, except that
> cocoa butter is listed higher up in the ingredients
> listing. So my suspicion is that cocoa butter is used to
> solidify the chocolate coating, and the "refined" palm
> kernel oil is used in the layers between the wafers.

Cocoa butter contributes texture and taste, but not
solidity. Pure cocoa butter is a yellowish vegetable fat
with a marvellously delicious scent that melts at less than
body temperature. At room temperature it is just barely
solid enough not to flow on its own. Chocolates that contain
lots of cocoa butter are often so melty that they cannot be
easily eaten.

> I'm just wondering whether "refined" means the oil is
> somehow filtered, skimmed, hydrogenated or processed in
> some other way.

That would be my guess, although I don't really know.

> I usually only eat one bar a day, as dessert, but since no
> amount of trans fats is safe, and since their detrimental
> affects are cumulative, I make every effort to find
> alternative snacks without them whenever possible.

Sometimes the devil you know is safer than the devil you
don't know; in other words, I'm not convinced that
avoiding KitKats is really that important. One a day is
trivial. Worry more about what you're eating the rest of
the day (much of which may well contain some nasty stuff
of its own).

> Since this is a snack I enjoy, I'd rather not strike it
> off my shopping list unnecessarily.

I don't see any reason to strike it off at all.

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D

David Johnson

Guest
> > I suspected that might be the case as well, except that
> > cocoa butter is listed higher up in the ingredients
> > listing. So my suspicion is that
cocoa
> > butter is used to solidify the chocolate coating, and
> > the "refined" palm kernel oil is used in the layers
> > between the wafers.
>
> Cocoa butter contributes texture and taste, but not
> solidity. Pure cocoa butter is a yellowish vegetable fat
> with a marvellously delicious scent that melts at less
> than body temperature. At room temperature it is just
> barely solid enough not to flow on its own. Chocolates
> that contain lots of cocoa butter are often so melty that
> they cannot be easily eaten.

That's not to say that hydrogenation is *required* in order
to provide a solid consistency to chocolate, though. Your
plain Hershey bar has none of the stuff, for instance.

> > I'm just wondering whether "refined" means the oil is
> > somehow filtered, skimmed, hydrogenated or processed in
> > some other way.
>
> That would be my guess, although I don't really know.
>
> > I usually only eat one bar a day, as dessert, but since
> > no amount of
trans
> > fats is safe, and since their detrimental affects are
> > cumulative, I make every effort to find alternative
> > snacks without them whenever possible.
>
> Sometimes the devil you know is safer than the devil you
> don't know; in other words, I'm not convinced that
> avoiding KitKats is really that important. One a day is
> trivial. Worry more about what you're eating the rest of
> the day (much of which may well contain some nasty stuff
> of its own).
>
> > Since this is a snack I enjoy, I'd rather not strike it
> > off my shopping
list
> > unnecessarily.
>
> I don't see any reason to strike it off at all.

You don't? Thanks for sharing your opinion. Just out of
curiosity, what is your area of profession or expertise on
the subject? I just want to put it in perspective.
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> That's not to say that hydrogenation is *required* in
> order to provide a solid consistency to chocolate, though.
> Your plain Hershey bar has none of the stuff, for
> instance.

Cocoa powder itself is solid at room temperature, so if the
cocoa butter content is low, you don't need anything to keep
it solid. Dark chocolate is like this. Also, not having milk
in the chocolate keeps it more solid, I believe. There are
various ways of keeping it from melting in your hand, not in
your mouth.

> You don't? Thanks for sharing your opinion. Just out of
> curiosity, what is your area of profession or expertise on
> the subject? I just want to put it in perspective.

I don't have a special area of expertise. If you want
expert, "official" advice, see a doctor. USENET isn't the
place to look for it.

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D

David Johnson

Guest
> > > > Since this is a snack I enjoy, I'd rather not strike
> > > > it off my
shopping list
> > > > unnecessarily.
> > >
> > > I don't see any reason to strike it off at all.
> >
> > You don't? Thanks for sharing your opinion. Just out of
> > curiosity,
what is
> > your area of profession or expertise on the subject? I
> > just want to put
it
> > in perspective.
>
> I don't have a special area of expertise. If you want
> expert, "official" advice, see a doctor. USENET isn't the
> place to look for it.

The reason I asked is because I wasn't looking to be swayed
either way on the use of foodstuffs containing hydrogenated
oils - I was simply asking for a definition of "refined palm
kernel oil", in the context of hydrogenation, from those who
might know.
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> The reason I asked is because I wasn't looking to be
> swayed either way on the use of foodstuffs containing
> hydrogenated oils - I was simply asking for a definition
> of "refined palm kernel oil", in the context of
> hydrogenation, from those who might know.

A bit of searching around on the Web reveals that "refined"
and "hydrogenated" are not synonymous, so the fact that the
oil is refined doesn't necessarily mean that it is
hydrogenated, unless this is also explicitly stated.

But overall, I don't see it as much of a concern. Unless you
have very strict dietary restrictions imposed by your
doctor, a KitKat a day isn't going to make any difference to
your health.

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D

David Johnson

Guest
> > The reason I asked is because I wasn't looking to be
> > swayed either way
on
> > the use of foodstuffs containing hydrogenated oils - I
> > was simply asking
for
> > a definition of "refined palm kernel oil", in the
> > context of
hydrogenation,
> > from those who might know.
>
> A bit of searching around on the Web reveals that
> "refined" and "hydrogenated" are not synonymous, so the
> fact that the oil is refined doesn't necessarily mean that
> it is hydrogenated, unless this is also explicitly stated.

While I agree that the labeling doesn't necessarily mean the
product uses hydrogenated oil, it still seems ambiguous. I
guess a better question would be whether it's legal for
hydrogenated oil to be labeled as "refined". Sometimes
clever wording is used, like as "vegetable fat" and
"margarine", to throw-off consumers looking for this
information.

> But overall, I don't see it as much of a concern. Unless
> you have very strict dietary restrictions imposed by your
> doctor, a KitKat a day isn't going to make any difference
> to your health.

From what I've read, as little as 2 grams daily intake of
trans fats is detrimental to human health. Another report
states that no amount of intake of trans fats is safe. The
nutrition facts label on the KitKat bar states 11 grams
total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated (1 bar = 1 serving,
and no mention of poly or mono). Therefore, if labeling
guidelines allow for trans fats to be labeled as "refined",
this means that up to 4 grams of trans fats are contained in
each bar. In neither case could this amount of daily intake
of trans fat be considered benign.
 
D

David Johnson

Guest
> > The reason I asked is because I wasn't looking to be
> > swayed either way
on
> > the use of foodstuffs containing hydrogenated oils - I
> > was simply asking
for
> > a definition of "refined palm kernel oil", in the
> > context of
hydrogenation,
> > from those who might know.
>
> A bit of searching around on the Web reveals that
> "refined" and "hydrogenated" are not synonymous, so the
> fact that the oil is refined doesn't necessarily mean that
> it is hydrogenated, unless this is also explicitly stated.

While I agree that the labeling doesn't necessarily mean the
product uses hydrogenated oil, it still seems ambiguous. I
guess a better question would be whether it's legal for
hydrogenated oil to be labeled as "refined". Sometimes
clever wording is used, like as "vegetable fat" and
"margarine", to throw-off consumers looking for this
information.

> But overall, I don't see it as much of a concern. Unless
> you have very strict dietary restrictions imposed by your
> doctor, a KitKat a day isn't going to make any difference
> to your health.

From what I've read, as little as 2 grams daily intake of
trans fats is detrimental to human health. Another report
states that no amount of intake of trans fats is safe. The
nutrition facts label on the KitKat bar states 11 grams
total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated (1 bar = 1 serving,
and no mention of poly or mono). Therefore, if labeling
guidelines allow for trans fats to be labeled as "refined",
this means that up to 4 grams of trans fats are contained in
each bar. In neither case could this amount of daily intake
of trans fat be considered benign.
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> From what I've read, as little as 2 grams daily intake of
> trans fats is detrimental to human health. Another report
> states that no amount of intake of trans fats is safe.

Well, wait five years, and researchers will probably be
recommending trans-fat supplements.

> The nutrition facts label on the KitKat bar states 11
> grams total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated (1 bar = 1
> serving, and no mention of poly or mono). Therefore, if
> labeling guidelines allow for trans fats to be labeled as
> "refined", this means that up to 4 grams of trans fats are
> contained in each bar. In neither case could this amount
> of daily intake of trans fat be considered benign.

It depends on what else you are eating, and more generally,
on your entire lifestyle. Do you smoke? Do you drink
alcohol? Are you overweight? And so on.

In my case, I worry mainly about total calories, but I don't
care where they come from. That's because my health is
threatened much more by excess weight than by anything
contained in my diet. And if I smoked, the main risk would
be from smoking. Etc.

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M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> From what I've read, as little as 2 grams daily intake of
> trans fats is detrimental to human health. Another report
> states that no amount of intake of trans fats is safe.

Well, wait five years, and researchers will probably be
recommending trans-fat supplements.

> The nutrition facts label on the KitKat bar states 11
> grams total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated (1 bar = 1
> serving, and no mention of poly or mono). Therefore, if
> labeling guidelines allow for trans fats to be labeled as
> "refined", this means that up to 4 grams of trans fats are
> contained in each bar. In neither case could this amount
> of daily intake of trans fat be considered benign.

It depends on what else you are eating, and more generally,
on your entire lifestyle. Do you smoke? Do you drink
alcohol? Are you overweight? And so on.

In my case, I worry mainly about total calories, but I don't
care where they come from. That's because my health is
threatened much more by excess weight than by anything
contained in my diet. And if I smoked, the main risk would
be from smoking. Etc.

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me directly.
 
L

Larry Hoover

Guest
"David Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Hello,
>
> I'm trying to avoid trans fats in my diet, and I'm also
> fond of KitKat
bars.
> One of the listed ingredients is "refined palm kernel
> oil". Does anyone know if "refined" could potentially mean
> "hydrogenated"?
>
> Thanks in advance for any information from those who
> might know.
>
> -David

Refined does not mean hydrogenated. There is a food-grade
hydrogenated palm kernel oil, but it has one more processing
step than does refined palm kernel oil. The refining process
removes co-extractives, and bleaches and deodorizes the oil.
Refining can also mean that the oil is partially
fractionated. Palm kernel oil is mostly medium-chain
saturated fatty acids, with relatively small amounts of 18-
carbon mono- and di-unsaturates.

Lar
 
D

David Johnson

Guest
> Refined does not mean hydrogenated. There is a food-grade
> hydrogenated
palm
> kernel oil, but it has one more processing step than does
> refined palm kernel oil. The refining process removes co-
> extractives, and bleaches and deodorizes the oil. Refining
> can also mean that the oil is partially fractionated. Palm
> kernel oil is mostly medium-chain saturated fatty
acids,
> with relatively small amounts of 18-carbon mono- and di-
> unsaturates.
>
> Lar

Thanks very much for the post. This is just the kind of info
I was looking for.
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
David Johnson writes:

> I know you are being facetious, but the ill effects of
> trans fats are pretty well established now.

Well, it used to be all fat. Then it was no fat. Then it was
only certain fats. Then it was only certain _other_ fats.
And so on.

The fact is, controlled studies are extremely difficult to
conduct in human beings, and often research depends a great
deal on circumstantial evidence, and confuses correlation
with causation.

> Again, _no_amount_of_trans_fat_intake_is_safe_.

That is an exaggeration. Even cyanide is safe if the amount
of it ingested it small enough (really small).

> Here's a hypothetical question - if the candy bar you
> enjoyed eating had arsenic, instead of trans fat, and the
> level was low enough not to cause any overt symptoms by
> eating a bar a day, and you later discovered it contained
> arsenic, would you still eat one every day? Of course not.

I don't know. Apples contain cyanide, but I still eat
apples. And of course a lot of people smoke, even though
just about everything in cigarette smoke is toxic (nicotine,
in particular, is one of the most toxic substances known).

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D

David Johnson

Guest
> > From what I've read, as little as 2 grams daily intake
> > of trans fats is detrimental to human health. Another
> > report states that no amount of
intake
> > of trans fats is safe.
>
> Well, wait five years, and researchers will probably be
> recommending trans-fat supplements.

I know you are being facetious, but the ill effects of trans
fats are pretty well established now.

> > The nutrition facts label on the KitKat bar states 11
> > grams total fat, of which 7 grams is saturated (1 bar =
> > 1 serving,
and no
> > mention of poly or mono). Therefore, if labeling
> > guidelines allow for
trans
> > fats to be labeled as "refined", this means that up to 4
> > grams of trans
fats
> > are contained in each bar. In neither case could this
> > amount of daily intake of trans fat be considered
> > benign.
>
> It depends on what else you are eating, and more
> generally, on your entire lifestyle.

I would agree with this statement if the ratio of non-trans
to trans were important, or the ratio of non-trans calories
to trans calories were important... but they're not factors
here. Again, _no_amount_of_trans_fat_intake_is_safe_. And
again, it's not relative to total caloric intake, or
relative to how good or bad the other foods in the diet may
be, or relative to the other vices a person has.

Here's a hypothetical question - if the candy bar you
enjoyed eating had arsenic, instead of trans fat, and the
level was low enough not to cause any overt symptoms by
eating a bar a day, and you later discovered it contained
arsenic, would you still eat one every day? Of course not.
Same general principal.

I got the answer I was looking for from another poster, so
I'm done here.
 
E

Emma Chase Vanc

Guest
Mxsmanic <[email protected]> wrote:
: David Johnson writes:

: > That's not to say that hydrogenation is *required* in
: > order to provide a solid consistency to chocolate,
: > though. Your plain Hershey bar has none of the stuff,
: > for instance.

: Cocoa powder itself is solid at room temperature, so if
: the cocoa butter content is low, you don't need anything
: to keep it solid. Dark chocolate is like this. Also, not
: having milk in the chocolate keeps it more solid, I
: believe. There are various ways of keeping it from melting
: in your hand, not in your mouth.

Does dark chocolate have less fat than milk chocolate?

Emma
 
T

taurusrc

Guest
Chunky KitKat 282 calories, 15.2g fat

Two-thirds chocolate, so reasonably sustaining. Again free
from hydrogenated fats found in caramel and nougat fillings.

5/10 50% MORE FAT THAN A MARS

On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 06:20:10 GMT, "David Johnson"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Hello,
>
>I'm trying to avoid trans fats in my diet, and I'm also
>fond of KitKat bars. One of the listed ingredients is
>"refined palm kernel oil". Does anyone know if "refined"
>could potentially mean "hydrogenated"?
>
>Thanks in advance for any information from those who
>might know.
>
>-David
 
M

Mxsmanic

Guest
Emma Chase VanCott writes:

> Does dark chocolate have less fat than milk chocolate?

Yes. The fat is mostly in the cocoa butter and milk, both of
which are far less present in dark chocolate.

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