Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Pack double standard in food — coffee with more foam, Arabic gum and fructose in drinks sold in Bulgaria

The Commission released the results of a second study
New research shows that the practice of double standard for food in the EU continues. It was conducted by the Joint Research Centre, a scientific service of the European Commission, providing independent, research-based advice to support EU policy making.

The report shows that some of the checked goods in Bulgaria have different ingredients than those in other countries. One of the divergences, for example, is the use of fructose instead of sugar.

In carbonated drinks in Bulgaria we put Arabic chewing gum, while in Western European countries the ingredient is not used. Arabic gum is a type of fiber derived from plants. It is used as a thickener and binder, which helps to hold the ingredients together.

With a tested brand of coffee in Bulgaria it was found that it forms more foam when brewed. Chips had the highest salt content in our country.

20 products sold in different EU countries have been studied. Samples were taken in September 2020 and testing is until the end of November 2020. The goal was to establish whether differences in composition could be detected by human senses.

In 10 of the food products there were significant taste differences. According to the researchers, this is due to the different ingredients. An example is given with orange juice content in orange, peach juice in iced tea, fat in mayonnaise, sugar in breakfast cereals, salt in cream cheese. At the same time, smaller differences in content led less often to significant differences in taste - for example, fat in chips or cocoa in a powder drink.

The EU points out that the experts who did the research are specially trained and therefore it is likely that the average consumer will not experience the same differences in taste. It is also pointed out that consumers do not form their decision to buy a product just because of taste, but may also be influenced by other factors such as price.

Experts provise that the quality of raw materials and production in different factories cannot be controlled to such an extent that there are completely identical products. It is also pointed out that the results came from a relatively small number of samples and could not serve as a summary.

The first EU food double standate study was published in mid-2019 Then the differences in the composition of foodstuffs were emphasised and found to be in one third, without this being indicated on the labels.

The abolition of the double standard in food will happen only in May next year when the EU directive enters into force. (24 hours)