SPAIN’S OCU consumer watchdog says that nearly half of the country’s main-branded chocolate turrons are not up to scratch.

With the festive turron-eating season upon us, the OCU analysed 17 chocolate turrons from different brands, and found that eight of them are unhealthy.

The key ingredient to a good chocolate turron is that the chocolate is made only from cocoa butter.

Poor quality nougats are mixed with less healthy fats such as vegetable oil, sunflower oil, oil palm or shea butter.

Reduced cocoa butter supplies is forcing some manufacturers to add additives to make them attractive to consumers, either with their smell or their taste, although, according to the OCU, always at the expense of their quality.

The OCU says that inevitably quality is down to price, so unsurprisingly the cheapest turrons are the biggest sellers, but they have the highest nutritional deficiencies.

It recommends spending a bit more to get a bar with ingredients that are less harmful to the body.

As a rule of thumb, good turron bars are thicker than overs and are far removed from the normal thickness of a normal chocolate bar.

The OCU advises buyers to look at the label to ensure that cocoa butter is the main ingredient and has no other fats, oils or additives.

If a bar is labelled E476(polyglycerol polyricinoleate), then it is not recommended and could cause gastrointestinal problems.

Also look out for the puffed rice in a bar which should be spread evenly throughout.

The OCU survey found just two of the turrons contained cocoa butter as an exclusive ingredient and one of the best options was the El Corte Ingles brand with experts praising the bar’s ingredients and for its crunchy composition.

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