Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heinz Blue Cheese Dressing

The packaging proudly proclaims "Made with real blue cheese."

Okay, fine, but Heinz' blue cheese dressing is also made with:

Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Disodium Phosphate, Parsley Granules, Tragacanth Gum, and Polysorbate 20.

Never have I had blogpost with quite so many words that the built in spellchecker did not recognize. In fairness, it totally understands Parsley Granules, however a google search for that phrase yields under 1000 results, so it's clearly not so commonly used. Parsley granules appear to be the same as parsley flakes, ground parsley, and parsley powder, however all of those produce more hits. If it were purely semantics I would have thought that Heinz would choose the most familiar of those phrases, and that's what worries me. What makes them granules? What absurd chemical deconstruction produced this parsley by-product?

Tragacanth I have never seen before. At its roots are two Greek words traga and akantha which mean "goat" and "horn." So it would not be unreasonable to assume that this gum is made from ground goat-horn. Stranger things have been known to make it into foods. I'm sure you could make a competing jell-o product out of goat horn. But according to MedicineNet.com it's derived from a Middle-eastern legume. This gummifier (that's a funny word) is a proficient remedy of constipation. But that's not all, other plants in the same genus are being studied for their ability to activate telomerase. So it's possible that by guzzling Heinz' blue cheese dressing you may extend your life. That last statement has not been evaluated or approved of by the FDA. And it totally ignores the fact that one serving of this dressing has 43% of your daily saturated fat. Mmm.

The rest of the ingredients at least ring bells as emulsifiers and thickening agents, but the fact that they're so unfamiliar makes Heinz' initial proclamation of realness seem vaguely hinky. Sure the blue cheese may be real, but what about all that other crap?

If O.J. were making blue cheese dressing, he'd find a way to do it without using ingredients no one has ever heard of.

Bonus: Can you identify the beaker of polysorbate 20 in this post's picture?

2 comments:

Who is Rebekah? said...

I ate some blue cheese the other day. It was a gift. It was very good.

Then I ate some blue cheese on a salad at a restaurant tonight. It was not nearly as good as the blue cheese I received as a gift.

Progeny of Trystero said...

I think it's almost a guarantee that the blue cheese you had at home has life extending properties, even without the addition of tragacanth gum.