Monday, May 28, 2007

There Goes Twix...

...but at least I still have Cadbury products Flake and Crunchie, which--as far as I know--will not contain rennet anytime soon. Rob just sent me this article, which announces Mars' decision to use rennet in their chocolate products in the UK. First of all, ewww!; and second, I'm allergic to the stuff! (I'm assuming US products are not affected.)

Mars starts using animal products
Some of the UK's best-selling chocolate bars, such as Mars and Twix, will no longer be suitable for vegetarians.

Also affecting brands such as Snickers and Maltesers, owner Masterfoods said it had started to use animal product rennet to make its chocolate products.

Masterfoods said the change was due to it switching the sourcing of its ingredients and the admission was a "principled decision" on its part.

The Vegetarian Society said the company's move was "incomprehensible".

Masterfoods said it had started using rennet from 1 May and non-affected products had a "best before date" up to 1 October.

Rennet, a chemical sourced from calves' stomachs, is used in the production of whey.

It will now also be found in Bounty, Minstrels and Milky Way products, and the ice cream versions of all Masterfoods' bars.

"If the customer is an extremely strict vegetarian, then we are sorry the products are no longer suitable, but a less strict vegetarian should enjoy our chocolate," said Paul Goalby, corporate affairs manager for Masterfoods.

The Vegetarian Society said it was "extremely disappointed".

"At a time when more and more consumers are concerned about the provenance of their food, Masterfoods' decision to use non-vegetarian whey is a backward step," it said in a statement.

"Mars products are very popular with young people and many will be shocked to discover that their manufacture now relies on the extraction of rennet from the stomach lining of young calves," it added.

This move really is incomprehensible, since I imagine whatever firming agent they were using before would be easier and cheaper to produce/extract than rennet, which only seems to turn up (these days) in more expensive cheeses here in the US.

In other EWWW--GRODY news, J & I watched Fast Food Nation last night, which on top of a mystery novel about an IRA job (Val MacDiarmid's Hostage to Murder) gave me some very strange nightmares....


Rob said...

STOP THE PRESSES! I did some googling to try to find out why in heaven's name a chocolate maker would need to use rennet, and I found out that they reversed the decision last week.

Sophie said...

Okay, we can argue until the cows come home (if they aren't too scared) but I cannot help it:

Cadbury's = margarine, sugar and brown food colouring.

Yes, I know Statesside chocolate in that price category is even more vile, but two wrongs don't make a right.

When you get here I'll have the Green and Black's ready for ya.