February 18, 2010

Mott's Plus Fiber Applesauce

Mott's Applsauce has a new line of "Mott's Plus" snack-sized applesauce cups. Three different flavors are "formulated with important nutrients for which women often don't meet their daily requirements":
  • Cranberry Raspberry flavor has 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • Apple flavor provides 10% of the daily value for calcium (100 mg)
  • Pomegranate provides 17 mg of the protective antioxidant vitamins C & E
While natural no-sugar added applesauce consists of apples, water and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) - the high fiber variety has a lot more ingredients, including maltodextrin (an isolated fiber) and apple puree concentrate, which help give it 2 more grams of fiber per serving than the standard variety.

Here's how the Mott's Plus Fiber No Sugar Added applesauce stacks up against their traditional No Sugar Added applesauce:

Are you wondering why all commercial applesauce contains added ascorbic acid (vitamin C)? If you've ever cut an apple and watched as it turned brown when exposed to air, then you have witnessed the phenomenon known as enzymatic browning. Vitamin C is an antioxidant - meaning that it prevents oxidation on the fruit surface. When vitamin C is added to a fruit or vegetable's flesh, it prevents discoloration. 

So is Mott's Plus Fiber No Sugar Added applesauce the healthiest apple product you can eat? Not exactly. From its ingredient list you can see there's a lot of stuff added to bulk up the fiber and make the high fiber version taste good. In actuality, if you like apples, then choosing a good old apple is your best choice. One small sized apple (2 3/4" diameter) has 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber, not to mention that a real apple is also packed full of water and will cost you less per serving than an applesauce cup. As with a lot of these new high-fiber processed food products, it seems logical to ask - "Why mess with the real thing?"