When you buy a slushy, ice-cold, blue, sugary drink, you KNOW you aren't making a healthy choice. The famous "Slurpee" machine at the 7-Eleven spews out colorful sludge for hot people.
At a recent trip to Dunkin Donuts here on the East Coast, I saw a drink called a Coolatta. Because I am Snack Girl, I began to question the poor counter person about the product:
How many calories is in that?I don't know.
What is it made with?Some base and syrup.
Do you have an ingredient list or nutritional fact guide for your products?No. Why don't you check online?
Well, I did. And frankly, I don't think it is very good business in 2010 not to have information about your food readily available for customers. Of course, if you are Dunkin Donuts, you probably don't want to have a calorie guide posted any where near the place.
Here are the ingredients in the Dunkin Donuts Coolatta reprinted from their website:
INGREDIENTS: Frozen Neutral Base [Water, Neutral Base (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Monopropylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate added as a preservative, Malic Acid, Cellulose Gum)], Watermelon Coolatta Concentrate (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate added as preservatives, Red 40).
MONOPROPYLENE GLYCOL!!! Wow, you know I haven't taken organic chemistry in a while, but that sounds like anti-freeze. Turns out that antifreeze is Ethylene Glycol - phew!
Actually, monopropylene glycol is not considered toxic to humans (and it is used to de-ice planes because it decomposes easily). So, its inclusion in the Coolatta is totally fine (probably) in terms of health risks.
My problem is that I had nowhere to find such information at Dunkin Donuts. For example, I had no idea that 32 ounces of the stuff included 121 grams of sugar (25 teaspoons).
And, if I, as a parent, wanted to shield my children from drinking safe petroleum derivatives, there was nowhere at the store to find out they were included in the drink.
My suggestion is to NOT order these drinks. Stick with Coca Cola where you can read the ingredients on the label.
As an aside, I checked ICEE and Slurpee and they don't include monopropylene glycol in their products. Their ingredient list includes high fructose corn syrup and flavors (just like soda).
I will be contacting Dunkin Donuts about their lack of nutritional information. So far, Frito-Lay, McD's, the FDA, and Michelle Obama have responded to my e-mails. I have heard NOTHING from Subway or my government representatives. Hey, don't you guys have time for Snack Girl?
What do you think of Dunkin Donuts Coolatta?