First Monsanto, now Twinkies…the ongoing death march of prepackaged, processed foods into day-to-day lives continues.
Starting next week we’ll be getting new, improved, longer lasting Twinkies snack cakes, courtesy of a reconstituted Hostess Brands.
The investors who bought the right to make Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, etc. will return the snack cakes to the marketplace starting next week.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is the Twinkies “shelf life” will soar from 26 days to 45 days.
What’s not to like about nearly doubling a product’s “freshness?”
A “normal,” homemade cupcake might have a shelf life – remaining halfway fresh – of maybe a week tops. More than tripling that to 26 days entails adding preservatives to an already highly processed product. God only knows what nearly doubling that means in terms of delivering a halfway healthy product.
The company has declined to identify what changes were made to hit the 45 day mark.
Hostess is also saying it will further lengthen the life of Twinkies by shipped them frozen, enabling retailers to stamp their own expiration dates on the cakes.
Will freezing affect the taste?
Any suggestion that Hostess is altering the “integrity” of its cakes is “completely untrue,” a spokeswoman says.
That’s bullshit, Yahoo Answers says. Freezing definitely affects the flavor of the item being frozen.
Refrigeration for example, is used to slow bacterial action so it takes food longer – a week or two rather than half a day in some cases – to spoil. And while pastry is one of the better foods to freeze, taking into account the 45 day ingredient additions, raises unanswered questions
That Hostess will not come clean on its new additives can’t be good.
According to Science, How Stuff Works, “Monoglycerides anddiglycerides, which replace eggs in the Twinkie recipe, are compounds that act as emulsifiers. They stabilize the cake batter, enhance flavor and extend shelf life [source: Ettlinger]. A very small amount of egg is used to leaven the cake.Polysorbate 60 serves a similar function to the glycerides, keeping the cream filling creamy without the use of real fat. Hydrogenated shortening replaces butter, giving the cake some of its texture and flavor and prolonging shelf life.
“Taste tests by flavor experts have revealed that artificial butter flavoring is used in the cake and artificial vanilla flavoring goes into the cream filling [source: Ettlinger]. Both flavorings are chemicals derived from petroleum.
“Despite the Twinkie’s reputation, only one ingredient is an actual preservative: sorbic acid. Other ingredients have preservative functions, but sorbic acid has one primary purpose — it stops the formation of mold [source: Ettlinger].”
And that was before Hostess doubled the shelf life.
Could be worse, Live Science.com says, in, Four Foods That Are Worse for You Than Twinkies.
For the record they are, soda, fruit flavored drinks, cereal bars made with refined flour and margarine made with hydrogenated fats.
Anyway, see you at the Twinkie counter at Hen House and Price Chopper next week.