May 23, 2024

Think BISTO gravy granules contain meat extract or animal fat? Think again!

I used to think, until recently, and more fool me, that any kind of Bisto gravy powder contained some kind of dried powdered version of beef or animal fat. After all, the gravy usually has a deep dark brown colour, and it has a kind of meaty taste, doesn’t it?

Furthermore, at a basic level, I had always assumed gravy, generally speaking, to be based on the juices from a piece of meat that had been simmering away for some time, perhaps mixed in with a bit of cornflour to make it thicker.

Well, imagine the shock I felt when I recently discovered that BISTO gravy granules have no meat extract in them at all.

So what do BISTO gravy granules have in them?

Here goes:

In short, carbohydrates:

  • Potato Starch
  • Maltodextrin
  • Wheat Flour
  • Sugar

Plus palm oil.

And various Flavourings, Flavour Enhancesrs and Emulsifiers

So then, in pouring BISTO over your roast dinner you are pouring a soup full of carbohydrates and sugar over it.

The carbohydrate content of BISTO is similar to that of a McVities chocolate digestive biscuit.

For every 100g of BISTO gravy powder you have 59.8g of Carbohydrate, for every 100g of McVities Chocolate Digestive there is 60.8g of Carbohydrate.

And you might think that BISTO has a higher proportion of protein in it than a McVities chocolate biscuit, but you’d be wrong.

For every 100g of BISTO gravy powder there is 1.7g of protein, for every McVities chocolate digestive, there is 6g.

What has shocked me, as someone who is trying to reduce carbohydrate intake, is how many years it has taken for me to realise this.

I’m not knocking BISTO, particularly, here. But it does make me wonder how I can have spent so much of my life under the impression that BISTO gravy granules were meat based.

Next week: the OXO cube is put under the microscope.

Further ‘gravy’ reading

Michael Bateman (1996) Aaaaaah, Not; Bisto, The Independent, 7th January 1996

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