Hopefully you will find this information as interesting as it was fun, researching the huge variety of vegetarian burger patties currently (July 2019) available from two different supermarket chains located in Rockhampton South.
Out of the 20 products Frozen and Fridge Vegie Burgers that I have reviewed by the packaging only not taste and have divided these up into best category. – See Pictures.
Thanks to @Good Point Acupuncture for asking for this product review, it has been an exciting learning experience.
If you would like to receive the full 20 list, send me a message.
Outlined below is more information that may help to shed light on ingredients when you are reading labels.
Methyl Cellulose is a chemically methylated plant product. Like cellulose, it is not digestible, not toxic and not allergenic. (1). Methyl Cellulose is sold under a variety of names, has an ‘E’ food additive number E461, (2), has unusual gelling properties – setting when hot, melting when cold. (3). This plant product is also a vegetarian alternative to gelatine.
In medical uses, Methyl Cellulose is a chemical compound used to relieve constipation. Side effects may include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, flatulence, bloating and in severe cases vomiting, chest pain and difficulties breathing. (4).
Potassium Sorbate is a synthesised preservative used in processed foods, various personal care products and selected dietary supplements. As a synthesised salt base, it passes through the body usually without harm. . (5). Preservatives delays the spoilage of foods for human consumption, animal consumption and topically applied personal care items. Potassium Sorbate has an ‘E’ food preservative number E202. (6),
Rarely allergies occur to Potassium Sorbate however when an adverse reaction occurs it is typically due to personal care products such as shampoo resulting in scalp and skin rash. Hypersensitivity children may react to particular preservatives, symptoms may include swelling of face, throat, runny nose, migraines (common) and diarrhoea. (7,8),
Soy Protein Isolate is just what the name tells us, the soybean has been processed and the protein extracted or isolated to create a powder that is high in protein, low in carbs and fat-free. (9). It is readily used in a variety of protein powders, protein bars, vegan meals and many packed foods in the supermarket.
There is still the element of soy in the end product, again hence the name. As a premenopausal woman that normally has a high oestrogen level, mood swings (pms) and fluctuating thyroid, I avoid anything with soy in it. Why? Soy is a plant-based oestrogen and can alter the body’s hormone levels. This is a touchy subject so before I jump on the band wagon of YES eat three serves a week or NO avoid like the plague…do your own research, understand your body, your hormone levels and if soy is safe for you.(10,11).
Mycoprotein is a type of fungus/mould that is considered safe for human consumption. My gut literally did a flip when I read this one. Sold to consumers as a digestible high protein meat substitute. The fungi botanical name is Fusarium venenatum and has been part of the genomes project since the 1960’s but only introduced to consumers in the past twenty or so years. (12). This high protein and fibre product is marketed under the brand name Quorn.
If you suffer any allergen to fungi or moulds (including when breathed in) it would be ideal to avoid eating any products using this ingredient. Some people who have allergens to eggs or milk may have a reaction with symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal pain, excessive gas, nausea, vomiting or hives. (13, 14). You can read more about this protein product below and in the reference list.
Interesting research links –
https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/hormones/estrogen What is estrogen? (2014, November).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26010861 Berent-Spillson, A., Briceno, E., Pinsky, A., Simmen, A., Persad, C. C., Zubieta, J. K., & Smith, Y. R. (2015, September). Distinct cognitive effects of estrogen and progesterone in menopausal women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 59, 25-36.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11403894 Hess, R. A., Bunick, D., Lee, K. H., Bahr, J., Taylor, J. A., Korach, K. S., & Lubahn, D. B. (2001, June 10). Estrogens and health in males. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 178(1-2), 51-5
Final words: Remember these are highly processed food products which the majority of have stabilisers, acidity regulators, preservatives and thickeners added. It is your choice to read labels and choose what suits your lifestyle and health the most appropriately. I have based all findings on my own opinion and research available today.
1. Cummings (1984). Cellulose and the human gut.
2. Food Standards Australia & New Zealand. (2019). Food labels. Live Well. NHS Choices. (2019).
3. Blumenthal, Heston. (2004) The Appliance of Science (Melting Point).
4. Watson; Cerner; Wolters. (2019). Micromedex.
- Carocho, M., Barreiro, M. F., & Morales, P. (2014, July). Adding molecules to food, pros and cons: A review on synthetic and natural food additives. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 13 (4), 377–399
- Food Standards Australia & New Zealand. (2019). Food labels. Live Well. NHS Choices. (2019).
- Bird JA, Jones S, Burks W. Food allergy. In: Rich RR, Fleisher TA, Shearer WT, et al, eds. Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.
- Sicherer SH, Lack G, Jones SM. Food allergy management. In: Adkinson NF Jr, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 84.
- USDA -Iowa State University Database on the Isoflavone Content of Foods,? Release 1.3, 2002, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory Agricultural Research Service.
- Kaga, C., Takagi, A., Kano, M., Kato, I., Sakai, M., Miyazaki, K., Nanno. M. et. al. (2013, November). Lactobacillus casei Shirota enhances the preventive efficacy of soymilk in chemically induced breast cancer. Cancer Science. 104(11), 1508-14
- Hypothyroidism. (2014, May 10)
- Randy M. Berka, … Michael W. Rey, in Applied Mycology and Biotechnology, 2004.
- Tee RD et al. (Clin Exper Allergy. 1993;23:257-260)
- Food Standards Australia & New Zealand. (2019).
This content is strictly the opinion of Janelle Tanzer and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Janelle Tanzer nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content.