Product Snapshot - Five:AM organic sweetened yoghurt

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 06 August 2014.
Tagged: breakfast, healthy eating, Liquid breakfast, Product Snapshot, review, yoghurt

Product Snapshot - Five:AM organic sweetened yoghurt

I love yoghurt! I eat it with my breakfast muesli and any time I feel like a decent snack. Oh, and served with strawberries, blueberries and passionfruit as a quick summer dessert. I keep being impressed with the flavour and ingredients in this organic yoghurt called “FIVE:AM”, that I found at the supermarket. So I thought I’d delve deeper ...

FIVE:AM is not in the class of a thick, plain Greek-style yoghurt that you can thicken a curry with or make tzatziki out of. It's what I would call a "dessert yoghurt" or "treat yoghurt” but with a superb flavour and mouth feel. At 170g per pot it comes in a sensible portion size!

I fell in love with their Honey and Cinnamon and drooled over the Dark Caramel (caramel anything catches my eye) but there are other lovelies such as Vanilla Bean, Coffee Bean, Coconut, Blueberry, plus Strawberry and Guava. All gorgeous!

Sugar content in this yoghurt

Yes there’s added sugar as well as the honey but at 13.2 per cent, it’s not that high and is less than ice cream (15) or chocolate (30) or lollies (100) which is what you’d eat instead. Go on, admit it. I estimate that of that 13 per cent total sugars, around 7 per cent is added sugar while 6 per cent is from natural milk sugar lactose. Not bad.

However, if you want to avoid sugar or you’re after a plain unsweetened cooking ingredient, Five:AM also make large 700g tubs of a nice Greek yoghurt (6.2% sugars*), plus a Natural unsweetend one with no added sugar (5.6% sugars*) and a Natural, slightly sweetened one, which DOES have added sugar but at only 9.4 per cent total sugars, it’s just a touch of sweetness.

*Note: this level reflects the natural lactose from milk (which is a sugar found in the milk of all mammals) and is measured as part of the “sugars” in the analysis – nothing sinister about lactose unless you are lactose intolerant. Even then you can still happily consume small quantities with a meal. Read my post on Eat to beat lactose intolerance for more.

Ingredients in FIVE:AM

 Ingredients from the label - Honey Cinnamon

Organic milk, organic honey (min 3%, water, honey, rice starch, cinnamon, natural colour), organic raw sugar, organic milk solids, live cultures (incl probiotics acidophilus and bifidus).

Above is the exact list from their pack but I thought there was something incorrect about the “organic honey”. Why would a single pure ingredient like ‘organic honey’ contain five other ingredients in the bracket following i.e. water, honey, rice starch, cinnamon and milk solids aka milk powder. It should be JUST honey. I then suspected that their bracket was in the wrong place so I emailed them.

Yes, via email, Stephanie and the Five:AM team told me they were aware of the error and were in the process of updating the label. I was told the updated ingredients should read:

 Organic Milk, Organic Raw Sugar, Organic Milk Solids, Live cultures (incl probiotics acidophilus and bifidus), Water, Organic Honey (30.0%), Organic Sugar, Maize Starch, Organic Cinnamon (0.2%), Food Acid (330).

 And, the natural colour was beta-carotene (a golden yellow colour), but they have decided to remove it. Plus they are replacing the rice starch with a maize starch from corn.

But this still doesn’t look right to me – how can a sweet yoghurt contain 30 per cent honey? This means that one-third of the yoghurt is honey which sounds way too much. If so, that would mean that I would expect to see at least 20 per cent sugars (not taking into account the added sugar) but I didn’t - there was only 13 per cent. So I reckon they must mean only 3% honey as they had before.

On 15 July, I received verification from Lauren and the FiveAM team. Yes it was indeed only 3%, not 30% honey.

She told me that I should direct you, my readers, to their website for the latest and most accurate List but when I went there on 15/7/14, I found only the old list which is:
Organic Milk, Organic Honey (Water, Organic Honey (3%), Rice Starch, Cinnamon (0.1%), Milk Solids), Organic Raw Sugar, Organic Cream, Milk Solids, Live Cultures (incl. probiotics acidophilus and bifidus).

Clearly the same old List as above.

Surely this is a simple error? So why wouldn’t the Comms Team refer my email enquiry to their Food Technologist or R&D Manager? This could be corrected quickly and readily if shown to the right person.

So hang fire and wait to see what appears as the final list. I have no doubt the product is fine – it’s merely the List on the pack which is in error.

In any case, I’m sure there’s less honey and more sugar (two forms – one raw and one white as it doesn’t specify anything other). And even though they’re organic, they’re still sugar so think of this as more of a “dessert” or “sweet treat” than a straight yoghurt.

Yoghurt 5AM Honey Cinn tub

Nutrition figures from the label

  Per 100g  Per 170g tub
 Kilojoules 471 800
 Protein, g 4.8 8.2
Total Fat, g  5.2 8.8 
                   - Saturated fat, g 3.1 5.3 
 Total Carbohydrate, g 13.7 23.3 
                   - Sugars, g 13.2 22.4
 Sodium, mg 53 90 
 Calcium, mg 100 170

PROs

  • Perfect portion size at 170g – not too much, not too little
  • Top quality from a supermarket brand
  • Organic - the milk is sourced from organic Australian farms nearby, many of which are run by families which is great
  • Australian made and owned
  • Source of bone-building calcium – 170mg from a small tub which represents over 20 per cent of your day’s needs
  • Source of dairy protein – 8g from a tub
  • No thickeners like gelatine but uses rice or maize starch as a thickener which are also in some other yoghurts
  • Low in sodium (salt)

 CONs

  • More of a sweet indulgence than an ingredient – think of it as a cross between yoghurt and a crème caramel but healthier.
  • Better for you than most desserts or biscuits or chocolate
  • Contains sugar, if this is a problem for you (in these quantities as an occasional treat, I don’t regards it as one).
  • Every ingredient is organic but this doesn’t make it have less sugar, fat or fewer kilojoules!
  • You pay more – the tubs cost $2.45 each which is $14.40 per kg – about twice as much as a regular Ski Delite or similar.
  • Higher in fat and saturated fat than other sweet yoghurts.
  • Higher in sugars but about one-third is the natural lactose sugar from milk and the rest is added.

The bottom line

This is a great-tasting and satisfying way to finish a meal when your stomach sends out for a sweet something. Or you could spoon it into a pretty bowl and add fresh raspberries or poached quince and serve it up at a dinner party. Everyone would think you’re a genius in the kitchen!


Five:AM in the news

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.