High content of Sugar in Milo Drinks. Rating: ‘True and Correct’


High content of Sugar in Milo Drinks


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Sri Lanka President bitter over sugar in Milo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena took Nestle head on Sunday as he asked the multinational to reduce the sugar content in its popular Milo drink or face tougher legislation.

Holding up a carton of Milo, the President said he will tour the country campaigning against its consumption unless Nestle agreed to reduce the sugar content in Milo to below five percent from its current 16.5 percent.

He also asked Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to extend the sugar tax on soft drinks to all forms of sweetened beverages. The 2018 budget slapped a 50 cent tax on each gram of sugar in soft drinks with effect from Thursday night.

Launching a walk at Galle Face to mark the World Diabetic Day which falls on Tuesday, President Sirisena said he was proposing a month-long island-wide campaign to discourage sugar consumption.

High consumption of candy and sweetened drinks and beverages have been linked to, among other things, obesity, weight gain, diabetes and even heart disease.

The President said the excess sugar intake was a key cause of diabetes affecting just over 10 percent of the country’s 21 million population. Another 21 percent were at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Sirisena accused Nestle of increasing the sugar content in Milo in the past five years.

“Around 2012 when I visited their factory, I noticed this drink had 15 percent sugar, but today I notice it is 16.5 percent,” Sirisena said showing the Milo carton to the audience.

“I want them to reduce it to five percent. Otherwise we will bring legislation to control the sugar content in all beverages.” He did not set them a deadline for the Swiss multi-national to cut down on sugar. (COLOMBO, November 12, 2017)




Nestlé fights back after Sri Lankan President rages over sugar content in Milo

Nestlé has hit back after the Sri Lankan President slated the manufacturer over the level of sugar in its Milo drink.

President Maithripala Sirisena recently launched an outspoken attack on the firm, claiming it had increased the sugar content in Milo from 15% in 2012 to 16.5% today.

He said he would tour the country campaigning against its consumption unless Nestlé agreed to reduce the added sugar.

But Samantha Mendis-Wedage, senior manager of corporate communications at Nestlé Lanka, said the President had got his numbers wrong.

“Over the last five years, we have reduced added sugar (sucrose) in Milo Ready-To-Drink (RTD) by 32%. Currently, a MILO RTD pack contains only 8.2 grams (less than 5%) of added sugar.”​

“By our own internal analyses, Milo RTD currently contains one of the lowest levels of sucrose in the local milk-based beverage category,”​ she added.

The President also asked the Finance Minister to extend the tax on soft drinks to all forms of sweetened beverages. Sri Lanka’s latest Budget put in place a 50-cent tax on each gram of sugar in soft drinks, which took effect earlier this month.

The President made these remarks at a walk marking World Diabetes Day.

The official website of the President did not mention these statements, only that he proposed to declare a “diabetic month” to raise the awareness of diabetes among people, “pointed out the importance to display the level of sugar in the ingredients of the packets of milk powders”​ and stressed the importance of “the tax imposed on sweet drinks, decided in the last year’s Budget”.​

Meanwhile, Nestlé Lanka’s profits have plunged by more than 30% year-on-year in each of the past three quarters.

Several reasons for this include the food and beverages market in Sri Lanka having been hit by severe drought and floods, which has led to people having less money and buying less. In the past two years, Sri Lanka has also been experiencing financial troubles, with the state subsequently raising taxes.

At the time of publishing, Nestlé has not replied if President Sirisena’s statements are expected to have further impact on Milo sales and Nestlé’s profits.

Ironically, in 2016, the President himself presented an award to Nestlé Lanka for Best MNC engaged in Exports.

Nestlé Lanka began work on its new facility in Kurunegala in January, which will expand the company’s capacity for dairy and coconut-based products. (Source: Colombo Page)



Milo Contains More Sugar Than Malt, Cocoa and Milk
Just as explained before that the proportion by weight of ingredients in any food products are labelled in descending order – highest to lowest. This is the standards and that is what any reputable food manufacturer follows. If you take a quick look at any Milo can or sachet, you would see that sugar is listed first before milk solids (emulsifier: soya lecithin), malt extract (sorghum) then cocoa powder.

What is however not clear to many people that are aware of this fact is what they mean by sugar – is it just sucrose (the common sugar we use to sweeten food) or the total sugar that is present as a result of other ingredients. For example, milk contains a sugar that is called lactose and it is not sweet. There is also maltose from the Sorghum used to produce malt and this might have contributed to the total sugar.

Here is what Milo’s has to say about that;

Over half the TOTAL sugars in a glass of MILO® and trim milk, are natural sugars from lactose in milk.

There is less than 1 teaspoon of ADDED table sugar.

The remaining sugar naturally come from the milk powder and malted barley ingredients in MILO® powder.

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What is Milo Drink

Milo /ˈmaɪloʊ/ is a chocolate and malt powder that is mixed with hot or cold water or milk to produce a beverage popular mainly in Australia and New Zealand and some other parts of the world. Produced by Nestlé, Milo was originally developed by Thomas Mayne in Sydney, Australia in 1934. It is marketed and sold in many countries.

Most commonly sold as a powder in a green tin, often depicting various sporting activities, Milo is available as a premixed beverage in some countries, and has been subsequently developed into a snack bar and breakfast cereal. Its composition and taste differ in some countries.

Nutritional information
Milo contains 1,680 kJ (402 calories) in every 100 g of the powder, mostly from carbohydrates, mainly sugar. Carbohydrates can be used for energy by the body, which is the basis of Milo being marketed as an energy drink.

Milo dissolved in water has a Glycemic Index (GI) of 55, the same as Coca-Cola. However, milk has a much lower GI of 30 – 33, so mixing a very small amount of Milo into a mug of milk yields an overall GI closer to 33, and mixing a large amount of Milo into a mug of milk will give a GI closer to 55.

The Milo website states that the drink is high in calcium, iron and the vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12. Milo is advertised as containing “Actigen-E”, but this is just Nestlé’s trademarked name for the vitamins in the Milo recipe.

Milo contains some theobromine, a xanthine alkaloid similar to caffeine which is present in the cocoa used in the product.



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