CORNUCOPIA, Wis., Oct. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In its October 2018 issue, Consumer Reports, a leading nonprofit product rating and review organization, finds that many energy bars don't live up to the healthy impression manufacturers represent. Consumer Reports revealed that many of the 33 bars they analyzed are highly processed.
"It's good news that more consumer advocacy groups are exposing many of these snack bars for what they really are—unhealthy alternatives to whole, nutritious foods," stated Anne Ross, a Cornucopia policy analyst and researcher. "Both reports offer great utility and rate different products. Consumer Reports focuses on nutrition, while Cornucopia's report also evaluates the addition of synthetic additives, some of which have been associated with serious adverse health reactions."
Consumer Reports rated bars for nutrition and taste to assign an overall score, with an evaluation of ingredients comprising 60% of the nutrition score.
Cornucopia's web-based snack bar scorecard analyzes over 50 snack bars, most of which are USDA certified organic. The group's report also outlines how consumers get a safer and higher quality product with USDA certified organic brands over conventional mass-marketed brands.
Published research and documentation have consistently illustrated that organically produced products have a lower level of agrichemical residues and are nutritionally superior. Cornucopia's report also reveals that low levels of hexane, a neurotoxin, have been detected in common snack bar ingredients, including protein isolates. With the exception of USDA certified organic bars, many snack bars contain hexane-extracted protein isolates.
Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia's director and senior farm policy analyst, stated, "We are informing consumers of questionable marketing claims by food manufacturing behemoths that blur the line between health and hazard for the sake of corporate profit. Using our scorecard, consumers can weed through these claims to decide which products are better for human and environmental health and which are better left on the shelf."
Both Cornucopia and Consumer Reports gave high marks to bars manufactured by Nature's Path and Pure Organic. Cornucopia assigned "excellent" ratings to Nature's Path Organic Superfood bars and to Pure Organic's Dark Chocolate Berry.