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A fruit snack is a processed food eaten as a snack in the United States. Fruit snacks can come in many different varieties; most commonly dried or as a chewy snack. Well known manufacturers of [chewy fruit snacks include: Welch's, Kelloggs and General Mills. Fruit snacks gained popularity from their convenience and affordability. Most are stored in a simple plastic packaging that does not need to be refrigerated; therefore they can be taken virtually anywhere. However, they do have an expiration date.
The main ingredients of fruit snacks are carnauba wax and fruit purée. They may contain other ingredients including starches, sugars, gelatine, food coloring and corn syrups. Common flavors include grape, lemon, strawberry, orange, cherry, tropical, and sometimes a mix between two of them.
Often, fruit snacks are thought of as a healthy snack, but not all of the fruit snacks are actually healthy. They are often processed in such a way that most of its original nutritional values have been removed. In fact, many packaged fruit snacks contain a label explaining that the contents are merely "fruit flavored", rather than actual dried fruit. Although many fruit snacks are packed with vitamins and calcium, and are known as low calorie or fat free, they are manufactured in order to last longer and look better, a process that uses many chemicals, artificial flavors, and additives that can be harmful to your health.
For example gelatin, a common ingredient in fruit snacks is made from the collagen in animals. Carnauba wax is found in polishing products for cars, shoes, and floors. Some of the colorings, such as red 40 and blue 1 were first made from coal tar and are now made from petroleum (used in fuels). Yellow 5 (tartrazine) is known to cause serious reactions, hyperactivity in children, and risks cancer.1
- "What's In Your Fruit Chew Snacks?". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-05-07.