Halloween or any special occasion really... Have you ever wondered what is in those incredible looking cupcakes that are gleefully snatched up by all the kids at the party?Maybe you made the cupcakes yourself - from a packet, dropped them into a beautifully designed and heavily coloured paper container and topped them with coloured icing, sprinkles and some incredible mouldable marzipan straight from a tube. Here is the roll call:
Wheat Flour, Sugar, Soy Flour, Milk Solids, Dextrose, Sodium Bicarbonate (450, 341), Vegetable Gum (Guar), Salt, Vegetable Fats and Oil, Antioxidant (320)], Flavour, Colour (Beta Carotene), Mineral Salt (509)], Thickener (1442), Food Acid (330), Preservative (202), Emulsifier (471,475, 477).
Sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable fat, water, glucose syrup, wheat starch, emulsifiers E471 & E435, salt, acidity regulators E330 & E575, preservative E202, flavouring, colours could be any of E171, E153, colours may include E102, E104, E110, E122 & E129 (which are noted to potentially have an adverse effect on activity and attention in some children).
Don't get me started on cupcake paper. If you have ever gotten a whiff of the petroleum fumes coming from a heavily coloured cupcake paper, you'd be wondering how food grade colouring is defined. (Reading the list and comments above might give you some hint.)
You might want to consider making your own cupcakes without all those numbers. Cupcakes only contain flour, eggs, butter and maybe vanilla or cocoa. And icing is sugar. You can easily colour it with strawberries, orange or pomegranate and mix it yourself! There are also many many excellent cupcake and party food makers around - just as tasty, but healthy, raw and organic if you choose to buy real ready made.Images: Shutterstock | Unsplash - Nic