Supermarket ready meals

From shelf to microwave, they're ready in minutes. But are these packaged meals any good?
 
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04.Table

USING THE TABLE

Nutrients

Based on information on label, per 100g. Traffic light criteria are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally.

  • Fat (g/100g) green_10≤3; orange_103.1-19.9
  • Saturated fat (g/100g) green_10≤1.5; orange_101.6-4.9
  • Sodium (mg/100g) green_10≤120; orange_10121-599

Price

Pack sizes vary, so to compare we use the price per 100g based on prices in Sydney supermarkets in December 2009.

TABLE NOTES

(A) Taste test. A panel of eight CHOICE staff members taste-test the shelf-stable ready meals with green traffic lights for both fat and saturated fat. Meals are prepared according to on-pack instructions, presented on plain plates, with on-pack meal descriptions but no brand identification. Panellists individually consider each meal’s appearance, aroma, taste and texture and give it an overall rating before a consensus vote is taken for the tastiest shelf-stable ready meal in each category.

(B) Packaging. This product packaging is marked by the recycling symbol 7, a catch-all category of plastics that includes polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can release chemicals that have been linked to health problems – see Plastics and food.

 

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