Thursday, 17 March 2011

Beans, Beans, Good for Your Heart

Similar to all other Japanese candy, it was the vibrant colours and bubble writing which initially attracted me to the pack of Meiji Poifull on the shelf.

These cute little drops of rainbow are soft in texture and intense in flavour, each with a thin crisp sugar coating. I tried the original box which consists of 4 flavours: lemon, red grape, apple and muscat; other products with more flavours are available. Boasting its 0% fat and 2100mg of collagen, these jelly beans certainly abide by Meiji's corporate philosophy: "to help people lead happier and more fulfilling lives by emphasising the taste experience and zest in life".

Intrigued by its tastiness, I compared it to a few renown jelly bean manufacturers in the confectionery industry.

Jelly Belly
Invented in 1976, consisting of 50 standard flavours and 7 different types, including Sport Beans (energising and containing caffeine) and Beanaturals (a free-from range). Although totally spoilt for choice on flavours, the gummy inside is harder in comparison to Poifull.

Jelly Bean Factory
"There's never been a better bean" - unlikely methinks; its 36 flavours are too strong and badly imitated versions of Jelly Belly flavours. The beans are hard to chew and knowing there is 31g of sugars in a 40g serving takes away any remaining appeal.

Haribo Jelly Beans
These come in 10 simple flavours and are twice the size of all the beans I have previously mentioned; with just 17.1g of sugars in a 40g serving and no artificial colours, they are as child-friendly as you can get. Much to my disappointment, these beans are the hardest beans I have ever chewed on in my life.

To sum up on a positive note, Jelly Belly, Jelly Bean Factory and Haribo Jelly Beans are all gluten and gelatin free - making them suitable for vegetarians; the gelatin and collagen is clearly the reason why Poifull beans have such an additive texture.

Poifull beans can be purchased from at around £1.67 per pack (delivery prices starts at £2.80).

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