Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cadbury Mini Eggs- US vs UK

In the interest of science, we have gathered our resources to determine if there is a difference between the UK and US versions of the Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Initial observation includes that the colors of the eggs are different with the UK eggs (on the left) having more speckles present on each egg and also the presence of purple eggs. The US eggs (on the right) have speckles as well but they are much lighter in color and instead of purple, there are blue eggs.

At this time it was noted that the US eggs had a peculiar smell when the bag was opened. A closer 'sniff' of the UK eggs determined that the same smell was present but it was not nearly as strong. Further analysis of the 'smell' determined it was a vanilla based essence...strange for a chocolate candy.

The mini eggs from both countries appeared to be similar in size and shape with the US eggs (on the right) having a more defined tear drop shape.

Cross section of the eggs revealed that the chocolate of the UK egg (on the left) appeared slightly darker than that of the US egg (on the right). Texture appears consistent for both eggs.

Again, it is interesting to point out the differences in the ingredient lists-

UK- Milk chocolate (milk, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vegetable fat, dried whole milk, dried whey, emulsifiers (E442, E476), Flavourings), Sugar, modified maize and tapioca starches, colours (anthocyanins, carotenes, paprika extract, beetroot red), Flavouring

US- Milk chocolate (sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, lactose, soy lecithin, pgpr, emulsifier, artificial and natural flavors), sugar, contains 2% or less of: cornstarch, gum acacia, corn syrup, artificial color (yellow 6 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 5, blue 2, red 40), milk fat, invert sugar, nonfat milk, artificial flavor, sodium bicarbonate, salt.


UK- serving= 1/4 of bag, calories 240, total fat 10.6 g (saturated 6.6 g), sodium 0.04 g (40 mg), carbohydrates 33.2 g (sugar 32.5 g), protein 2.2 g

US- Serving= 12 pieces, calories 190, total fat 8 g (saturated fat 5 g), sodium 30 mg, carbohydrates 28 g (sugar 27 g), protein 2 g

At this point the taste test began. As this was a solid chocolate, I knew that one of my testers might prove to be less than willing, so I enlisted the help of a third tester. Unfortunately the third tester demonstrated some bias before testing began, so the blinding of the eggs was imperative to the validity of the results. Eggs were presented to testers in solid shape, and only in colors that were present in both bags.

Tester 1- female age 10
Tester 2- male age 5
Tester 3- male age 39

Tester 2- tasted first egg (US). He proceeded immediately to the trashcan to spit it out. Convinced tester to try the second egg (UK). Immediately spit it out as well. Pronounced them as tasting exactly the same and that they were both "Vile". (Yes, he actually said vile)

Tester 1- tasted both eggs (US first, UK second)- preference was for US egg

Tester 3- tasted both eggs. Requested a second taste of each egg. Preference was the UK egg.

Final results- No decision, the result was a tie.

Not that it should influence the overall results, but I preferred the UK egg as well. It had a better chocolate flavor and did not have the annoying 'vanilla' smell of the US eggs.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cadbury Creme Eggs-- US vs UK

I recently received some Cadbury Creme eggs from the UK for the family to try. Believe it or not, I am not a fan of the US Cadbury Creme eggs- they are just too sweet for me but given the fact that so many of the chocolates made in the UK are superior in taste to their US equivalent, I thought we should give these a shot.

I enlisted the help of two willing participants (the children) and prepared for a blind taste test.
First, I compared the physical attributes of the creme eggs.

Initial inspection revealed that the UK egg (on the left) was slightly larger than the US egg (on the right).

Removal of the wrapper allowed for further comparison

The US egg had a darker chocolate appearance. The design on both eggs was the same.

Careful slicing revealed that the UK egg had a thicker chocolate shell and the 'creme' inside appeared to be thicker than that of the US egg. The 'creme' from the US egg oozed out onto my cutting board while that in the UK egg stayed in the egg.

Ingredients differed slightly-
US- Milk chocolate (sugar, milk, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, nonfat milk, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors) Sugar, Corn syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains 2% or less of artificial color (yellow 6), artificial flavor, calcium chloride, egg whites
UK- Milk chocolate (milk, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vegetable fat, emulsifiers (E442, E476, soya lecithin) Flavourings) Fondant (47%)(Sugar, glucose syrup, invert sugar syrup, dried egg white, flavouring, color (paprika extract))

Nutrition info-
US- serving = 1 egg, 150 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), <5 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates (20 g sugar), 2 g protein

UK- 1 egg= 175 calories, 6.3 g fat (3.9 saturated fat), cholesterol not listed, 0.05 g sodium (50 mg) 28.5 g carbohydrates (25.9 g sugar), 1.6 g protein

I recently read that in chocolate taste testing it is often the last piece that people like the most, so I was sure that each child...errr tester, did not taste the same one last. (One had UK last and one had US last)

The winner................................................................

The UK egg!!

As a scientist I felt it was necessary for me to also taste the eggs to see if there was a difference and honestly.....they were both so sweet it was hard to tell the difference. There was a difference in the chocolate and that was probably what pushed the UK egg over the top but the icky sweet creme inside was just that...icky sweet. Creme eggs are still not for me, regardless of their origin!