“ Brand: Frank's / Type: Other Desserts „
I'd say it was disgusting but, it would have to taste like something to deserve that description. It isn't creamy and there's not even a hint of vanilla.
Contrary to other reviews I have read, I was really disappointed with the taste of this ice cream. I should know by now that anything supposedly "suitable for diabetics" is not going to taste anything like the real thing, but my hopes were raised by the claim of "Britain's tastiest ice cream" and so I bought a tub, only to find it totally lacking any vanilla flavour. The texture was like any standard ice cream, though lacking the richness of premium icecreams, but there was little discernible sweetness and NO vanilla flavour at all, far less any vanilla seeds. I shall certainly not buy it again, as I prefer to "spend" my severely limited sugar allowance on something I can taste.
I will start by saying that, although I am a diabetic, I rarely by 'diabetic' products as I know from the research done by Diabetes UK that they are generally not worth the money. It is usually better to eat the 'ordinary' equivalent but in moderation. In fact if you eat some diabetic products such as chocolate the sweeteners used in them can have a quite severe laxative effect.
It is much better to eat a generally low fat, low sugar diet with an occasional treat.
I have, however, tried vanilla ice cream that has been specially made for diabetics on a couple of occasions and found it to be watery, tasteless stuff so when I saw Franks Diabetic Ice Cream in the freezer at Tesco's I was in two minds whether to even bother trying it to be honest. Anyway Dave suggested that it might be worth a go so I decided to give it a whirl.
The container (so you know what to look for in the freezer!)
It is sold in a traditionally shaped oblong, plastic one litre container with a tab on the corner which you need to break off in order to open the tub. This costs £1.73 which is comparable with the other vanilla ice creams in the freezer so I didn't feel that I was being asked to pay a premium for the 'special' diabetic ice cream, which is sometimes the case with this type of product. The label on the top is quite plain with just the name of the manufacturer and the contents description on a creamy coloured background. Incidentally I got mine from Tesco's but it also available in Asda although I can't vouch for the other supermarkets.
The ice cream is a pale cream in colour, which was a good start, as the other diabetic vanillas that I have tried have been white and didn't look at all creamy! In fact they didn't really look much like ice cream to be fair - more like a white, unnatural sorbet.
With this one there was also a nice fragrance of vanilla which wasn't synthetic in any way so I was impressed and looking forward to tasting this.
I got a spoon to scoop out some of the ice cream and it was what is now known as a 'soft scoop' texture and it appeared to be very creamy. It looked like a high end creamy vanilla ice cream.
Now appearance and fragrance are all very well but let's be honest it's the taste that has to be right isn't it? Well, I am pleased to say that it is gorgeous!
It is quite simply a delicious, creamy vanilla ice cream. It isn't too sweet and there is no nasty aftertaste that you occasionally get with the sweeteners used in 'diabetic' products. To be honest you would be hard pressed to distinguish this from any good quality creamy vanilla ice cream.
I have tried this with fresh fruit; it is particularly nice with pineapple, and I also like it with just a little drizzle of maple syrup over it for a real treat.
The nutritional information per 100g of ice cream is as follows:
Energy 163 calories
I am guessing that most of this is sugar!
Frank's is a company based in Dyfed and they make their products using the finest Welsh ingredients. They don't only make diabetic ice cream either, I have just taken a look at their website at www.franksicecream.co.uk and they have a nice range of flavours available in the ordinary ice creams and are currently developing a range of diabetic flavours too.
Apparently Frank's have been making ice cream for over 80 years and have won regional, national and international awards. They have also won the 'Champion of Champions' for 'Britain's Best Ice Cream'. If the diabetic ice cream is anything to go by I shall now be looking out for more of their flavours to try!
This is easily the best diabetic ice cream that I have tried and whilst I am happy to eat ordinary ice cream in moderation I would certainly buy this again purely because it tastes so good. I would still only eat it as part of a healthy diet as I think that eating it in quantity just because it is especially suitable for diabetics wouldn't do me or my blood sugar any favours!
Diabetes is a condition which knowingly affects over 2.5 million people here in the UK, and probably at least half a million who don't yet know. The condition is caused when the amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream becomes too high through either a lack of insulin production or what is produced not working effectively. Since glucose is produced within the body from starchy or carbohydrate rich foods it therefore follows that diabetic people have to be careful about their dietary intake of such foods. The product I am reviewing is declared to have been designed to a recipe more suitable for people with diabetes. It goes without saying that consumption should be as part a normal healthy diet.
With a diabetic in the family, our approach has been to try to follow a normal healthy diet, but indulge in the occasional naughty treat. Low sugar/calorie puddings have been the normal order of the day. Imagine my delight when I spotted an award winning "consumer taste approved" diabetic vanilla ice cream carton lurking in the freezers in my local Asda.
*** The Product ***
The one litre carton has an attractive image of golden creamy melt in the mouth ice cream and retails for £1.88 at Asda. This compares favourably with store's own brand 'Good For You' vanilla Ice cream and costs much less than other premium brands. A good start then since these specialist products tend to command a higher price; so well done Asda.
There is really nothing remarkable in the packaging, it's just your standard ice cream box with the usual removable tab on one corner. On opening the ice cream does look like the picture on the box, pale not golden yellow, has a faint whiff of vanilla and appears to be rich and creamy. The texture on scooping it out is probably closest to a typical soft scoop product, thankfully it's not rock hard or crystalline. Visually you would probably not be able to tell that this was any different to mainstream ice cream.
I cannot profess to be an ice cream connoisseur, but initial taste and impression in my mouth is simply creamy vanilla ice cream. Its not overly sweet, and the vanilla is not overpowering, and I would probably be hard pressed to distinguish it from an own brand standard ice cream. Better still there is no unpleasant or lingering after taste. Please don't expect a luxury treat based on the award winning claims on the packaging but equally it's not claiming to be anything more than standard vanilla, but it certainly tastes far better than any of the non-dairy vanilla desserts that we have tried.
In the UK to be called ice cream a product must contain a minimum of 5% fat and a minimum of 2.5% milk protein. This product actually contains skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat, fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, emulsifiers, flavourings and natural colours. Nutritional information as follows:
Nutrients per 100g
*** The Dilemma ***
I understand that it's the use of primarily the sugar fructose rather than other sugars which makes this recipe more suitable for people with diabetes. This approach has been developed since fructose is sweeter than conventional sugar (sucrose0 or glucose in its pure form, ergo you need to put less in to achieve the same sense of sweetness. Also the metabolism of fructose is different. Sucrose is digested quickly in the stomach passing rapidly through to the blood stream as glucose and fructose molecules. However fructose on its own has to reach the intestine before absorption therefore uptake into the bloodstream is slower. Also the metabolism of fructose is via the liver, not requiring use of insulin. Therefore fructose which is commonly found naturally in fruit has traditionally been considered a better source of sweetener for diabetic people. Indeed like the rest of the population diabetics are recommended to ingest the healthy 5 a day fruit and vegetable portions.
However excessive fructose ingestion (particularly fructose corn syrup) has been shown to contribute to diarrhoea and obesity, since the metabolism of this sugar by the liver results in fat production and cholesterol. Given that people with diabetes have a a pre-disposition to high blood pressure and heart problems there is a shift in some quarters to suggest that fructose is probably not the best alternative for diabetics. Indeed some authors even suggest that sucrose within a healthy diet is the best nutrition for a diabetic.
Whilst I am not saying that the fructose concentrations within this tasty ice cream are a major concern within a normal healthy diet, I guess I am just questioning whether as a mild diabetic my brother would be better served with a smaller portion of traditional ice cream?
Interestingly on visiting the Diabetes UK website I discovered the following text in a position statement
"Diabetes UK and the Food Standards Agency are calling for an end to the use of terms such as 'diabetic' or 'suitable for diabetics' on food labels.
Some people might see 'diabetic' labelling as a stamp of approval, and think that the food is beneficial or even essential for people with diabetes. Also, 'diabetic' foods tend to cost more than conventional products, and sugar-free and reduced-sugar versions, so marketing products as 'diabetic' can lead people with diabetes to spend more than they need to.
'Diabetic' labelling tends to be used on sweets, biscuits and similar foods. The main concern is that labelling these types of foods as 'diabetic' undermines important messages about healthy eating. If people do eat foods and drinks containing added sugars they should do so sparingly, as part of a healthy balanced diet. This advice applies to everyone, not just people with diabetes.
Since healthy eating advice is essentially the same for people with diabetes as it is for other people, the idea of special 'diabetic' foods is out of date."
It seems then that despite my glee at discovering at last a tasty ice cream product suitable for diabetics, that I could actually buy the standard Frank's product and just use much less within a healthy balanced diet.............only Asda don't stock any other variants.
Thanks for reading
Posted on Dooyoo and Ciao under the same author.