Turns out, sugar is added to almost half (46 percent) of all canned vegetables. This was discovered by Foodwatch, a European organisation that looks out for food quality. Foodwatch investigated a large array of different Dutch brands, from top level brands to store brands. In their investigation, they found out that sugar was added to a whopping 79 out of 170 cans, and this even included organic canned vegetables.
So, even vegetables, which are the epitome of healthy food, are ruined by the food industry by added sugar. Sugar was found in canned peas, carrots, corn, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts and asparagus, among other vegetables. They weren’t found in green beans, mushrooms, spinach and kale, though, so that’s something.
We hate to disappoint you (and ourselves), but more often than not, large amounts of sugar are added to canned fruit as well. Food producers do this to increase the shelf life of canned fruit; there’s a reason it can be kept for so much longer! You should especially beware of the words ‘in syrup’, since you can be sure the sugar levels are exorbitantly high in those cans. The same goes for dried fruit: lots of vitamins (especially vitamin C) are lost because the fruit dries at high temperatures. Plus, a considerable amount of sugar is added to this as well to make sure the fruit still tastes sweet when it’s dry. Of course, you don’t have to avoid these products completely, but if you want to reduce your sugar intake, you’re much better off buying fresh fruit!
Besides the rather shocking sugar contents of canned fruit, there’s something else we’d rather not know: the chemicals that go into canned fruit. Have you ever noticed how clean canned mandarins or clementines are? Fresh mandarins contain a thin skin and white threads which we can never fully remove with our hands. Yet, canned mandarins are completely clean. This is because of the chemical sodium hydroxide. This corrosive substance eats away the white threads, but the fruit isn’t in the solution long enough to dissolve completely. Afterwards, the fruit is doused with hydrochloric acid. This neutralises the sodium hydroxide and makes the fruit edible.
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