Today Tonight commissioned the Federal Government's National Measurement Institute to test a range of meat pies, including eight frozen supermarket brands and two fresh pies.
In terms of fat content in the pies Today Tonight tested, the lowest figure came from the Four ‘n Twenty Lite meat pie with 9.1 per cent. Following that was Coles Smart Buy, but the two with the highest fat percentages were Pie Face with 14.4 per cent and Brumby’s with 15.7 per cent.
And how much fat was in the pie filling itself? Pie Face had just 3.7 per cent, Sargents Wagyu was also low, but on the higher scale was Coles at 8.6 per cent and Woolworths at 10.2 per cent.
When it comes to salt, the pies were fairly similar: Brumby’s and Pie Face had the highest figures, 1.2 grams of salt in every 100 grams of pie.More stories from Today Tonight
Dietician Emma Stirling recommends we consume just one to two grams of salt a day.
“We know it’s the salt that can bump up the blood pressure so we want to keep a check on that”, Emma said.Next in Today Tonight's results was meat content. Brumby’s was chock full at almost 40 per cent, followed by Herbert Adams at 35 per cent. Down the bottom was ALDI with 26 per cent and gourmet brand Pie Face, just 23 per cent.
Meat pies are meant to contain at least 25 per cent meat flesh - that's the law according to Food Standards Australia - but in our tests we found that Pie Face's mince beef pie was below the standard.
The franchise giant told us their typical mince beef pie is 20 per cent heavier than the pie in our test and that they were disappointed it “slipped through quality controls”.
Pie Face commissioned their own tests on a different sample of mince pie and found it had 29 per cent meat content and their chunky steak pie had 45 per cent.
But even if a pie has more meat, it doesn't mean it is top quality stuff.
According to Food Standards Australia, meat is classified as the carcass of any number of animals including buffalo, camel, deer, goat, hare and pig.
“Most people don’t have any clue what the ingredients are in their pie," said Gary Kennedy, a food scientist from Correct Food Systems.“The ingredients list in Australia only has to list meat - that meat could come from any species," Gary said.
And the twenty five per cent minimum meat flesh can include animal rind, fat, connective tissue, nerve, blood and skin.
“What we found alarming in some of our test results was the simply the volume of the fat you're eating," Gary said.
“Sometimes it can be because they've used a better grade of meat that the fat content's higher, but it also can be because they're trying to hide fat and fat is cheaper than meat," Gary said.“If you're a bigger eater and you eat two pies for lunch, you've got 80% of your fat for the total day in a meal," Gary said.
Dietician Emma Stirling says if you want to play it safe: “There is nothing wrong with making a homemade pie, especially if you add veggies to the pie. You can even just do a pastry top rather than the whole casing if you make it at home”, she said.
Statement from Patties Foods
Test figures quoted in the revised email from Today Tonight for our branded products (Four’N Twenty and Herbert Adams) are as per our nutritional information listed on pack, and within factory variance.
In relation to the Sodium Chloride calculation, as required by food labeling standards we list the Sodium content on pack, not Sodium Chloride. However, we agree the Sodium Chloride content would be in line with the reported test results.
Statement from Aldi
RESPONSE TO TODAY TONIGHT
ALDI confirms the analysis supplied by Today Tonight appears to be indicative of the Elmsbury 6pk 900g Meat Pies available in all ALDI Stores.
Elmsbury 6pk 900g Meat Pies adheres to the minimum requirement of containing no less than 250g per kg meat content as demonstrated by the results of the Today Tonight analysis.
ALDI believes it is important to note that the meat pies tested by Today Tonight vary considerably not only in price and size, but also in style and types of meat content, which would make it impossible to fairly compare the results from each other.
The pies sampled ranged from 56.5 cents per pie to approximately $4.40 per pie.
A more appropriate pie to test from the ALDI range would have been the Elmsbury Bakehouse 2pk 450g for $3.99, which equates to $2.00 per pie, thus more representative of the price and quality level as other pies in the analysis.
The Elmsbury Bakehouse Pies have a minimum Grain Fed Beef content of 34% and are a much larger offering of 225g per pie. This product was awarded the “Best All-Rounder” in the 2010 Choice Meat Pies review. Also, in February 2012, the ALDI range of frozen pies received the 5 Star Taste Award from Canstar Blue.
Price approximations of the meat pies tested by Today Tonight:• ALDI Elmsbury meat pie 6pk 56.5c per pie (38c per 100g)
• Coles smart buy meat pie 6pk 56.5c per pie (38c per 100g)
• Woolworths traditional meat pie 6pk 56.5c per pie (38c per 100g)
• Four N Twenty traditional meat pie 4pk $1.76 per pie ($1.01 per 100g)
• Four N Twenty lite meat pie 4pk $1.82 per pie ($1.04 per 100g)
• Sargents Aussie Angus beef pie 4pk $1.86 per pie (98c per 100g)
• Sargents Wagyu meat pie 2pk $2.57 per pie ($1.47 per 100g)
• Herbert Adams King Island beef pie 2pk $2.60 per pie ($1.24 per 100g)
• Brumbys meat pie single serve $2.70 per pie ($1.42 per 100g)
• Pie face beef mince pie single serve $4.40 per pie ($2.32 per 100g)
Statement from Pie Face
Download statement from Pie Face hereThe information on yahoo7.com.au/todaytonight is made available for information purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Also, the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. Yahoo!7 and The Seven Network do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.
OUR SOCIAL SITES
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest