Vanilla Chex that I received some free samples of for this review.
I must point out that most of the Chex cereals have always been gluten-free – based on rice and corn – but the packages now sport a huge “Gluten Free” banner. The Vanilla Chex contains no dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, or other top allergens, but when I asked about how they were processed the response was that they made no claims about any of the other food allergens. The ingredients label does not contain an advisory warning.
On the plus side, this is a relatively low sugar cereal (compared to others you might find in the cereal aisle) with only 8 grams of sugar per serving.
One of the most surprising things about this product is that – despite being Vanilla Chex – the ingredients do not include vanilla. Instead, there is an ingredient listed as “natural flavor,” which I assume is a manufactured vanilla taste. This rice-based cereal appears to contain some plain Rice Chex as well as Rice Chex that have been coated with the flavoring. There is a distinct taste difference between the two. When I poured my hemp milk over it, the flavoring blended in. It did occur to me that I could have used vanilla hemp milk with Rice Chex to achieve the same (or an even better) taste.
My biggest concern with the cereal is a pesky ingredient called BHT. According to the label this is “added to preserve freshness.” (Yes, they really label it with those words.) So, I wondered, besides being a preservative, what the heck is BHT, really?
What I discovered
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is an FDA-approved food additive derived from petroleum. It is used primarily to preserve fats, and it is also an antioxidant. It is sometimes used to treat herpes and AIDS. BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity and some people may have difficulty metabolizing it.
By the time I finished my cereal I wished that I had researched this ingredient before trying it. Is this is a product you would buy?