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Polaner All-Fruit Jam with Fiber: Is it really Gluten and Sugar Free?

Polaner All-Fruit Jam with Fiber:  Is it really Gluten and Sugar Free?

How many of us find a trusted brand and happily spend the extra money to get that brand of that product so we don’t have to decipher labels each and every time we go to the grocery store?  I think of these products as “clean” – there is nothing in them that makes me sick and I can consume them without concern. 

For years I have purchased and consumed Polaner All-Fruit Jam.  With all their delicious fruit varieties, it has been my one “comfort” in the midst of the myriad of sweet sucrose-containing foods I cannot eat.  I put it on my gluten-free waffles and pancakes and sometimes even heat it up to make a fruit syrup.

Last Sunday I noticed my stomach was “blown-up” and cramping – the tell-tale sign that I’ve consumed gluten.  My husband had made brownies the night before, so I went through my kitchen, checking which utensils he had used, and asking him if he had possibly contaminated something I wasn’t aware of.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I endured more stomach cramping, headaches, fatigue, and mental confusion.  Friday, I woke up and thought I was better.  I decided I must have inadvertently eaten gluten from an outside source, and that I had recovered.  Then, I ate breakfast, and within the hour, the symptoms had returned.  All day long I worried about what my new intolerance was, how I was to find it, and how much more refined one person could make their diet.

Friday night, while making my daughter a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I got out the Strawberry Polaner All- Fruit and noticed for the first time that the words “with Fiber” had been added to the label.  I immediately checked the ingredients and was astounded to see “maltodextrin” as an ingredient.  Just to the right of the ingredients, however, I saw the words “gluten-free.”  And therein lies the problem:  sometimes maltodextrin makes me sick, sometimes it doesn’t.  According to the celiac.com website, it depends on the source, and obviously Polaner’s source or manufacturing practices aren’t clean enough for me.  Maybe they don’t test their maltodextrin every time, maybe the maltodextrin comes from “shared equipment”, but whatever the reason, this product now makes me sick and I am thoroughly disappointed.

It is frustrating that a company has to take a pure product such as an all-fruit jam and add something unnatural in order to tout some health benefit.  I know it’s marketing hype, but, for goodness sake, we’re talking about jam—let people get their fiber naturally and on their own terms. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am relieved to have found the culprit, but once again reminded how very careful those of us with celiac disease/gluten intolerance have to live our lives.  Snatching a favorite product off the shelves without checking labels each and every time just isn’t an option, especially when it takes someone like me up to a week to find that culprit!

I contacted the company with the following statement:

“Why ruin a wonderfully pure product – Polaner All-Fruit - by adding maltodextrin to it?  I have been sick all week and finally realized the Polaner All- Fruit with Fiber new formulation is the culprit.  Maltodextrin, even when proclaimed "gluten-free," can cause problems for those with celiac disease/gluten intolerance.   I am so disappointed - yours was the jam I trusted and now I can no longer have it.  Let people get their fiber naturally on their own terms!  In my opinion, you have taken an outstanding "clean" product and ruined it.”

Within two days I received this cordial and informative response:

Dear Ms. Arrington,

 

Thank you for your correspondence regarding our Polaner All Fruit brand. So sorry to learn that you were not feeling well after eating our newly reformulated All Fruit.

In speaking with Polaner All Fruit users in 2008 and 2009, many told us they are not getting enough fiber in their diets.   The response among these current All Fruit users to the concept of taking Polaner All Fruit and adding natural dietary fiber to the recipe was positive.  The majority told us that if the taste and texture could remain the same, they’d prefer a new version that provides a good source of fiber in every spoonful.  We often heard – “you can’t get enough fiber.”

The maltodextrin we use in Polaner All Fruit with Fiber is a soluble fiber produced under the brand name Fibersol-2.  Derived from nature, it is a concentrated form of soluble dietary fiber and remains undigested by enzymes of the human digestive system.

Fibersol-2 is produced from cornstarch, a completely natural product, using a method that results in a digestion-resistant maltodextrin. This non-digestible portion of the maltodextrin is tasteless and odorless.  It is extracted and then added to Polaner All Fruit to provide the fiber benefit.

Fibersol-2 contains a very small portion of sugar (<0.5 g total sugar per serving) making it perfect for sugar modified foods including true sugar free foods.  Based on FDA regulation, any product using this type of maltodextrin is considered sugar free.

We regret that you did not share the positive response to our reformulated All Fruit we’ve seen from others.

We appreciate your comments. They will be shared with management.

I wish you well.

After reading this I began to wonder if my problem was more with the <0.5g sugar content then possible gluten contamination.  If their maltodextrin is derived from cornstarch and is not produced on “shared equipment,” then it should be gluten free.  (I could buy a home ELISA kit and test it myself!)   I did appreciate their prompt and detailed response, but the knowledge that companies can label a product sugar free even when there are tiny amounts of sugar frustrated me even further. 

Regardless of the cause, now that the product contains maltodextrin, I can no longer consume it.  I went to the store and scrounged around until I found one lonely prior-to-fiber jar on the shelf.  It was a jar of Polaner Grape and maybe I can make it last long enough until they revert back to their old pure product or at least offer it as an option.

If this new product is also causing you problems, I suggest you go to http://www.polanerallfruit.com/polaner/index.html and let them know. For now, I am in the market for a new, pure, all-fruit jam!

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


Spread The Word



43 Responses:

 
Peggy Kwik

said this on
17 Jul 2010 3:45:59 PM PST
Thank you for sharing your experience and getting an informative response from Polaner.
I will contact the company to ask that they continue to make the former recipe without fibe.

 
Arthur

said this on
20 Jul 2010 1:50:12 PM PST
Fortunately I noticed the change on the label before I opened the jar and returned it. I figured I just took down the wrong product, but when I went to the shelf again there was no more all fruit to be found. I wrote the company and got the same response you did, then googled all fruit fiber and found your post. Your letter to them was better than mine. I hope that enough people write them and they notice a drop in sales large enough that they return to the original recipe with no fibersol.

 
paul

said this on
31 Jul 2010 6:02:05 PM PST
Ii had a bad reaction to the Polaner Seedless Blackberry which does not say with fiber or list that ingredient. I wonder if they are using maltodextrin as a thickening agent and now it is subsumed under pectin on the label.
Thanks for your detective work I was wondering where they source their fruit, possibly China.
best, Paul

 
Dee

said this on
04 Aug 2010 5:13:08 AM PST
Thank you for sharing this. I just learned about this new formula yesterday when visiting the supermarket. I am writing to the company as we speak and thought I'd do an Internet search to see if others are upset about the change. I hope enough of us contact the company for them to consider offering their old product in addition to the new version

 
said this on
01 Sep 2010 3:32:11 PM PST
I sent B&G an e-mail complaining that I found their Polaner Sugar Free With fiber Apricot preserves to be TERRIBLE! I don't know were you found the address to write to them but I will persevere and write to them. I always LOVED Polaner jams, but this new one with fiber is just AWFUL! Thanks for sharing.

 
Carol Cullen

said this on
27 Sep 2010 8:38:43 AM PST
Can any of you provide an address to write to Polaner requesting the OLD recipe Sugar-free jelly WITHOUT FIBER....??

 
Jenna

said this on
28 Sep 2010 1:16:33 PM PST
I thought I was the only one fanatic about what goes into the jam I feed my family...I just sent a complaint email to B&G Foods, as well! I have searched high and low for the original All-Fruit and after scouring their website today, understand it has been discontinued.

Not only could the maltodextrin be an issue for celiacs, it is associated with MSG and is a neurotoxin. Moreover, per the author's response letter from the company, it is manufactured using cornstarch from genetically modified corn, which is toxic in and of itself.

So, I too, will no longer purchase Polaner until they can bring back the original recipe. Shame on them!

 
JustSteven4now

said this on
31 Oct 2010 6:40:24 AM PST
Hello...
and thank you for your letter and for bringing this to a larger audience's attention. Also of note is the label now includes "natural flavors", something that had never been there before. The direction they are taking, in my opinion has little to do with consumers voicing their concerns about lacking fiber. Their customers would lean towards being conscious of their diets to the point of sourcing fiber in the manner in which you mention, natural sources. The bottom line, is in fact the bottom line. This purely a move towards cheaper ingredients and hoping it would go unnoticed. I urge everyone to continue to push B&G to abandon this change and resort back to their original recipe and charge more if needed.

 
Kelly Eakins

said this on
31 Oct 2010 9:35:11 AM PST
Wow...my husband just called me from the grocery store to tell me about the fiber labeling on Polaner All Fruit! I googled and found this thread- thank you all for the information. My 5-year-old son and I are gluten intolerant. I am bummed about the product change. How ridiculous of them to add the maltodextrin.

 
Susan

said this on
21 Nov 2010 3:12:50 PM PST
This Polaner stuff is disappointing. I don't have a gluten problem (as far as I know) but am allergic to corn. I just switched from Simply Fruit to the Polaner because I hadn't realized that all of the Simply Fruit is and/or sweetened with pineapple which I am off the charts allergic to. Isn't there an affordable, no junk added, jam or jelly out there? 1/2 PBJ is one of my go to breakfasts because of food allergies and diabetes. Most disheartening.

 
Julee

said this on
06 Dec 2010 9:12:56 AM PST
The same thing happened to my son. He had such a bad week last week. He had terrible dark circles and what we call the "glazed-over" look he gets when he accidentally ingests gluten. When making him a pbj this morning I noticed the "with fiber" on the jelly label for the first time. My husband had done the food shopping last week and this was the only change in my son's diet. I was so mad at Polaner! The added fiber is just a marketing ploy. It seems even the basics are becoming more and more processed. If people were really interested in improving their diets they wouldn't eat "fake" sources of fiber; they'd eat foods in a more natural state.

 
said this on
14 Dec 2010 4:20:17 AM PST
You all are correct in your statements. Maltodextrin is not natural (naturally derived does not mean natural), and based on the statements from Polaner to Ms. Arrington above, I now see that maltodextrin contains CORN STARCH! Corn starch has the potential, depending on the source, to contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) that have been found to cause all kinds of health complications. When I could no longer find the ALL-FRUIT I've come to know and trust, I went organic like I have many other things that have tried to add fiber as a marketing scam. My daughter and many others I know have been having problems going to the bathroom. I kept assuming I needed to add more fiber. I just found out that the problem is that my daughter has been getting too much added fiber in the foods I thought were trustworthy. The problem is that she needs more of the fruit and vegetable fibers, and LESS of the starchy kinds of fibers found in breads and the foods with added fiber that contain maltodextrin. No wonder she can't go to bathroom! I'm sorry to say that I will no longer be purchasing All Fruit again until the added fiber goes away and they go back to truly being ALL FRUIT again. If they want to have a line of fiber added products, fine, but PLEASE provide the old stuff again for those of us who believe you shouldn't fix what is not broken!

 
Rebecca

said this on
17 Dec 2010 6:03:21 AM PST
I too wrote the company to tell them I am profoundly disappointed in their decision to add maltodextrin to their products. The range of corn-free foods is already very narrow, and this is one more that must be deleted from my grocery list.

 
Tricia

said this on
20 Dec 2010 3:04:16 AM PST
I am so happy to learn I am not alone!!! I emailed the company when they changed the formula asking for the old one so I can start my own company. I couldn't be the only one out there who missed this as much as I did. I told them if I need extra fiber I will get it and it won't be in my jelly. This new product is terrible. The consistency is totally different bla bla bla bla.. I am singing to the choir. anyway I am in search of an organic product that is similar to the old one. any tips?

 
Pat

said this on
21 Dec 2010 4:22:50 PM PST
There are some good "all fruit" sugar free options at Whole Foods Market They have their own 365 brand and they have 2 imported brands - Bionaturae (imported from Italy) and St. Dalfour (imported from France) which are excellent but double the price of Polaner. Apparently we can't make a pure all-fruit spread in this country!!! To me the extra cost is worth it! I hope this helps!

 
chris

said this on
31 Jan 2011 8:19:05 PM PST
Natural Flavor is an FDA term often meaning Monosodium Glutamate [MSG].

 
cathi

said this on
02 Feb 2011 7:45:53 AM PST
I have been eating the Polaner jam with fiber and have NO adverse effects. I too have celiac disease but each individual has different tolerance levels. I obviously do not have a reaction to maltodextrin, and I do struggle to get in my fiber, so Polaner jams are a great option for me. Each individual needs to determine their tolerance level and make their OWN choices based on that.

 
Beckie Paulick

said this on
18 Nov 2011 3:31:45 PM PST
I love this jelly, found it in Florida last month, now am trying to find in Pittsburgh, can't!!

 
Chris Garvey

said this on
02 Feb 2011 8:37:15 AM PST
Dear Christine
Thank you for your reply.
Your policy on always labeling MSG is a good one.
But having unidentified flavors under "natural flavors" makes label readers suspect you of MSG.

 
Chris Garvey

said this on
02 Feb 2011 8:55:06 AM PST
My first comment to Polaner's webform:
Go back to selling All Fruit. It was a simple and pure product. All Fruit with fiber is not what I want from this product. If I wanted sugar and synthetic sweeteners, I would buy preserves.

 
Chris

said this on
02 May 2011 5:02:43 PM PST
This stuff DESTROYED my stomach all weekend. I will never buy another one of Polaner's products. I'd sooner eat at Taco Bell.

 
Steven

said this on
26 Jul 2011 1:24:58 PM PST
Maltodextrin in the USA is sourced from GMO corn. GMOs, in their present incarnation, are defective products with hundreds of unintended gene mutations that can cause various illnesses. Perhaps that is why it makes you sick. See the movie, "The Future of Food."

 
said this on
16 Mar 2012 8:58:28 AM PST
After reading all the above comments, I see I made a mistake in buying the one with fiber. I don't have to be on a gluten free diet. I loved the other fruit ones, without fiber. However, the bug really freaked me out. Please reply. I'm sure Stop & Shop will refund my money. Thank you.

 
said this on
16 Jun 2012 4:36:46 AM PST
I too stopped buying Polaner COMPLETELY! Although for different reasons. I am totally allergic to almost all kinds of processed sugars, one of which is maltodextrin. When I noticed the words "with fiber", I immediately read the ingredients and purchased a more expensive brand that I could ingest without having a HEART ATTACK! I also contacted Polaner with my complaint as well, stating that I believed their marketing decision was not a wise one. I used to be a chef, and I developed many recipes using their product, so now I buy another more expensive brand.

 
Robert Harvey

said this on
31 Jul 2012 7:25:33 AM PST
Does Polaner market individual serving size packets like those served at diners, etc.? Our retirement community needs them but our food buyer says his wholesalers don't carry any jams or jellies with no added sugar.

 
Joanne Schlunk

said this on
03 Oct 2012 7:31:34 PM PST
At least some people received a reply. I emailed them twice and never got an answer. Maltodextrin is a laxative and gives a lot of people cramps, etc. I'm frustrated with additives that are not necessary and not in our best interest. Too bad--I liked this product.

 
Cheryl

said this on
28 Jan 2013 6:11:14 AM PST
It as been causing me trouble as well. I am allergic to corn, so that explains my problem. Thanks for sharing!

 
said this on
07 Mar 2013 7:53:49 AM PST
I have been eating Polaner All Fruit for years. And when I say years, I mean nearly two decades. I am gluten intolerant and have immediate reactions to ingesting MSG. When the Polaner label changed to "with fiber", I immediately scanned the entire label and was comforted to see it still retained the gluten-free designation. How wrong I was to rely on that. I keep a stockpile of different favors and that caused some confusion. All of my stock was pre "with fiber" but my favorite flavor is cherry, so my newer purchases of that flavor have the new designation. I eat at least one piece of rice bread with almond butter and Polaner every day, so when I began to have bloating and other problems, enough said, I did not immediately suspect Polaners. When the problems persisted, I began my dietary investigation of all the foods I ingest. And, sure enough, there is Polaner "with Fiber" containing maltodextrin and still claiming to be gluten-free! For pity's sake, add some raw fruit and veggies to your diet if you need fiber! Now I eat St. Dalfour. It is more expensive but they have a black cherry flavor and, most importantly, it does not make me ill! Bad move, Polaner!

 
SHAUNA

said this on
17 Mar 2013 7:50:12 PM PST
I love polaner all fruit with fiber and it doesn't bother me. It's the only spreadable fruit i use. I love all the different varieties, but our Walmart does not carry the blueberry or the grape and I wish to try some. I just bought the apricot yesterday and it was AMAZING!!!!! THIS IS THE BEST SPREADABLE FRUIT I WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE. LET THEM TRY IT OUT AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK!

 
Zoe

said this on
26 Mar 2013 10:23:39 PM PST
First of all, thank you for your informative article. I had exactly the same symptoms after consuming the fiber-fortified spread, and this was one of the only useful articles that came up when I searched online for reactions to the product and/or maltodextrin.
I will say that maltodextrin, whether wheat-, corn-, or rice-derived, is known for causing cramping and bloating in larger doses. That is, for the type used as fiber. There is another kind which is processed quickly by the body (used in sweets and as an anti-caking agent) and may be the type you have fewer problems with. At 3g per Tbsp or whatever the serving is, that spread definitely constitutes a large serving of the fibrous maltodextrin.
Additionally, it would make sense that we people in the Celiac/IBS/Chron's/UC/IBD family would often have much higher sensitivities to it- especially if the intestinal lining is damaged/already inflamed as it would commonly be with many of those conditions. And maltodextrin would be particularly problematic for people struggling with bloating from fermentation in the gut- though fibrous maltodextrin is not an energy source for humans, bacteria can ferment it and produce lots of gas. I've found that I'm sensitive enough to it to have a reaction after taking a Vitamin C tablet containing it.
So possibly, though it's of course not a certainty, Polaner is indeed using gluten-free maltodextrin and the adverse effects people are experiencing are related to fibrous maltodextrin sensitivities/intolerances. This is in no way meant to discount everyone's experiences- that stuff gave me extreme abdominal pain too. And your article gave me the information I needed to further research the matter, which is much appreciated. Hope this is somehow helpful.

 
Melissa

said this on
27 May 2013 6:06:01 AM PST
Thank you for your post. It was very informative. I too am (was) a fan of All fruit spreads. Now also in search of another spread.

 
Maxine

said this on
19 Jun 2013 8:56:34 PM PST
Thank you for your blog. I got really sick today and I couldn't figure out why; the only new thing I had was Polaner all fruit, which i thought was safe because it said gluten-free. I turned to the Internet and found your blog, now I know.

 
Sue

said this on
29 Jun 2013 4:35:39 PM PST
I am not allergic to anything but I did buy polaner because I thought it was all natural. I feel the new fiber ingredient added is bogus and I will buy an organic jam next time I go to the store.

 
BellaD

said this on
23 Aug 2013 10:21:13 AM PST
I happen to have just finished writing to all fruit - on their website there is a "contact us" tag and I went in and sent them an email of compliant. I am not allergic to anything but I am diabetic and All Fruit has been my 'go to' jam. However, they are losing me as a customer because they no longer have bits of strawberries in the jam, it is now a loose gel consistency maybe because of the added fiber (?)or they are cutting back on the fruit and I will not be buying it any longer. I found this site and wondered about other people with health issues and what they noticed about this product. It's been informative and whatever doubts I had left about buying this again just vanished with the information that all of you posted. This Monsanto genetically altered seed program is so unhealthy and I would never have known about its role in All Fruit if I hadn't read it here along with other facts. So, thanks all of you for the heads-up.

 
D. Joyce

said this on
18 Sep 2013 12:36:20 PM PST
My granddaughter is a celiac and three years old. She asked foe a PBJ for lunch and I used the Polander's all fruit with fiber grape flavor. In the last two hours she has thrown up six times. I am truly disappointed with this product.





 
Sara

said this on
21 Dec 2013 1:26:50 PM PST
Thank you for the link to the website. I have celiac disease. I consumed less than a teaspoon of Polaners grape with fiber, and had a severe allergic reaction. All of the symptoms tell me it is a gluten exposure. If you have any level of sensitivity to gluten, I would recommend boycotting this product.

 
Denise Landrum

said this on
08 Mar 2014 1:13:08 PM PST
I recently discovered that although I'm already gluten-free, I'm having issues with corn as well. This may be your body's way of saying something to you.

 
Denise Landrum

said this on
08 Mar 2014 1:14:06 PM PST
Oh!! And thanks for saving my bacon, I had the jelly out for my rice toast!!

 
Joel

said this on
17 Jun 2014 7:25:29 PM PST
I have 3 bottles of the re-introduced version of All Fruit that doesn't have maltodextrin! Yippee.

 
Joel

said this on
17 Jun 2014 7:19:56 PM PST
Has anyone else noticed that Polaner has begun selling a fruit-sweetened version again. No maltodextrin!

 
Charlie G.

said this on
05 Jul 2014 7:29:15 AM PST
Yes, I have and have been buying it again. This morning I noticed that all the "fiber" ones are gone and the all fruit is back. I e-mailed the company when this first happened and I got a cold response. If I need fiber, I'll drink Prune juice.

 
Herta Fischer

said this on
19 Jul 2014 12:48:53 PM PST
However, the sugar content went up - for instance, the sugar content for raspberry and blackberry went from 6g to 8g - blueberry sugar content also increased. Why doesn't B&G go back to the original formula and quit fiddling with something that was perfect.

 
Irene

said this on
01 Aug 2014 7:28:19 PM PST
We got quite a surprise this morning when preparing some toast for breakfast. We found a six inch long, 1.5 inch wide and flat piece of an unknown object in our jar of Polaner All Fruit and Fiber (cherry). It looks leathery and it is slimy. I'd upload a photo but this site wouldn't let me do so. I sent a message to Polaner but haven't heard from them yet.




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