Product Review: Wraps are a great alternative to the classic sandwich; cold or hot fillings, plain or toasted, and easy to transport. As wraps have increased in popularity, you can now find a number of different types on the supermarket shelf.
The Rebel Bakehouse Hemp Seed wraps offer a new take to what I have seen around. A point of difference is the inclusion of hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds come from the plant cannabis sativa, but do not have the THC component like marijuana. Hemp seeds are very nutritious - containing a rich source of omega 3 fats, a high proportion of protein relative to weight, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and more.
In these wraps, hemp flour makes up 4.9 per cent of the product, behind wheat flour (white and wholemeal), water and canola oil.
They are marketed to be 'protein loaded', and provide '19 per cent of your daily protein intake'. When we review the nutrition information panel you get 13.6g/100g or 9.5g protein per wrap. This is anywhere from one third extra to double the amount of protein of other options on the shelf.
Protein is essential and has a number of uses in our body. We typically think of it in helping build/maintain muscle mass, but it is also important in nail, skin and hair growth, and in other roles such as a fuel source, helping immune function, hormones and more.
Fibre is another nutrient I always like to consider when we are look at grain-based products, as our breads and cereals group are one of our big contributors of this. Fibre helps keep our bowels regular, feed the good gut bugs in our intestinal tract, and keeps us feeling full.
These wraps provide 5.6g fibre/100g or 3.9g per wrap. This is just under what we consider a high fibre product (>6g/100g), but compared to other wraps it sits at the upper end of options.
I found wraps as low as 2.5g/100g and as high as 8.6g/100g of fibre. The fibre from these wraps come from the wheat flour, hemp flour and also added wheat fibre as listed on the ingredients list.
As for remaining nutrients – compared to other wrap options, per 100g they are comparable for total fat intake and sugars, but lower in saturated fat, salt and total carbohydrate.
How do they compare in cost to the other brands? These were retailing for $7 per packet of 8 at Countdown, which comes out to $0.88 per wrap.
Other varieties on the market range from as low as $0.35, but generally are around $0.91 per wrap. It is worth noting that the other wraps looked at are a smaller size (45g to 60g per wrap) compared with 70g per wrap for this brand.
This is important not only for cost, but also to consider in nutritional terms, and why we use the 'per 100g' column when comparing products.
So are hemp seed, high protein wraps worth buying?
Given they taste nice, are cost comparable, and have a reasonable fibre intake then I think they could be an alternative in your trolley. They certainly are a healthier substitute to a plain white wrap option.
Is the protein intake a draw card? Well for the majority of New Zealanders you easily get adequate daily protein from meats, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, nuts and vegetarian alternatives.
If you are someone who needs extra, or are struggling to get enough, and you eat wraps or sandwiches, this could be one small helpful extra to add a few more grams each day.
Sarah Tuki is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian