What is a Boca Burger? A deep dive into Boca Burger ingredients.
Some may say the Boca Burger is the grandfather to the recently popular Impossible Burger. The Boca Burger has been around since 1979 and was one of the first frozen, plant-based burgers on the market.
Today we have all kinds of plant-based burgers crowding the frozen foods sections of grocery stores. Even casual restaurants and fast-food chains like Burger King are serving these meatless patties.
So, with all the different options available let?s take a look at the veggie burger that has withstood the test of time. The Boca Burger. Are Boca Burgers healthy? What are Boca Burger Ingredients? Let?s take a look.
Boca Burger Nutrition Facts
Before we dive into these nutrition facts, it?s important to note that this company makes various styles of patties including Chik?n and Turk?y. Today, our analysis will focus on the original Boca Burger.
- Calories: 100
- Calories From Fat: 35
- Total Fat: 4g
- Cholesterol: 5mg
- Sodium: 350mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 6g
- Dietary Fiber: 4g
- Sugars: 1g
- Protein: 13g
Boca Burger Ingredients
What is a Boca Burger? According to an original Boca Burger (4) count Walmart sells, these are the ingredients in this product:
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto [Color], Vitamin A Palmitate), Corn Oil, Wheat Gluten, Contains Less Than 2% Of Caramel Color, Methylcellulose, Soy Protein, Dried Onion, Cheese Powder (Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Cream, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Salt, Natural Flavor (Non-Meat), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Disodium Inosinate And Disodium Guanylate, Sesame Oil, Spices And Herbs, Dried Garlic, Mannitol, Yeast Extract.
After looking at some of these, you may be wondering what some of them are. We?re here to help. Let?s break-down what some of these ingredients are.
- Soy Protein Concentrate: Created by removing carbohydrates from soy protein flours. This type of flour contains at least 65% protein, according to Science Direct. So, soy protein concentrate is a highly processed ingredient.
- Annatto [Color]: Annatto is derived from seeds of an achiote tree. In this case the seeds itself were not used, but the orange-red color from them was. Annatto helps make your patties look like real meat.
- Caramel Color: This is a food coloring made by burning or heating sugar then mixing it with some sort of acid or alkali (generally ammonium or sulfites). Caramel coloring helps food products obtain a brown coloring. Over recent years, this ingredient has been under a lot of scrutiny for potential cancer causing properties.
- Sodium Phosphate: Pretty much just salt. Don?t freak out about this one.
- Disodium Inosinate: A flavor enhancer. Compared to disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate can be completely ineffective when MSG is not present.
What We Think: Are Boca Burgers Healthy?
After taking a look at the nutrition label you may be thinking, wow, this is a nice low-calorie, vegetarian option. It most certainly is, but do you care about what goes into your food? Do you care about freshness? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should truly consider if any veggie burgers on the market are worth buying.
A general rule of thumb across the entire industry is to look for ingredient labels that are concise and free of words most people cannot pronounce. An example would be Disodium Guanylate. Once the ingredient list starts stacking up, you are probably consuming a highly processed food.
A Side Note About Soy
When it comes to eating soy, you want to eat it in an unprocessed form. The more processed your soy is, the more health problems you may run into. For example, soy protein isolate is highly processed and has various additives and chemicals in it. According to wellandgood.com, soy protein isolate can have aluminum and hexane in it. Yikes.
You may be thinking, how does aluminum and hexane get in my food? Well, these processed foods have to go through machines to be made. These machines are made with aluminum and used with hexane and various other chemicals. So, when the food goes through a machine, it?s no surprise certain chemicals are leftover.
Think of this like you just fell into a pool of toxic chemicals. Even once you get out, some chemicals still remain. This makes us wonder, even if the FDA says certain chemicals are okay to eat in small amounts, how do they account for all the types of food we eat? Or the overall amount of specific food we?re eating?
A Healthier Alternative
While it is convenient to buy a frozen veggie patty at the store, the healthiest way to eat a meatless burger is to make it from scratch. This way you can control what goes into it and not worry about some lab technician juicing your burger up with too much caramel color. You can also make a large batch and freeze some of your own burgers for later.
What About Eating Out
Eating a veggie burger at a restaurant can potentially be healthier than eating a frozen one. Sometimes restaurants actually use frozen patties, or they can use highly fattening ingredients like various oils to enhance flavor. A good way to get around this is to ask if your veggie burger is made in house and how they prepare it.
So, Are Boca Burgers Good For You?
Well, the answer is really up to you. All consumers shop differently and with various health beliefs. We believe that many of the processed foods we eat today cause many of the diseases that are becoming more common across society. At the end of the day, we think less is more when it comes to what goes into your food. This does make it harder to shop at times, but it could seriously improve your overall health and lifestyle.
Learn more about other health news and products here.