Course:FNH200/Assignments/2022/Becel vs Becel Light

From UBC Wiki


Becel is a well-known brand that produces margarine made from a blend of canola and vegetable oils, sustainable palm oil, and modified palm kernel oil. Becel is known for its products being low in saturated and trans fats, which can lower the risk of heart disease. [1]

On this page, we are comparing and contrasting the differences between Becel's original margarine and Becel's light margarine.

Pictures of the Product

Image of Becel light ( front, side, ingredients list and nutrition facts).
Image of Becel Original ( front, side, ingredients list, and nutrition facts).

Ingredient lists

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Becel Light

1) List of Ingredients:

a) Becel Light: Water 60%, Canola oil 35%, Modified palm & palm kernel oils 3%, Modified corn starch, Salt, Whey powder 1% (milk), Vegetable monoglycerides, Soy lecithin, Lactic acid, Potassium sorbate, Alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), Calcium disodium EDTA, Natural & artificial flavour, Vitamin A palmitate (vitamin A), Beta carotene, Citric acid, Vitamin D3. b) Becel Original: Canola oil 74%, Water, Modified palm and palm kernel oils 6%, Salt, Buttermilk powder 0.2% (milk), Natural flavours, Lactic acid, Vitamin A palmitate (vitamin A), Vitamin D3, Beta carotene, Soy lecithin, Calcium disodium EDTA.

2) Similarities in the two Ingredients Lists (Fat Substitute, Sugar Substitute, and Food Additive):

Calcium disodium EDTA (Permitted synonyms: Calcium disodium edetate, Calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate)

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts of Becel Original

Calcium disodium EDTA is an odorless crystalline powder with a slightly salty flavor. It appears either in white crystalline granules or as white to grayish-white powder and has a slight salty taste and no odor. The chemical formula is C10H12CaN2Na2O8·2H2O. It is soluble in water and insoluble in organic solvents. The maximum Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is 1.1 mg per pound (2.5 mg per kg) of body weight per day[2].

Soy lecithin

Lecithin is a food additive that derives from several sources — one of them being soy. Lecithin is an example of a phospholipid, a naturally occurring emulsifier commonly found in egg yolk and soybean oil; Other naturally occurring emulsifiers include the proteins from milk, egg yolk or other foods; Sometimes, synthetic emulsifiers (e.g. "Polysorbate 60") are used to assist in forming food emulsions[3]. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier, or lubricant, when it comes to food, but it also play a role as an antioxidant and flavor protector. The most decisive factors allowing people to add more soy lecithin to their table is cholesterol reduction. In one study, animals treated with soy lecithin experienced reductions in LDL cholesterol (commonly considered "bad"), without reducing HDL ("good") cholesterol whereas another study revealed similar findings on human beings- "42 percent reductions in total cholesterol and 56 percent reductions in LDL cholesterol"[4].

Alpha tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E) RRR-alpha-tocopherol acetate is a relatively stabilized form of vitamin E that is most commonly used as a food additive when needed. Alpha-tocopherol acetate is subsequently most commonly indicated for dietary supplementation in individuals who may demonstrate a genuine deficiency in vitamin E[5].

Beta carotene Beta-carotene is a pigment commonly found in plants, which turns fruits or vegetables into yellow or orange. The origin of name, beta-carotene, roots from the Latin name for a carrot. It is abundant in green-yellow vegetables, fruits, and algae. Regarding food, Beta-carotene is also used to color foods such as margarine[6]. The powerful antioxidant action of carotene neutralizes toxic substances and carcinogens. In other words, carotene plays an important role in protecting cells by preventing damage to cells in the body due to the action of free radicals in our body.

Other additives used in Becel light

Potassium sorbate (2,4-hexadienoic acid potassium salt, Sorbic acid potassium salt)

Potassium sorbate is a chemical additive. Commonly, It is used to preserve foods, drinks including yogurt, wine, and baked goods. It is an odorless and tasteless salt synthetically produced from sorbic acid and potassium hydroxide.

Citric acid

Citric acid naturally exists in fruits and vegetables. However, it is not the naturally occurring citric acid, but the manufactured citric acid (MCA) that is used extensively as a food and beverage additive. It is a colorless, odorless solid, soluble in water and alcohol, and has a sour taste. It is contained in fruits such as lemons and tangerines, and is used as an additive in soft drinks and medicines.

3) The Roles of Fat Substitutes, Sugar substitutes or Additives used in the Product:

Calcium disodium EDTA can be used to preserve texture, flavor and color of many food products. It's also used to promote stability and increase the shelf life of the product.[2]

Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier, or lubricant, when added to food, but also has uses as an antioxidant and flavor protector.[4]

Alpha tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E) is added to prolong its shelf life while protecting its antioxidant properties.[7]

Beta carotene gives yellow and orange fruits and vegetables their rich hues. It is also used to color foods such as margarine.[8]

Potassium sorbate prolongs the shelf life of foods by stopping the growth of mold, yeast, and fungi.[9]

Citric acid helps keep canned and jarred foods fresh over long periods of time. It can also help thicken foods or give them a slightly sour flavor.[10]

4) Compare and contrast Becel Original vs. Becel Light:

Similarities Differences
Becel® Original - Canola oil

- Water

- Modified palm and palm kernel oils

- Salt

- Natural flavours

- Lactic acid

- Vitamin A palmitate (vitamin A)

- Vitamin D3

- Canola oil 74%

- Modified palm and palm kernel oils 6%

- Buttermilk powder 0.2% (milk)

Becel® Light - Canola oil 35%

- Water 60%

- Modified palm & palm kernel oils 3%

- Modified corn starch

- Whey powder 1% (milk)

- Vegetable monoglycerides

- Potassium sorbate

- Alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E)

- Artificial flavour

- Citric acid

As seen from the table above, Becel® Light contains more ingredients compared to Becel® Original. The majority of the extra ingredients that Becel® Light contains can be associated with the additional fat substitutes or additives. For example, the Light version contains whey powder compared to buttermilk powder as a protein substitute. In addition, the Light version contains citric acid, an organic chemical compound to help the product last longer - whereas the original version does not contain it. Moreover, the light version contains 50% less calories compared to the original version (35 Calories vs. 70 calories). How this was achieved was through Becel Light’s usage of whey powder as the milk ingredient, which has 59% less saturated fat compared to buttermilk.


Both products appear to have the same labels on them, albeit having different values. These labels include:

Bilingual Labelling: As a core requirement listed by the CFIA, all core information is labeled using both English and French.[11]

Legibility and Location of Labelling: All labels on the food are in readily discernable font and are shown on the top or side of the container, this aligns with the regulations set by the FDR and SFCR.[12]

Common name: The common name of the product, “Margarine” is labeled using a minimum type height greater than 1.6mm as per the standard provided by the FDR and SFCR and is on the principal display panel of the product, being the top of the container.[13]

Date marking and storage suggestion: The expiration date of 2022/12/29 can be seen on the image for Becel Original, and a similar date is on the image for Becel Light. According to the Food and Drugs Regulations, products with expiration dates less than 90 days are required to be labeled. As the images are taken in July 2022 and the best before date is December 2022, these products fall under the “Voluntary Declaration” section. The products also do follow the required format for declaration where the words “best before” is used followed by dates ordering year, month, and day. The storage instruction to “keep refrigerated” is also shown on both containers.[14]

Name and Principal Place of Business: Even though not fully displayed in the pictures, the name, and place of business are shown on the package, where the name “Upfield Canada Inc” and address “10 Craig st Brantford, ON” can be seen.[15]

List of Ingredients and Allergens: All ingredients in the food are listed in descending order of proportion by weight. Allergens such as milk are also declared in parenthesis after the ingredient that may contain said allergen, as per the standard set by the FDR. Food additives such as soy lecithin are also outlined within this list.[16][17]

Nutrition Facts Table: The nutrition facts table is present on both products and contain all necessary information using acceptable fonts and format for the tables as outlined by the FDR’s Graphic and Technical Requirements within the Nutrition Facts Table.[18]

Net Quantity: The net quantity of the product is clearly labeled and in metric units. The percentage of water and oil is also clearly labeled according to regulations.[19]

Gluten-Free Claim: The products are declared to be gluten-free, which much be factual according to FDR.[20]

Kosher: On the top of the product, a symbol with “COR” can be seen with “dairy” written beside it. COR is the Kashruth Council of Canada, and being a COR-certified dairy product means both products are certified kosher and contain actual dairy products.[21]


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This Food Science resource was created by Course:FNH200.