Found! Pineapple bun 菠蘿包 nutrition and ingredients

Never in my pineapple bun-loving life have I ever eaten a 菠蘿包 (pineapple bun) that came with nutritional information or a list of ingredients. I have always been curious though. Of course, Chinese bakeries are not known for their attention to nutrition, and if you are eating a pineapple bun, you know you are definitely not doing something good for your heart. Now, I know pineapple buns are made with a lot of lard and sugar, that’s why they taste so damn good.

Being Asian, I pay my regular visits to TNT Supermarket . And while they aren’t a true bakery, like many giant supermarkets they do offer their own cakes, breads, and various other Chinese baked goods. I just noticed though, that they now post nutritional information for many of their bakery items. (It was quite an eye opener, this discovery. Let’s just say I couldn’t find anything that has less than 1 gram of trans fat. Still, good for TNT.) To come across the complete nutritional information and ingredients of a HK-style pineapple bun was quite a pleasant surprise:

HK Pineapple Bun

Water, sugar, wheat flour, margarine, yeast, pure lard, skim milk and whey powder, egg, evaporated milk, egg yolks, salt, baking soda, vanilla concentrate.

No doubt, every bakery have their own secret pineapple bun recipe, but lard and sugar – almost always two musts.

Now, please consider some points of reference for comparison:

  1. TNT’s HK-style pineapple bun:
    340 calories, 16g of fat, 3.5g trans fat, 21g sugar.
  2. Tim Horton’s Butter Croissant:
    340 calories, 18g of fat, 4.5g trans fat, 7g sugar.
  3. Tim Horton’s Old Fashioned Glazed Donut:
    320 calories, 19g of fat, 0.1g trans fat, 22g sugar.
  4. McDonald’s Medium Fries:
    350 calories, 18g of fat, 2g trans fat, 0 sugar.

Doesn’t it seem like the pineapple bun’s got the worst of both worlds here? We’re talking about the double whammy here- I couldn’t find anything with a comparable caloric value that has similarly high levels of both trans fat and sugar as the pineapple bun. And considering the data, if you were gonna blow 300-odd calories, those fries are surely a “healthier” choice compared to any commercially baked good, no? Nevertheless, I may not eat McD’s fries, but you sure as hell can’t stop me from eating pineapple buns!

And a seemingly simple ingredients list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less evil: They also had a Taiwanese-style pineapple bun (looks nothing like a pineapple bun to me), that had 5g of trans fat, and it doesn’t even have lard in it! OH! Evil margarine!

Taiwan Pineapple Bun

Water, margarine, wheat flour, sugar, icing sugar, yeast, egg, butter, skim milk and whey powder, salt.


3 Responses

  1. […] you remember, a typical HK-style pineapple bun has 3.5g trans fat per 100g of bun, which is 3.5%. The croissant […]

  2. oh my gosh.
    i just ate a pineapple bun @ lunch from the TNT today. (and i am on a diet)
    never touching one of these things again until my diet is over.

  3. WOW…i had NO idea that those pineapple buns were SO unhealthy! and they are by far, my favourite chinese bakery buns too ):
    thanks for posting!

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