Do you use Palm Oil in any of your products?
We don’t use palm oil – at Meridian we pride ourselves on our pledge never to use palm oil in any of our products. We have cultivated strong links with a charity called International Animal Rescue and our partnership is very important, contributing to the welfare of the Orangutans and the overall success of crucial projects.
We are also the first company in the UK to apply and be accredited as Palm Oil Free by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP). For more information about our certification please click here.
Why is there a layer of oil on top of my nut butter?
We pride ourselves on using 100% nuts and nothing extra. As a result, the natural oils from the nuts can rise to the top. Other brands often use palm oil, sugar, salt, stabilisers and preservatives and it’s palm oil which acts as an emulsifier to bind the product together. This is why other brands using palm oil don’t have any trouble with oil separation.
Sometimes the nuts naturally have more oil and sometimes they have less, making it hard for us to produce batches of nut butters which have exactly the same consistency. Occasionally some batches may be runnier or harder. This is the nature of producing a product with no added ingredients such as palm oil.
Top tip: If the product is low in oil, try adding a little sunflower oil or similar oil to obtain your preferred consistency. If you find the product is firmer at the bottom of the pack and the jar/tub is full, the oil can be poured off and re-added to make it easier to mix.
Why is there a solid layer of oil on top of my nut butter?
In cold weather, the oils within our nut butters, more often in our coconut range but also in our cashew butter and Chocca, once separated may harden and solidify partially. The consistency does not affect the nutrients but you may notice small white lumps that may resemble small grains of rice.
If you are having problems mixing the oils back in, you can put the jar somewhere warm.
Top tip: If you have doubts that this is oil, heat a spoon in hot water, scoop some onto the spoon and you will be able to see the lumps melt. A lot of flavour is contained in the oils so it’s good to keep these oils mixed in.
What are the white beads/ dots/ snowflakes on the top of my nut butter/Chocca?
We are proud of our pledge to never use palm oil or stabilisers to emulsify our products and it’s because of this that the oils sometimes separate. Coconut oil is white when solid and clear when liquid.
When it’s colder, it can separate and form little white dots, snowflakes, pea sized beads on the surface of the nut butter. Please be assured that this is normal and remains safe. These can be mixed in and will disappear on your warm toast!
Why is my nut butter too runny? too dry?
This is due to the natural oil content of the nuts and seeds which can vary depending on growing and weather conditions. As a totally natural product, you may also experience higher or lower oil separation depending on storage conditions.
Top tip: Sunflower oil can be added to dry nut butters to revive them.
Do you add Xylitol to your nut butters?
We don’t add anything to our roasted nuts to make our peanut or almond butter – just 100% nuts. There is definitely no Xylitol in our nut butters.
You can be sure that we don’t add artificial colours or sweeteners or palm oil to any of our nut butters
We also hear that you are concerned about Xylitol and Palm Oil as they are harmful to dogs and puppies. Whether you should feed peanut or almond butter to your dog or puppy is something you’d need to follow up with your vet, however we can confirm that our products are made with 100% peanuts and almonds.
Where are your nuts and seeds sourced from?
We sustainably source a wide range of nuts and seeds with countries of origin varying based on seasons and availability.
Are your nuts and seeds screened for Aflatoxin?
We can confidently say that all our products fully comply with EU standards for Aflatoxin/Mycotoxin. Nuts and seeds are not allowed entry into the EU unless they have been pre-tested, in compliance with EU Aflatoxins/Mycotoxin regulations and standards, and we receive documentation from our suppliers to prove this compliance. Our factory tests every delivery of nuts and seeds to ensure strict compliance with these standards and all sampling is carried out in accordance with Trading Standards recommendations and testing in UKAS Accredited Laboratories.
Our products are only released for sale when they have been subjected to comprehensive testing and quality assessment, in full compliance with all current EU Food Regulations.
I have a peanut allergy - can I eat your Almond or Cashew Butter?
The sole ingredient of our almond butter are almonds, whilst our cashew butter are 96% cashew, plus a dash of sunflower oil. As other nuts and seeds are handled on site including; almond, cashews, coconut, hazelnut, sesame, peanut and pumpkin seeds, then we must advise sufferers of other nut allergies to avoid all of our nut products. Although we have strict cleaning and segregation procedures in place, the dusty nature of nuts means we cannot guarantee a spec of nut dust will not remain within the system.
Our nut and seed butters all carry the same warning: ‘Product not suitable for nut, peanut or sesame allergy sufferers.’ For further clarification you should contact a health professional.
Will I find traces of shell in any of your products?
Our nut and seed butters are made using minimally processed natural ingredients, so that does mean that occasionally a stray piece of nut shell or similar may unfortunately sneak through our quality control processes. These could be quite hard if you bite them, so as you enjoy our nut and seed butters, please do take care.
Why are the carbohydrates in your nut butters lower than in the raw nuts?
Our nut butters are labelled using information taken from a number of sources including McCance and Widdowson, The Composition of Foods, from data from our suppliers and samples analysed by accredited laboratories. All are recognised and approved source of information for food labelling. Based on those values, we also make corrections for water loss on roasting which explains the differences you can see on other roasted nuts.
Are all of the Meridian products suitable for vegans?
Yes! Our entire range of products are suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Are your nut and seed butters gluten free?
Our nut butters are naturally gluten free, always look for the allergens highlighted in bold on the ingredients list for security.
Is your Yeast Extract gluten free?
Yes, it’s gluten free. We do not list gluten as an allergen on the product label as we are able to confirm that all products fall well below the 20 ppm ELISA reading which means that the product is gluten free as defined by legislation and by Coeliac UK.
Our yeast extract is produced by a natural enzymatic fermentation process predominantly from brewer’s yeast, which is spent yeast. Brewer’s yeast can be grown using different plant derivatives; sugar beets, sugar beet molasses, sugar cane molasses, barley, and malt. Our product originates from brewer’s yeast, grown in wort made from barley. During the yeast extract production process the gluten content is reduced to a level which, in most cases, is not detectable by an ELISA test with a detection limit of 5 ppm. Very occasionally gluten is detected at very low levels, but always significantly lower than the <20ppm legally classed as gluten free according to EU regulations 929/2014.
During the extraction process the cell walls break down and proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins can be extracted from inside the cells. The product is then vacuum evaporated. The vitamins, with the exception of Vitamin B12, are naturally present in the yeast extract and are not synthesised. The nature of the extraction process ensures there is no gluten present even where the yeast is grown using barley.
Your Yeast Extract label no longer shows all the Vitamins & Minerals. Has the recipe changed?
Although we have updated the design and not stated all of the Vitamins & Minerals as previously labelled, the product remains the same and includes all of the Vitamins & Minerals as previously described (Folic Acid, Thiamin B1, Riboflavin B2, Niacin B3, Pyridoxine B6 and Cyancobalamin B12).
Are Meridian products suitable for a Kosher diet?
Meridian products are not Kosher certified. Due the diversity of our range, different lines are produced at different manufacturing sites meaning that some products in the range are suitable for inclusion in a Kosher diet such as our nut and seed butters - others are not.
Are your peanut butters keto friendly / suitable for a ketogenic diet?
We dry roast our nuts at just the right temperature so that there is no need to add any extra oils or fats when making our nut butters. Our peanut butters are created with 100% nuts, or with just a pinch of salt added, so any oil within the jar is naturally occurring and has not come from an added source.
As peanut butter is high in fat and also naturally low in carbohydrates then the great news is that our delicious peanut butters are suitable for those seeking to enter or maintain ketosis.
Our almond butters are also suitable but please read the ingredient lists of our flavoured varieties as the likes of cocoa & peanut do contain added sunflower oil and also have more than 2 ingredients.
What’s special about the Richer Roast peanut butter, what are Hi Oleic peanuts?
Hi Oleic peanuts are a different variety of peanuts that contain 30% more monounsaturated fats (oleic acid) than standard peanuts. Here are some useful links to find out more:
And….Richer Roast tastes incredibly indulgent and everything you would want from a peanut butter.
What does unsaturated fat actually mean?
Unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats are considered to be better for our health and they can help to reduce blood cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are found generally in plant foods such as seeds/grains, nuts, vegetables and fruit. They can be either polyunsaturated, found in sunflower, soya, corn, and sesame oils or monounsaturated like olive and rapeseed oils.
Evidence suggests that the inclusion of the monounsaturated fats to your diet can help to promote the healthier type of cholesterol in our blood.
Almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts are rich sources of monounsaturated fats and if eaten unsalted, just a small daily handful would contribute towards a healthy diet.
Why do we need some fat?
Good Fats are an important part of our diet; they provide the body with energy and help the body absorb important vitamins and minerals. They also contain essential fats which the body is unable to make for itself. However, eating too much fat can be unhealthy.
Are your ingredients ethically sourced?
This is a really important issue for us and an area in which we are going to greater and greater lengths as a company to challenge. Meridian Foods is part of the SHS Group and you can read our position on modern slavery on the linked statement.
In terms of the nuts and seeds that we use; almonds, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, peanut, pumpkin and sesame - We conduct thorough ethical checks on our supply chain using the Sedex database and part of our supplier approval process is to verify that suppliers are committed to, and implement, the ethical trading initiative base code. More information on this can be found at ethicaltrade.org
Our cocoa is sourced from suppliers who are part of the World Cocoa Foundation to ensure cocoa is ethically produced.