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MARIE BISCUITS

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A Marie Biscuits is a type of sweet biscuit that is quite similar to English Rich tea biscuit. Marie Biscuits are very popular in several countries like, Venezuela, Spain, Mauritius, Denmark, Brazil, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, South Africa, Pakistan, Finland and Sweden.

Basically, a Marie Biscuits are round in shape and its name is embossed in the center of the top surface with embossed and intricate designs on the edges. Marie Biscuits were originally called Maria, and the name Marie is very popular in Asia.

ETYMOLOGY

The name Marie is a variation of the biscuit’s original name Maria, derived from Russia’s Grand Duchess Maria, who married the Duke of Edinburg. The wedding was the inspiration behind the biscuit’s birth when an English bakery made a sweet small round cookie stamped with the Duchess name, Maria.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN AND USAGE

The very first Marie Biscuit was created in London, England in 1874 by the Peek Freans bakery to commemorate the wedding of Maria Alexandrovna, Russia’s Grand Duchess to the Duke of Edinburg; it was originally called Maria.

The biscuit became very popular all throughout Europe, specifically in Spain where it became the country’s symbol of economic recovery after the Civil War. Marie biscuits have been produced in mass quantities in Spanish bakeries during that time due to wheat surplus.

Marie biscuits are dunkable cookies and they are best served with tea. Another way to enjoy these biscuits is by making a sandwich out of two biscuits with either marmite or butter spread in between. Some people also love eating Marie biscuits covered with golden syrup.

Marie biscuits are also given to infants and toddlers as first solid food.

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THE BIGGEST PRODUCERS AND BRANDS WORLD WIDE

When it comes to Marie biscuits, there are several brands to choose from and one of the most popular is the Britannia Marie from India.

In Spain, one of the biggest brands of the Marie Biscuit is the Maria Cookies. These are large biscuits in golden brown coloring and faint imprint. They are not very sweet, but quite flaky and crisp. Another Spanish brand is the Rio Maria and these are biscuits that are thin, very crisp and very sweet.

In Mexico, the Pagasa Marias Cookies make crunchy Marie biscuits, while according to the Maria Gamesa; they produce the Original Marie biscuits.

In UK the biggest producer of Marie Biscuits is Crawford’s, the company that produces airy and light biscuits with vanilla flavor. These biscuits are great to be paired with tea. Crawford’s is proud to say that their Marie Biscuits have no artificial flavours and colourings.

In the United States, Marias brand under Goya Foods is a popular Marie Biscuits brand, while the Maria Brand is well-known in Canada under President’s Choice biscuit manufacturer.

In the Philippines, Fibisco, the country’s top biscuit manufacturer, has popularized this biscuit variety as a great starting food for toddlers. There are three Fibisco made brands of this biscuit; Marie, Marie Time and Marie Munch.

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In India, Treff Marie Biscuits by Disha Foods is one of the most popular brands. Other popular brands of Marie Biscuits in India include: Mariebon (Bonn Food Industries); Vita Marie (Britannia Industries); and Marie Light (ITC Limited).

Other globally known producers of Marie Biscuit are: Regal Maria Biscuits (Indonesia); Marriebiscuits (Pally, Holland); Jacobs’ Marietta (Ireland); Arcor’s Mana Biscuits (Argentina); Arnott’s Marie (Australia); Riviana Pozuelo’s Maria (Costa Rica); KelsenBisca Mariekiks (Denmark); Nestle Ecuador Maria (Ecuador); Kantolan Kulta Marie (Finland); Patisserie Gunz’ Maria (Germany); The Garden Company Limited’s Marie Biscuits (Hong Kong); CV Jaya Abadi’s Marie Regal Biscuits (Indonesia); Morinaga and Company’s Marie (Japan); Muhab Food Co. Marie Biscuits (Libya); Hup Seng Perusahaan Makanan’s Marie Biscuits and Coffee Marie Biscuits (Malaysia); NorgesGruppen’s First Price (Norway); Sætre AS’ Marie (Norway); Verdake’s Maria (the Netherlands); Productos Alimenticios Pascual’s Maria (Panama); English Biscuit Manufacturers’ Peek Freans (Pakistan); Cuetara Triunfo’s Bolacha Maria (Portugal); Khing Guan Biscuit Factory’s Marie Biscuits and Small Marie Biscuits (Singapore); Bakers’ Maries Biscuits and Cappuccino Marie Biscuits (South Africa); Grupo Siro’s Maria, Maria Dorada and Maria Clasica (Spain); Cuetara’s Maria Oro (Spain); LU-Fontaneda’s La Buena Maria (Spain); Maliban Biscuit Manufactories Limited’s Gold Marie (Sri Lanka); Goteborgs Kex’ Guld Marie (Sweden); Katalina Foods (Syria); Simsek Biscuits and Foods’ Gorona ( Turkey); ANI Biscuit and Foods’ Marie (Turkey); Kharkiv Biscuit Factory’s Марія (Ukraine); Kraft Foods’ Maria de Famosa (Uruguay); El Trigal’s Maria Rika (Uruguay); C.A. Sucesora de Jose Puig and CIA’s Maria Puig (Venezuela); Kinh Do Corporation’s Cosy Marie (Vietnam); Lebena’s Marie and Lobels’ Marie (Zimbabwe);

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT MARIE BISCUITS

Marie Biscuits are undoubtedly the most popular biscuits in the world. The mere fact that there are biscuit manufacturers from all over the world that produces them is enough to prove that these biscuits have indeed captured the hearts of people from all nations.

Marie biscuits are also enjoyed as sandwich biscuits to be filled with jam, margarine or butter. Others – especially the sweet tooth – spread condensed milk between the cookies while other cover the biscuits in golden syrup or crumble them with jelly and custard for sweet irresistible dessert.

Marie biscuit is considered as a healthy biscuit and it is recommended by dieticians for calorie-conscious people.

Due to the sugar and wheat flour content of marie biscuits, diabetics are advised to take them in moderation.

People of all ages have enjoyed the delicious taste of the Marie Biscuit., which can be considered as the most popular biscuits or cookies in the world.

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MARIE BISCUIT PROCESS GUIDE

Marie is a classic hard sweet biscuit characterised by an even, attractive colour, texture and good volume

Other examples of hard sweet biscuits are Petit Buerre, Rich Tea, Arrowroot, Morning Coffee. Doughs for hard sweet biscuits have the following features:

  • Doughs have strong, developed gluten which gives an elastic dough, which is sheeted and cut. It often shrinks in the first stage of baking
  • Doughs have low sugar and fat
  • Doughs have water contents typically of around 12%
  • Biscuits are normally baked on a wire-mesh band (except for Marie which is traditionally baked on a steel band)
  • Humidity in the first part of the baking is important to achieve good volume and a smooth surface sheen
  • Biscuits are baked to low moisture contents, around 1.5% – 3.0%

DESCRIPTION

Marie is a classic biscuit made throughout Europe and Asia. It has a light, crisp, delicate texture, with pale colour and clear smooth surface.

Product specification

Dimensions:                        66.0 mm diam.

Thickness:                             6.0 mm

Weight:                                 8.3 g

Appearance:                          Smooth surface, clear printing

Colour:                                  Pale golden

Texture:                                Crisp and light

Moisture:                              1.5%

Marie biscuits are made with medium protein flour and contain SMS to develop a soft extensible dough. The doughs are mixed on horizontal mixers to a temperature of 40-42oC. The dough is sheeted and cut and is traditionally baked on a steel band.

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CRITICAL INGREDIENTS

  • Flour should not exceed 9.0% protein. Higher protein will result in a hard biscuit.
  • Cornflour and maize flour are used to reduce the total gluten content and make a more tender eating biscuit.
  • SMS will modify the protein to make a soft extensible dough.
  • Marie biscuits are made with medium protein flour and contain SMS to develop a soft extensible dough. The doughs are mixed on horizontal mixers to a temperature of 40-42 degrees C. The dough is sheeted and cut and is traditionally baked on a steel band.

THE SUM OF ITS PROTEIN, FAT, FIBRE, SUGAR, AND ENERGY VALUE

The Marie is arguably the most recognisable biscuit—being distinctive, affordable and present almost everywhere. That it makes for the perfect accompaniment to tea only ups its popularity quotient. Not to forget its dieter-friendly character and composition. So, while there are biscuits and more biscuits in the market, at Consumer Voice we shortlisted 10 brands of Marie to test their claims in terms of dietary fibre, protein, fat, and total sugar. Are they really ‘healthy’ stuff, as their manufacturers claim? How low is the ‘low sugar’ and how high is the wheat-flour quantity? Also, is one Marie as good as another Marie—in other words, are they substitutable? Do they all meet the basic quality requirements as per the national standards? Do we know how much protein and fat we should expect to have in our biscuits? How much moisture is acceptable? This report is a firsthand study of some popular brands of Marie biscuits available in India.

DIETARY FIBRE

Dietary fibre can generally be described as that portion of food that is not digested in the human small intestine. It passes into the large intestine where it is partially or fully fermented.

  • The dietary fibre measured was between 3.03 mg/100 gm and 4.03 mg/100 gm. Higher values of dietary fibre were assigned higher scores.
  • Bonn scored the highest in this parameter.

A high-fibre diet offers many health benefits, which include:

  • Normalising bowel movements
  • Maintaining bowel health
  • Lowering of cholesterol levels
  • Helping control blood sugar levels
  • Aiding in achieving healthy weight

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PROTEIN

Protein is an essential nutrient. It plays an vimportant role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. It should be higher in biscuits.

  • The lowest amount of protein was found in Parle (7.17 per cent) and the highest in Anmol (8.83 per cent).
  • Difference between measured and declared values was highest in Divss (21.61 per cent), followed by Parle (11.48 per cent).

Fat The fat measured was lower than the declared values in nine brands, Cremica being the exception. in nine brands, Cremica being the exception.

  • Divss was found to have the lowest fat.

TOTAL SUGAR

Sugar is added to biscuits to enhance their taste. Most of the biscuits are semi sweet and they contain moderate amounts of sugar. The Indian Standard does not have any requirement for sugar in biscuits since these are produced in a wide variety.

  • The lowest sugar was found in Anmol (12.04 gm/100 gm) and Priyagold (13.27 gm/100 gm); the highest was in Bonn (19.85 gm/100 gm).
  • The sugar content in Patanjali was found to be more than the declared value.

 

CARBOHYDRATE

Carbohydrate is a source of energy. However, considering the wide variety of biscuits produced, Indian Standard has not defined any requirement for carbohydrate.

  • Carbohydrate was found in the range of 79.84 gm/100 gm to 85.44 gm/100 gm. All the results were above the declared values.
  • Cremica scored highest in this parameter, followed by Anmol and Priyagold.

ENERGY VALUE

Calorific value is the amount of calories that our body obtains from food. The Indian Standard has not specified any requirement in this regard.

The energy values measured were between 428.45 kcal/100 gm and 458.60 kcal/100 gm. The measured values were nearer to the declared values except in the case of Cremica.

ACID-INSOLUBLE ASH

Acid-insoluble ash indicates the presence of sand, dirt, and dust. Acid-insoluble ash content in biscuits shall not be more than 0.05 per cent as per Indian Standard and not more than 0.1 per cent as per Food Safety & Standards Rules.

  • All tested brands were within the permissible limit.
  • Britannia and Priyagold scored highest in this parameter.

ACIDITY OF EXTRACTED FAT

The acidity of extracted fat indicates whether the quality of fat used is good and shall not be more than 1.2 per cent as per Indian Standard and 1.5 per cent as per FSSAI.

  • All tested brands were within the prescribed limit.
  • Patanjali scored highest in this parameter and was followed by McVitie’s, Priyagold, and Sunfeast.

MOISTURE

As per the Indian Standard, moisture in biscuit shall not be more than 5.0 per cent.

  • All the brands were within the permissible limit, with the moisture percentage ranging between 1.49 per cent and 2.73 per cent.
  • McVitie’s had the least moisture (1.49 per cent) and Anmol had the most moisture (2.73 per cent).

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FOR MICROBIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY

Microbiological contamination is a critical factor in determining the quality of food products. Microorganisms are responsible for many foodborne diseases. Due to improper or poor manufacturing practices, microorganisms occur in the finished product.

Tests were conducted for total plate count (TPC) and E. coli. The latter has to be absent in the food product.

  • The TPC values were not significant, which meant that all the brands were safe for consumption.
  • All the brands were found free from E. coli and hence considered to be safe for consumption.

FOR SENSORY ATTRIBUTES

Sensory tests were conducted in the laboratory involving trained panel members under the supervision of experts. The panellists judged the samples on these parameters: colour and appearance, flavour/odour, consistency, taste, and aftertaste feeling. The average score for each parameter was taken into consideration to arrive at the final score for each brand.