Sunday, August 2, 2015

Milo Ice Energy - Does it Really Taste like Milo Van Milo?

It's SG 50 this year so there's lots of hype, with lots of limited edition SG50 paraphernalia being sold and such. Milo has been an integral part of every Singaporean's childhood. It used to be THE morning drink that everyone drank before going to school. There's even a whole page of Milo related recipes from The Smart Local here.

The Milo Van used to be the highlight of my school life - whenever there was some sports related event (i.e. track and field/swimming competition/cross country), the Milo van was the sole and main attraction (for me at least). I used to hate all these sports days cos everyone will be packed under some horrible stifling hot tent, and we were forced to do cheers etc. I even felt that it would be much better having a regular school day than going for such events. Plus it usually meant that we would have to go to somewhere else (i.e. no transport back to school, since I live a stones throw away from school), eat some sad food, and the only facilities were superbly dirty toilets (also with long queues).
Nostalgia in a cup 
Whenever we saw the green milo van, there would be a mass exodus of students from the seating area, and snaking queues would be formed along the sides of the van. Once one side was empty, the metal shutter would come down. I could drink 5 cups at one go (since the cups were so small) and since I wanted to do it discretely, I used to drink from one side of the van, then walk over to the other side to get the next cup :D

I used to be very sad and disappointed when I saw the MacDonalds van instead, cos it meant that there was this really horrible tasting orange squash drink (even more so cos I hated orange). And the artificial orange squash drink could never compare to delicious milo.

I always felt that the powdered milo could never compare to the Milo Van milo, or the canned/packet milo. So when I found out about the SG50 Milo Ice Energy, which supposedly tasted like Milo Van milo, I couldn't pass up on the chance to try it.

"Normal" Milo 3-in-1
Perhaps I'm older and more cynical now, but even though I followed the measurements on the Milo Ice Energy packet, I felt that the drink still didn't taste like the Milo Van Milo. Then again, it's been a decade since I've had the real Milo van Milo (tragic, I know... but it also means that I haven't had to go to some stuffy sports meet).

I have been drinking the 'normal' powdered milo from the tea/coffee/milo machine in the tea lounge quite regularly, about 2-3x/week during my morning break, but I don't usually drink milo at home. I happened to have a pack of 3-in-1 Milo lying around at home, so here's a comparison of the ingredients from the Milo Ice Energy and Milo 3-in-1.
Milo Ice Energy
Milo 3-in-1

So both of them have Palm Olein (!!) which is the fancy word for palm oil. Can't be very healthy...
Other than having sugar as the first ingredient (which means that the amount of sugar is mor than the amount of coco or malt), both contain Protomalt (which is Milo's signature barley malt, think it's similar to Horlicks), and some minerals. There also isn't any skimmed milk in the Milo Ice Energy, perhaps that's why it can be dissolved easily in cold water.

The main different I can spot is that the Milo Ice Energy has 'Medium chain triglyceride'. On searching Wikipedia, I found that these medium chain TGs are supposed to help burn extra calories, promote fat oxidation and reduce food intake. You can also read more about it here from webMD.

Milo Ice Energy
Milo 3-in-1

Nutritional Information for both - it's pretty much comparable in terms of caloric content as well as sugars and fats (the main things I look out for when I read the labels) and despite not having any skimmed milk, the Milo Ice Energy has more calcium than the 3-in-1 milo.
Milo Ice Energy powder 
The powder is super fine compared to the usual milo powder, and it dissolves very easily in cold water. I made my first cup of Milo Ice Energy following the instructions on the packet, which was to dissolve 5 teaspoons of Milo Ice Energy into 150ml of cold water. It was VERY sweet, and noticeably thicker than the usual milo.
Milo Ice Energy Drink 
Because after the first cup, I couldn't decided if it did taste like Milo Van Milo, I decided to drink a second cup. But after the second cup, I was way too full to drink the 3-in-1 Milo to make a fair comparison. Also it was so sweet I felt worried for my pancreas #firstworldproblems

I do feel inclined to do a blinded study, just to check if it really tastes better than the 3-in-1 milo. I shall rope in my colleagues to do a taste test soon - stay tuned!

Each packet of Milo Ice Energy costs $7.95 and no this is not a sponsored post.

No comments: