One day after my workout at the gym I stopped in to buy some quick and easy snacks at a local gas station. Besides picking up some high protein power bars and a bottle of flavored electrolyte water, I selected a pack of Bumble Bee Sensations Sundried Tomato and Basil Tuna Medley with Crackers. I was hungry and wanted a low calorie snack with both protein and carbohydrates, one which tasted good.
I bought the Bumble Bee Tuna Medley snack pack for the balance of protein furnished by the tuna and carbohydrates supplied by the crackers. The six crackers and three ounces of seasoned tuna are meant to be one serving size. One serving provides a total of 17 grams of protein with one gram of that in the crackers. The tuna medley and crackers are 200 calories in all: 110 calories from the tuna and 90 calories from the crackers.
I usually pay close attention to the fat and sodium content of anything I am about to eat. My high blood pressure and tendency to retain water makes me cautious, especially about the amount of sodium I consume daily. This time I did not check closely enough. The tuna had 4 grams or 35 calories of fat. One-half gram of the fat was in the saturated form. The crackers had 4.5 grams or 40 calories of fat with three grams appearing as saturated fat.
The product label indicates the tuna contained 300 milligrams of sodium, quite a hefty amount which probably comes from the marinade in which the tuna is canned. The crackers contributed another 110 milligrams of sodium. This would amount to about twenty percent of the daily allowance of sodium for a person on a 2000 calorie a day diet.
The crackers contained no fiber. Calcium was the only nutrient of significant mention. The six crackers would supply four percent of the calcium required for a single day of a 2000 calorie diet.
The marinaded tuna was slightly better in its nutritional value. It provided Vitamin A (2 percent), calcium (2 percent) and iron (14 percent). The percentages are the daily allowances for a 2000 calorie diet.
The marinade in which the tuna is placed is composed of some things you would expect to be there: water, vinegar, soya oil, salt, tomato paste, vegetable broth and paprika. It also has sugar, modified food starch, citric acid and guar gum. Citric acid enhances the flavor and increases the acidity of the product. Guar gum helps the product remain moist, increases the amount of time the product can be on the shelf and allows the product to have a satisfactory texture. Both are preservatives. As the product name indicates, sundried tomato bits and basil are added to this variety of Bumble Bee Sensations.
The crackers are made from wheat flour, water, sugar and leavening agents. The oils used in the crackers are palm and coconut oil. These two oils are high in saturated fat. Consumption of products with saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in your blood and has been theorized to increase your chances of having heart disease or a stroke.
Taste and Quantity
The crackers tasted like any low fiber common snack cracker you would find in the grocery store.
The marinated tuna had a sharp flavor due to the marinade. I am used to and enjoy eating pickled herring so the fact that the tuna was marinated should not have mattered. The taste was not so unpleasant that I could not eat the tuna but I was not awed by it either. I did not find it so extraordinary that I would purchase it again. I am not sure if the product taste would improve if the tuna was refrigerated before consumption. The texture of the product was noteworthy. The tuna was chunky, not shredded like I find in cheaper brands of canned tuna.
I also found that I had more tuna mixture than crackers to put it on. This was because I did not pile it on each cracker but spread it in a quarter inch thick layer.
My local gas station was selling this product for $2.19, not including tax. Each high protein bar I purchased at the same time were 30 cents less expensive. Even the flavored water was cheaper. The company website indicates the tuna medley is also produced in 5 ounce cans without the crackers. I tried unsuccessfully to find this product in our local grocery store to compare prices.
Bumble Bee Sensations Tuna Medley comes in a clam-shell plastic container. In it you will find a three-ounce metal pop-top can of seasoned tuna, a plastic packet with six wheat crackers and a three-inch long flat plastic spreader utensil.
After eating the tuna and crackers, I searched the clam-shell container for the symbol indicating it was recyclable but could not find one. My local recycling center does not accept plastics without the symbol. The can is recyclable but the rest of the packaging may not be. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, you will not purchase a product with this much throw-away packaging.
What I Would Have Liked To See
One way I could see Bumble Bee improving this product for weight-conscious consumers is by replacing the snack crackers with high fiber crackers. If at all possible, I would lower the sodium content and replace the coconut and palm oils with a healthier kind of oil like canola.
I would make sure more of the product packaging was recyclable.
Other Tuna Medley Products and Uses
Bumble Bee’s Tuna Medley also comes in two additional flavors: Spicy Thai Chili and Lemon and Pepper. One product reviewer on amazon.com recommended using the Sundried Tomato and Basil Tuna Medley in a salad which I think would tone down the sharp flavor considerably. I might buy the canned Tuna Medley for that purpose but not as a low-calorie snack again.
Bumble Bee Products