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Spreads added to bread measures program


In July 2011, FSANZ undertook a small program to estimate the weight of an average thin, regular and thick layer of a variety of common spreads likely to be reported during the 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (AHS).

Sampling and preparation

Volunteers from FSANZ were asked to select a bread style product (i.e. sliced bread, English muffin or crumpet) and a type of spread (i.e. honey, jam, nutella, peanut butter or Vegemite). After weighing the bread, muffin or crumpet, participants were asked to apply their interpretation of thin, regular and thick quantities of their chosen spread to the bread product. Weights were recorded for each quantity and averages for a thin, regular and thick spread of each type of spread were determined.


A total of 183 weights for a thin, regular or thick layer of spread were recorded. Average weights for each thickness are available in Table 1.  

Table 1       Average amount of spread when reported as a thin, regular or thick layer

(number of weights)

Thin layer (range)

Regular layer (range)

Thick layer (range)

Honey (32)

6 (2-12)

10 (4-19)

15 (7-27)

Jam (36)

4 (2-7)

8 (3-15)

15 (10-19)

Nutella (29)

5 (1-8)

9 (7-12)

16 (11-20)

Peanut butter (47)

5 (3-8)

10 (4-17)

17 (9-26)

Vegemite* (39)

2 (1-7)

5 (1-13)

8 (2-17)

*Due to the low portion weight of Vegemite, some measures for yeast spreads were entered to one decimal place in the measures database.

Types of bread products

Sixty percent of participants in this program selected sliced bread as their bread style product. English muffins were the next most popular choice at 26%, followed by 14% for crumpets. For some spreads, the amount added did not vary according to the bread style product selected, while some spreads showed minor differences. As such, values for spread thickness for bread, muffins and crumpets were averaged together and applied to all forms of bread style products reported with a thin, regular or thick spread during the AHS.

Comparative thickness of spreads

All spreads except for vegemite showed very similar gram weights for all spread thicknesses. Thin spreads were an average of 5 g and all increased by 4-5 g for the regular thickness. Jam, honey and nutella all increased by 7 g for a thick layer, while honey was similar with an increase of 5 g. Vegemite, however, was spread in smaller quantities with increases to regular and thick spread of 3 g and 2.7 g, respectively.

For the complete set of results generated from this program refer to Attachment 1.

Updates to the food measures database

FSANZ used the average measures derived from this program to assign a measure for spreads reported as a thin, regular or thick layer during the AHS. These include:

  • peanut butter varieties
  • yeast spreads such as Vegemite, Marmite and Mightymite
  • jam and marmalade varieties
  • chocolate hazelnut spread
  • honey


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