Earlier this year, the Slimming World community were all of a flutter over reports that Porky Whites' Porky Lights sausages, which come in at just 78 calories each, were only half a Syn – perfect for enjoying with a few Frylight chips.
But Slimming World since revealed that they would be removing them from their Syns database over concerns about fat content, with the latest statement from the company saying that they had tested 13 samples of the sausages to come to a conclusion.
'Following concerns and controversy about the fat levels in Porky Lights sausages, Slimming World has in recent weeks commissioned independent tests to investigate the issue further,' a spokesperson for the brand wrote.
'Slimming World sent 13 samples of sausages, bought from a number of stores around the country, to two UKAS accredited laboratories for testing. We felt it was important to obtain our own test reports because G White & Co., the company who make Porky Lights, were publicly accusing us of relying on sabotaged test results commissioned by competitor companies - in effect suggesting that we were misleading our members and seeking to discredit their company.'
'The results of the new tests show that the fat content of the sausages varied enormously and none of the sausages we sent for testing were actually low fat. The table below sets out each of the results (please note that contractually we are not allowed to name the laboratories used or show the actual test certificates) and clearly shows that the average fat content is anything between 8.7g/100g and 19.4g/100g - all significantly higher than the 3.8g/100g fat (or 2.5g fat per sausage) declared on the nutrition information on Porky Lights’ packaging. We have photographs to prove that what we sent for testing were unopened packs of Porky Lights sausages.'
'As these results show that the fat levels are both high and very inconsistent we have communicated to our 4,500 Consultants across the UK and Ireland to let them know that we are unable to give even an estimated Syn value for Porky Lights at this time.'
We have passed on the results of all the tests conducted to date to G White & Co. and we will also be referring the matter to Trading Standards.'
GoodtoKnow reached out to Porky Lights for comment on the findings, to which they said: 'The response from G. White & Co has been to reassure its customers that they can rely on the nutritional values displayed on the packs and to back this up, published the actual results from the appointed UKAS laboratories for all to see. As a further measure, G. White & Co have commissioned a considerable programme of further additional testing that have consistently and conclusively demonstrated the nutritional claims to be correct.'
'Slimming World have published a new series of results that they have commissioned that indicate that the Porky Light’s fat values are higher than claimed. Their own results show huge inconsistencies in the tests they have conducted including results on the same batch of Porky Lights being over 100% higher in fat tests conducted by one laboratory over the other. Consequently, G. White & Co does not consider these results to be robust and finds them to be inexplicably different to the results from its own tests that consistently reveal a fat content nearer 3%.'
When the original query emerged, Alison Brentnall, Head of Food at Slimming World, said: 'We sent a batch of the Porky Lights sausages away for nutritional analysis as we felt concerned about the fatty texture. This is something we do routinely with products that we worry may affect our members’ weight losses.'
'The analysis of this batch suggests that the sausages are indeed much higher in fat than the nutritional information on the product’s packaging had indicated – and this would affect their Syn value significantly.'
'We've let Porky Lights know about our findings and, in order to protect our members’ weight losses, which is always our priority, we have temporarily removed the sausages from our Syns database.'
Some reports have suggested that the actual Syn value of the sausages could be as high as 4.5 syns per sausage, although this has yet to be confirmed by either Slimming World or Porky Lights themselves.
Despite the debacle with Slimming World, the sausages are reportedly under 80 calories, so could still help dieters to cut down - plus they're low in sugar and salt, and gluten-free to boot.
At just £2.70 a pack they're not bad value either, but thanks to their unprecedented popularity, these slimming sausages have a tendency to sell out pretty darn quickly.
When the craze for Porky Lights was at its peak, the Porky White Facebook page was awash with comments from frustrated fans who couldn't get their paws on these posh bangers.
One fan, Jaqui Fished, was so keen to stock up on the sausages she asked Porky Whites whether she can order them in larger quantities than those listed on the site, saying: 'Is it possible to purchase a bulk order of Porky Lights sausages we are having difficulty in getting them locally or from Costco in lakeside or Derby and a delivery charge'.
And it wasn't just us Brits who loved the bangers, as our friends over in America have heard of them too, and by the looks of things were getting a little jealous.
Terri Roller left a comment asking: 'Are these sausages available in the U.S.? If so where can I buy them? Thanks!' Sadly Porky's had to let her down gently by replying, 'Hi Terri, unfortunately not- apologies.'
It's not only Slimming World fans who loved these sausages either - apparently they've been a big hit with Weight Watchers followers too. One fan, Lady Alicia Whittaker from Blackpool, said: 'It's not just SW who go mad for porky lights ❤ weight watcher love them too and only 4sp for two or 5sp for three'.
Recipes for using Porky Whites' Porky Lights sausagesIntrigued by these skinny sausages and wondering what you'd make from them? Well, the possibilities really are endless. For Slimming World followers Frylight chips would make a delicious accompaniment - with the addition of a poached egg you've got yourself a pretty virtuous supper that tastes nearly as good as a takeaway. Here are a few more ideas...
Pork sausages and butterbean mash
Potatoes aren't banned on Slimming World, but sometimes it's nice to get an extra one of your five a day in your diet. Leave out the milk and the butter from this recipe, swap the sausages for Porky Lights and you've got yourself a pretty near-perfect Slimming World supper with bags of flavour and loads of veg!
Get the recipe: Pork sausages and butterbean mash
Spicy Caribbean sausages
If you love strong flavours and a good hit of spice then this Caribbean recipe is for you. With no added fat and plenty of colourful fruit and veggies making up the sauce, this flavourful dish is a dieter's dream.
Get the recipe: Spicy Caribbean sausages
Weight Watchers Quorn sausage bake
Remember when we said Weight Watchers fans loves these sausages too? Well, we have the perfect recipe. This bake usually calls for Quorn sausages to keep the calories down, but with such skinny bangers you could swap in Porky Lights without any problems. Even if you're on Slimming World this would work, pasta is an unlimited filler after all!
Get the recipe: Weight Watchers Quorn sausage bake
So there you go, could these be the most popular pork sausages ever? If you've tried them let us know what you think of them in the comments below!