Talk:Digestive biscuit

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FYI Cracker (biscuit) has been changed to Cracker (food) to help begin the untangling of biscuit, scone, cookie, and cracker.THB 17:01, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

So is a digestive biscuit somehow like a graham cracker? Why the see also? And what is wholemeal -wheat, corn, oats? Rmhermen 22:09, Dec 9, 2003 (UTC)

Digestives are made with wheat wholemeal. Can't answer about the relationship to graham crackers as I've never seen one but since there's a See Also in each article, I would guess that they are similar. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:42, 2004 Jul 31 (UTC)

I've added a picture. As you can see, they look nothing like graham crackers. They are not particularly flavourful. Compared to American food, the taste is (in my estimation) somewhere between Teddy Grahams (but not nearly so sweet) and animal crackers. The texture is somewhat graham cracker–like, but digestives are thicker than American crackers. —Caesura(t) 19:47, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Presumably, the connection is there because both were originally created to be somehow healthy, but have long since become simply snack foods. 20:28, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

  • So, if I live in the US and need digestive biscuits for making a Banoffee Pie what kind of biscuits can I substitute? Some have said that they are similar to Social Tea biscuits but I don't know for sure. Anyone ... help ... help ...hydnjo talk 01:46, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Hydnjo: Check the ethnic isles of the supermarkets. I found digestives in the 'Irish' section at Stop and Shop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:07, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Ha Ha Ha, sodden part falls off, consumer unaware, this is so true. Happens all the time.


Cookies are soft and chewy, the digestive is neither.

Cookies can be soft, hard, or chewy. You might want to consider your limited experience before making further suggestions for Wiki?? (talk) 04:34, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

The article has a piece of text saying "originally known as a Cookie" in the first line - this is uncited, and I can't find any reference to digestive biscuits being originally known as "cookies" anywhere. Is this just an opinion ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

That can certainly be cited. For example, "Technology of Biscuits, Crackers, and Cookies ... Duncan Manley ... The word 'biscuit' is an all-embracing term in Britain and several other countries. It includes items ... The name cookie was adopted in North America where the term 'biscuit' can be confused with small soda- raised breads or muffins. In other ..." In another work by a different author, "English Across Cultures, Cultures Across English: A Reader ... Ofelia García, ‎Ricardo Otheguy ... Thus British biscuit and American cookie may be cited as equivalent terms. But the referential scope of the British term does not coincide with that of the American one. British biscuit corresponds to cracker as well as cookie and this is more ..." I'd suggest reading portions of the linked texts. Gzuufy (talk) 14:36, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Interesting references, but they don't refer to the "digestive biscuit", they're about the interchangeable term "biscuit" and "cookie" which aren't specifically relevant to whether the digestive biscuit "was originally known as a cookie". As far as I can find, the digestive biscuit was not "originally known as a cookie" - it was invented in the United Kingdom where they don't use the word "cookie" for "biscuit", and there's no citation of any instance where the biscuit was "originally known as a cookie". I would suggest that this isn't a specific piece of information on the digestive, more a general observation on the biscuit/cookie connection, so it doesn't belong there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Health benefit?[edit]

I found the following passage to leave out vital information.

"The name 'digestive' comes from a belief that the biscuits had antacid properties due to the use of bicarbonate of soda when they were first conceived."

This sentence is not 100% clear on the health benefits (or lack thereof) of digestives. The reader is meant to assume that the old notion of the biscuits having health benefits has since been debunked, however, the passage does not state this. So which is it; good for the stomach, bad for the stomach, or neutral?

--There must actually be some benefit due to the use of bicarbonate of soda, since it says under Sodium bicarbonate's page that this is commonly used as an antacid. 04:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Bicarbonate of soda is baking soda, a leavening agent. It is commonly used to make baked goods and the amount is usually small (like a teaspoon for 24 cookies/biscuits). Most antacid recipes suggest you use about a tablespoon of baking soda (about 60 cookies worth). The dose difference makes any claim of health benefits unlikely. (talk) 09:45, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Tell that to anyone who's gotten a sour tummy from too many biscuits! You've forgotten the flour power. Baked goods definitely have an antacid effect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

I just put a sentence and a couple of references up, one reference is a 19th century pharmaceutical volume. Utilizing diastatic malt extract to "digest" starch into sugars was sometimes referred to as "digestive fermentation". Gzuufy (talk) 09:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Regarding this edit (diff), someone should rewrite the lede to say that digestive was a reference to enzymatic activity. The bit about baking soda being good for digestion stretches credulity quite a bit. And by the way, the sentence that went with the reference I put up some time back, Even earlier, one 1851 issue of The Lancet London advertised at least two sources of digestive biscuits, one such baker, William Hill, offered "brown meal digestive biscuits" has been deleted, it has nothing to do with the sentence it currently cites. Gzuufy (talk) 03:28, 23 November 2015 (UTC)


What's the origin of these biscuits; where (and by whom) were they first produced? It's mentioned that McVitie's produced the first chocolate digestive in 1925, so presumably the plain digestive dates back earlier than this (Victorian era perhaps?) 00:13, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

The 1839 invention "by two Scottish doctors" (referenced to a Telegraph article) is untrue. Several sources give 1892 as the date, and attribute the invention to Alexander Grant, then a young employee at the McVitie biscuit factory.( "Crumbs, we've been eating McVitie's Digestives and Hobnobs all wrong! Firm says chocolate part is the BOTTOM". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 28 December 2014)Andrewleat (talk) 15:34, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


Both standard & chocolate-covered digestives are reported to be sold in quantities of 71 million packets every year, however this is equated to 51 per second on the first instance & 52 per second on the second instance. Even though these are just approximations, surely the same number of packets should equate to the same number per second?

Well that depends on if it's a leap year or not, now doesn't it? :) Gigs (talk) 05:48, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Someone changed it to 7 billion packets every year a while ago, and I'm pretty sure even us Brits don't eat that many biscuits. I changed it back, but does anyone have a source to verify the sales figures? Pscholl (talk) 14:55, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Chocolate Bottomed vs Chocolate Topped[edit]

The article states the biscuits are chocolate topped, something I had always been told and assumed was a joke to be awkward. How can it be decided whether the biscuits are chocolate on the top or bottom? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This picture looks like top coated to me —Preceding unsigned comment added by Frosted14 (talkcontribs) 16:00, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Surely it depends on the orientation of the biscuit relative to the observer?
A digestive is formed by a mould or press on one side, and it is normal to present the moulded (and hence more attractive) side uppermost when serving. However, chocolate is applied to the rough (un-moulded) side, and chocolate digestives are usually presented chocolate-side up when served...
So, presumably, one form of the biscuits must be being served upside-down?
(Not sure that this helps you much :o) )
EdJogg (talk) 16:50, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
It tastes better when the chocolate is on the top :) I guess it's silly to debate this and best to stick with the neutral version: "coated on one side". Frosted14 20:35, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
The Choclate's on the bottom as it's the flat side, as you can still see the "Mcvities" Blah imprint —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Not like graham cracker[edit]

Digestive biscuits does not taste close to graham cracker at all. American style graham cracker biscuits are quite a bit sweeter and thinner. Digestive biscuits are more coarse, tastes totally different and generally thicker. I consider digestive biscuits a savoury snack while graham cracker biscuits more like a sweet biscuit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:15, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

But that's the beauty of the digestive biscuit -- it's equally at home as a sweet or savoury snack. (Try them on their own or with a spreading of butter, you should get the sweetness then...)
EdJogg (talk) 14:27, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
They are great with peanut butter between two of them, or with ice cream too. They are also very nice broken up into fruit yoghurt. (talk) 23:12, 18 March 2013 (UTC)Lance Tyrell

Not only in imported section[edit]

I have never heard of rumors that it was illegal for these biscuits to be sold under the term "digestive biscuits". They are available in all grocery stores in the cookie and/or cracker section, not just the imported section. They are also very popular with elderly people (in US) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Some evidence would be very pertinent if these biscuits are sold under the name "digestives" in the US (I am familiar with the episode of QI that says it's illegal there). Perhaps a link to an online store that stocks them would be appropriate. It should be clearly US-based, and either list the product by name or have a photograph of them on a shop shelf. leevclarke (talk) 18:45, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I removed the call for reference on the second part of the sentence while leaving the citation on the first part. The first part does need a ref., while the second part doesn't (IMHO). The nature of the first part is one where it isn't easily verified by many. The second part can be readily verified by the whole population of the U.S. simply by seeing the product by that name in any grocery store. A good portion of Americans actually "know" the statement to be verified because they remember seeing the product by that name in stores (like me). The second half of the sentence is just plain not dubious in any way. It is not only verifiable by the whole U.S. population, it is verified by a good portion of that population.  :-) (talk) 04:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)]
If it is so easily verifable, find a source. Otherwise, it needs the tag, or it needs to be removed, as whoever placed the tag obviously doubted the material. Removing the tag based on your opinion is not in accordance with wikipedia procedures. Consensus needs to be reached before action can be taken, and obviously, right now, there is no consensus. --Fbifriday (talk) 04:48, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, as the statement ""they are in fact widely available in imported food sections of grocery stores and by mail order" " is such a sweeping one, is definitely needs a source. Where is the proof that they are available? --Fbifriday (talk) 04:50, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Here's an interesting snippet, says it is from page 95, that seems related, "A govern-ment-appointed group of scientists, the Food Stan-dards Committee, is to study the term "Digestive biscuit", which has been used since the reign of Queen Victoria. The committee is to decide whether the term should be banned on the ground that it implies that the biscuit eats itself." Perhaps this is one source of "the rumor" that the name is disallowed in some locales. There isn't enough visible text there to determine context, or even the date when the statement was originally made (the 1978 given date could be a "republished" date), but it certainly seems the term has continued to be used. Gzuufy (talk) 18:07, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I reverted the reversion because the vaunted "verifiability" exists for this (second half) even without a reference. It's almost like saying "the sky is blue". Everyone can verify it without it needing a reference, therefore it is "verifiable" Discuss!  :-)

Actually, I'm done. No need to fight here. These pissing contests about such minor articles are why I stopped editing with an account and quit for the most part. Go ahead, do what you want, you can get away with it. I see you patrol the article like a troll under a bridge. My arguments are no match for the power of your ever-presence. There are things that need references and things that don't. You stay, so you get to say. I'm done wrestling this pig. (talk) 05:07, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Just remember WP:V, which states that "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth". Also, via WP:PROVEIT, the user who added the citation tag was disputing the content, so the burden of proof is on the user who added it to prove it through the use of citations. Also, [[1]] and [[2]] suggest that just because something is common knowledge doesn't mean it doesn't need to be sourced, simply because there is no such thing as common knowledge. Just because people in America know it's true doesn't mean someone in Ireland would know it's true. You have to understand that the article is not just read by people in the US, it could be read by anyone who speaks english, anywhere in the world. So therefore, saying "everyone can verify it without a reference" is not true. If people in the US can verify it without a reference, the same can not be said for those elsewhere, and therefore, the reference is needed to show verifiability elsewhere in the world. --Fbifriday (talk) 05:58, 11 July 2010 (UTC)


Well, that section's funny, but is hasn't got anything to do in Wikipedia. Add it to Stupedia or stuff... -- (talk) 11:16, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

It involved a sitting PM and has been cited by published sources. KimChee (talk) 19:39, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Fanboys of Digestive Biscuits[edit]

I read the article and found several errors on inspection and outrageous and unsupportable marketing claims....not a good thing for an encyclopedia. Now that I've read the comments, I see that one of the commentators has repeatedly asked for corrections and balanced sourcing, to no avail. His last comment was about the trolls under the bridge guarding the bridge in order to keep fact based information from entering the encyclopedia....again, not a good thing for an encyclopedia.

So, I've tried to open one small crack in the roadblock in the hopes information will again be allowed to flow.

Digestive biscuits are not widely available in the US. The phrase "widely available" would more aptly apply to, say, Oreo's, or Snicker's. I've run a straw poll of Americans and found NONE had ever heard of a "digestive biscuit" (yet they've strangely heard of Oreo's and Snicker's). I've run a straw poll of the Brits I know, and 100% know, not only of digestive biscuits, but of McVities as well (at this point I presume McVities is the ONLY manufacturer of this product). I've added a quote from a websource which I've referenced in the article to reflect that digestive biscuits are tremendously lesser known and available than Oreo's and Snicker's in the US.

Mind you, Wikipedia is not the right forum for you to promote your products....even if you WISH your product was used by more people. I respectfully request the fanboys of this relatively unknown product relinquish their death grip block of fact based information so that readers can have an accurate description of the product. Otherwise, they'll be running out their local Market Basket or HEB Pantry fully expecting to see "digestive biscuits" on the shelf....which they won't.

Finally, I do not know what the health benefit of baking soda/powder in baked products is supposed be since its purpose is not pharmaceutical, but rather to chemically react inside the baked goods to produce bubbles. I've seen nothing to support baked goods being especially helpful because of their baking soda since most of it is chemically converted to something else after the baking process. On the other hand, I have read repeatedly that products with ginger and high fiber have important gastroenterological benefits (e.g. ginger snaps or oatmeal raisin bran muffins). My point is that the term "digestive" is quite possibly more of a marketing tool than any demonstrable benefit to the consumer. In any event, I'll leave that as a question that I don't have an answer to. But there is no question as to the niche market availability in the US.

N0w8st8s (talk) 22:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)n0w8st8s

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Removal of Nutritional values part[edit]

As generally described in page edit history today, here we go;

Removed basally wrong statements in Nutrition; the source nowhere states those are average values, and the values listed are infact those of the brand Verkade Digestive biscuits, which only changed a fraction since. Based on the brand, not declaring they based it off that brand Verkade. You can verify all listed nutritional values are extremely similar to the current Verkade biscuit specifications, indicating they only changed a few decimals to the current packaging with recipe altering (I checked with a Verkade Digestive product recently bought, reading off the package).

So the facts: - The Nutritional text implied it were average values, but the source page doesnt mention it. It was therefore written to let reader believe that were average values, possibly with deceptive intention as they were Verkade brand values or hand-altered to be close on few decimal value differences, in order to let it be general accepted values and let customers assume if that were average values, Verkade did pretty good with their nutritional values. So it's possible a Verkade employee wrote it that way. That cannot be exluded as possibility.

The complete image of invalid source for the basic statement (that they were average values for 'Digestive' biscuits, which isnt supported by the source), and the fact source's nutritional facts are based on Verkade biscuits, furthermore proving they are highly unlikely to even be average values ontop of source not naming them as averages, led me to remove the whole Nutritional column. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blooker (talkcontribs) 01:17, 24 December 2016 (UTC)