Manufacturers have defended their right to display the Royal Warrant on products high in sugar, salt and fat, despite Food Commission claims that it's at odds with government policy.

The pressure group argued the presence of the Royal Arms on products such as Cadbury Dairy Milk and Tate & Lyle sugar undermined government efforts to reduce consumption of foods with dubious nutritional value and claimed the Warrant was often used as a marketing tool.

Suppliers have hit back, however, accusing the Commission of chasing headlines. "I'm sure the Food Commission would like us all to live on a diet of root vegetables and pulses but everyone - even the Royal Family - deserves a little bit of fun in their lives now and again," said a spokesman for Cadbury.

In its magazine, the Food Commission writes: "Royal patronage can be a valuable marketing tool for those companies that are lucky enough to get it. Although food and drink with poor nutritional profiles are inevitable, it is questionable whether the Queen should be granting her Warrant to such products."

Tate & Lyle defended the prominent display of The Queen's Coat of Arms on its products, arguing that the award of the Warrant was an acknowledgement of the popularity and Britishness of the brand. "It is a recognition of the quality of our cane sugar and the fact we have supplied the Royal Household since Queen Victoria was on the throne," said Steven Hermiston, retail sales & marketing director.