According to The Daily Mail, Nutella’s manufacturers have been refuting a report that found one of its ingredients to be cancerous.
As well as the obvious ingredients, the spread sent from the Gods contains palm oil for its smooth texture and considerably long shelf life. However according to a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Palm Oil is more carcinogenic than any other oil. These claims are also backed up by the World Health Organisation – WHO.
To hit back at the claims, Ferrero, the spreads makers have launched a televised campaign, insisting that the use of palm oil in the spread is not dangerous.
They have also made a really jazzy bit of their website devoted to how awesome Palm Oil actually is.
As palm oil is the cheapest oil on the market, if they switched to a substitute oil and held the price of the product, it would cost Ferrero an extra $8-22 million a year.
‘Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward,’ Ferrero’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella said.
The EFSA report, says palm oil is more dangerous than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees C. It needs to be taken to these temperatures in order to remove the red colour and neutralise its smell.
The problem is that this process produces glycidyl fatty acid esters (or, GE) to form. When these are consumed, they are believed to break down and release glycidol. It is this glycidol that is thought to be linked to causing tumors.
The makers of Nutella say they keep their process just under 200C and extremely low pressure to minimise contaminants.
‘The palm oil used by Ferrero is safe because it comes from freshly squeezed fruits and is processed at controlled temperatures,’ Tapella says in the TV ad.
‘Palm oil is used in Nutella to give the product its creamy texture, as well as to heighten the flavor of its ingredients, thanks to its properties that enable it to have a neutral odor and taste after the refining process,’ the website reads.
‘Furthermore, it is the best ingredient for giving Nutella the right smoothness, guaranteeing its special spreadability,’ it continues.
It concludes: ‘Palm fruit oil also helps to maintain the unique taste of Nutella along its whole shelf life, due to its higher stability to oxidation compared to other vegetable oils.’
To rub salt in the wounds, Nutella’s rivals are advertising themselves as ‘palm oil-free’ – possibly spurring the dent in Nutella’s sales.
So will you be stopping eating it after seeing this or is it just too nice to give up? Leave a comment below.