New report claims ingredient in Nutella is cancerous

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Makers of the popular Nutella spread have rubbished claims in a new report that one of its ingredients is cancerous. The chocolate spread uses palm oil to give it its renowned smooth texture and long shelf life.

Consumers use Nutella in myriad ways, including spreading on toast or putting on pancakes. But, a new report issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), says that Palm Oil is more carcinogenic that other oils. The latest statement follows similar information from the World Health Organisation.

With Nutella hit by falling profits, its maker Ferrero has now launched a new advertising campaign, saying that it uses palm oil in a way which carries no risks. Palm oil is currently the cheapest oil for food manufacturers to us. So, if Nutella manufacturer Ferrero did switch ingredients, it would either face a huge loss in profits, or have to pass price increases on to consumers.

Recipe

According to the brand’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella, mixing up Nutella without the use of palm oil would produce a spread which is not as good as the current recipe. His comments have been criticised following the damning report which said that palm oil is more dangerous than other oils when it is refined at temperatures higher than 200C.

Manufacturers use very high temperatures to take out the natural red colour of palm oil and to reduce its strong smell. However, heating it up in such a way causes glycidyl fatty acid esters (or GE) to form. This can release glycidol when consumed, which has been strongly linked to the formation of tumors.

Tests in lab mice and rats have found that the oral exposure of glycidol has caused tumors in different sites around the body. But, Mr Ferrero said that his firm uses a special process to bring the temperature to just below 200C, and to use low pressure to minimise the formation of any contaminants. He said that Ferrero did this, even though it is a longer process and more difficult.

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Emily Guarda
Emily Guarda was born in Berlin and grew up there. Her parents are both artists who always taught her how important art is to the world. Emily has 2 younger brothers and 1 older brother. She recently began studying design at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Even though it still is new for her, she seems to love what she is doing at the moment. So far, Emily is still living with her parents but she is currently looking to find a flatshare so she can become grow up to be independant and responsible. She spends most of her weekends dancing in nightclubs with some of her friends. Most of them are promising electronic music DJs she has been supporting since the beginning.