If you love Nutella and the convenience of the sweet sandwiches they can create for yourself and even little ones, you may want to reconsider. Palm oil, one of the main ingredients In Nutella, has been deemed a possible carcinogen by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In their report, the EFSA found that palm oil runs the risk of becoming cancer-causing when it’s processed at around 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
The EFSA didn’t directly point out Nutella in its findings, but palm oil exists in margarine and pastries, which are deemed the main sources of exposure to carcinogens for those age 3 and older.
So what is palm oil used for? It’s used as a form of vegetable oil to give Nutella the spreadable texture you know and love because palm oil is a semi-solid fat, according to Food Watch.
Being that palm oil is a main ingredient to the spread that everyone loves, owned by Ferrero, you could be running the risk of exposing yourself to such carcinogens: glycidyl fatty acid esters, 3 and 2 monochloropropanediol , all found in high levels within palm oil.
For Nutella’s ingredient breakdown, palm oil is often referred to as vegetable oil, which is the second listed ingredient. As everyone knows, the ingredients are listed on a content basis, meaning the first ingredient to appear is the one present the most in the product and so on. Vegetable oil is Nutella’s second ingredient, showing that palm oil is extremely present.
Besides the fact that palm oil quite terrible for you, it’s also been known to be terrible for the environment and population, too. Having contributed to deforestation, species extinction and high greenhouse emissions levels; palm oil doesn’t have the best reputation on the market.
It’s for these reasons that Ferrero, the company that is responsible for the existence of Nutella, wrote the Ferrero Palm Oil Charter, which states, “In order to further guarantee that palm fruit oil used in Nutella does not contribute” to any further demises of the environment or population, they strive to, “reform the palm oil industry.”
Over the years, the company also became members of the Palm Oil Innovation group, an organization that plans to, as stated, reform and rewrite the industries past wrongs.
Because of this, Ferrero is cited as one of the two leading companies of 2016 when it comes down to the Palm Oil Scorecard.
However, it’s important to note that Nutella takes the responses of potential cancer-causing ingredients seriously, but has made direct statements to ensure there’s nothing to fear, stating, “Contrary to some . . . views, it is not correct to state that palm oil is detrimental to human health,” therefore leaving them in the attempted clear amidst the claims of carcinogens.
Either way, there are numerous processed food items that use palm oil; giving yet another reason to avoid not only palm oil, but over-processed foods, as well.