Nutella’s manufacturer, Ferrero, has shut down recent claims after reports released last week declared the famous hazelnut chocolate spread to be cancerous.
Palm oil, the reason behind Nutella’s famous shine, smooth texture and shelf life has been studied for correlations to the big C.
The European Food Safety Authority stated in a report that Palm oil has been found to be the most carcinogenic out of the entire oil family.
Since the rumor’s circulation, the Italian manufacturing company has admitted to have under gone a 3% hit in sales.
However, the international company has been combatting the rumors with ad campaigns in efforts to clarify and explain publicly the company’s safe usage of the oil.
Ferrero is campaigning to inform the consumers that Nutella’s byproducts are completely safe, adding that the spread would lose its famous “Nutella-ness” without palm oil as the main ingredient.
“I don’t really like chocolate and I have never had a big sweet tooth but I am generally against manufactured sweets because of the large amounts of sugar they add.” Said Deena Salloum, a student at AUD.
“If the oil in Nutella isn’t bad for you, then the high amount of added sugar is.” She added.
The company had studied a switch in ingredients but stated that palm oil is the cheapest oil in the market, adding to the statement that any switch in the recipe would cost a surplus of $8-22 million a year.
This could potentially lead to an increase in the market price of what many around the world call comfort food.
The EFSA report, published back in May of 2016, said that the oil is only more dangerous than others if reached above temperatures of 200C and could be more harmful than other vegetable oils if and only if the temperatures exceed that limit.
However the report also stated that any users of Palm oil, amongst other products, must higher the temperature of the oil to remove the “natural red color and neutralize the smell.”
Moreover, further explanation of this process states that a fatty acid called GE can form and break up during digestion, which could eventually release “Glycidol” – a substance believed to produce tumors.
Sarab Sahni, a communications student at AUD said: “I don’t think Nutella is cancerous because I grew up eating it day and night as a child and nothing has ever happened to me.”
“I’ve never felt ill after consuming Nutella in any form, so this new finding is very shocking and weird to me but I guess ill just wait for further updates on the topic,” she added.
Ferrero has shut down the rumors of the manufacturing process as “[the company] uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants.”
“Making Nutella without Palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward.” Said Ferrero’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella to Reuters.
The debacle has even made its way here with Dubai municipality’s issuance of a statement that said:
“In response to what was circulated about the palm oil in Nutella, Dubai Municipality represented by Food Safety Department is developing regular programs specialized in assessing the seriousness of the food products in terms of their consumption. It is not proven that Nutella contains carcinogens, so this rumor is not right. Based on the international approved notifications, No decisions were issued regarding palm oil or any of the product’s components. This product is safe based on the production and the processing bases.”
Whether the rumors are true or not, perhaps one thing is for certain, more studies are needed to prove or put this controversy to sleep once and for all.
And what’s next, toasted bread?