Palm Oil Used In Making Nutella Prompts Maker To Defend Its Use

January 12, 2017

© Jiri Hera Dreamstime

Bad news for Nutella lovers, one of its key ingredients has been linked to increased chances of developing cancer.  That ingredient is palm oil, which is used to help gives Nutella a smooth texture and longer shelf life.  According to the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), palm oil is more carcinogenic than any other oil used.  Ferrero, the company which makes Nutella profits have dropped 3% on the news, prompting an education media campaign to be launched, in which the company say they use palm oil in a way that is not dangerous. According to the reports, palm oil is more dangerous than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 390 degrees.  At higher temperature, which are used to remove palm oil's natural red color and neutralize its smell, the oil causes glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) to form. When digested, GE breaks down and release glycidol, a compound strongly believed to cause tumors. Ferrero says it uses a process that combines a temperature of just below 390F and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants, which costs 20% more than high-temperature refining, making the GE levels so low that scientific instruments find it hard to trace the chemical. Although palm oil has produced tumors in the lab, it is not banned and many food producers rely on it from candy to baby formula.  Researchers are hoping the report eventually leads to the oil being banned but it will be an uphill battle.  Palm oil is the cheapest cooking oil on the market and switching to another oil by Ferrero could add an extra $8-22 million a year.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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