Does eating Nutella makes you prone to cancer? According to a European report refined palm oil, which is a key ingredient in Nutella can increase your chances of getting cancer. In response to the new finding some Italian retailers have boycotted palm oil in their products.
Palm oil is a $44 billion dollar industry that has come under direct pressure after the edible oil has been termed as a cancer risk. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) revealed in May that palm oil generates carcinogenic contaminant known as Glycidyl fatty acid ester (GE) when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius.
Ferrero, the Italian confectionery firm has publicly taken a stance to defend the use of their key ingredient and has launched an advertising campaign to assure its safety, in response to the boycott of palm oil by confectioners.
Vincenzo Tapella, the Ferrero’s purchasing manager explains in the TV advert that for making Nutella, the company processes palm oil at controlled temperature and it comes from freshly squeezed that makes it safe. The brand relies on palm oil for its smooth texture and shelf life and other substitutes like sunflower oil would simply won’t do as they would change its character. Mr. Tapella also explains that the company uses it in a way that makes it not a threat to health and consumer safety.
It has become a hot topic after some retailers boycotted palm oil products and when the Italian activists have voiced their concerns against companies that use palm oil which also includes, Nestle and Unilever. WHO and the U.N Food and Agriculture Organization have flagged the same potential risk that EFSA had warned of regarding GE but didn’t recommend the consumers to stop using it. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not banned the use of palm oil in food.
According to Telegraph, Ferrero uses about 185,000 tons of palm oil a year, and replacing it with those substitutes could cost the firm an extra $8-22 million annually, at those prices. The company told Reuters that it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants. This process takes longer and also costs 20 percent more than high-temperature refining, which allows them to bring the GE levels so low that scientific instruments find it hard to trace the chemical.
Nowadays, the search for healthy food is fools’ errand as in Pakistan 70pc of milk is adulterated and 90pc of meat is not likely halal. Now we can add cancerous Nutella to the list if things that can kill us.