CHOC HORROR – Could NUTELLA give you cancer?


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 12 January 2017| 13 Rabi ul Aakir 1438

The European Food Standards Agency has warned palm oil could produce carcinogenic chemicals when it’s heated above 200°C

A KEY ingredient in Nutella could increase a person’s risk of cancer, experts have warned.

Palm oil gives the popular hazelnut spread its smooth texture, and boosts its shelf life.

But, in May the European Food Standards Agency, warned the product generates chemicals that are thought to cause cancer.

The oil, when heated at temperatures above 200°C generates more potentially carcinogenic contaminants than other vegetable oils.

But, the EFSA did not recommend consumers stop eating it, and said more research is needed to assess the level of risk.

Now, the makers of Nutella, Italian confectionery firm Ferrero, has launched an ad campaign to assure the public about the safety of the much-loved hazelnut and chocolate spread.

It comes as other food companies in Italy, where the firm are based, have chosen to boycott the ingredient.

Ferrero said Nutella, its flagship product responsible for around a fifth of its sales, would not be the same if they were forced to use alternative oils, such as sunflower oil.

Ferrero’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella, told Reuters: “Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward.”

The confectionery firm uses around 185,000 tonnes of palm oil a year.

Enrico Brivio, spokesman for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission said guidance relating to palm oil would be issued by the end of this year.

Measures could include regulations to limit the level of the contaminant, known as GE, in food products.
But, there will not be a ban on the use of palm oil, Mr Brivio added.

Detailed research into GE was commissioned by the European Commission in 2014, after an EFSA study the year before.

That research looked at substances generated during the industrial refining process.

And the findings highlighted GE as being potentially harmful.

The World Health Organisation and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation flagged the same potential risk regarding GE that the EFSA study warned of, but did not recommend people stopped eating palm oil.

High temperatures are used to remove palm oil’s natural red colour, and neutralise its smell.

But, Ferrero said it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200°C and extremely low pressure to minimise the production of contaminants.

The process takes longer and costs 20 per cent more than high-temperature refining, Ferrero told Reuters.

Mr Tapella says in a TV ad: “The palm oil used by Ferrero is safe because it comes from freshly squeezed fruits and is processed at controlled temperatures.”

The EFSA declined to comment on the possible risks of refining palm oil at lower temperatures.

Source –

Photo file – Palm oil , when heated at temperatures above 200°C, generates more potentially carcinogenic contaminants than other vegetable oils, the EFSA has warned