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Wed Jan 11, 2017, 05:45 AM

Nutella maker fights back on palm oil after cancer risk study

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-ferrero-nutella-insight-idUSKBN14V0MK

Nutella maker fights back on palm oil after cancer risk study

By Francesca Landini and Giancarlo Navach | ALBA, Italy

The $44 billion palm oil industry, under pressure in Europe after authorities listed the edible oil as a cancer risk, has found a vocal ally in the food sector: the maker of Nutella. Italian confectionery firm Ferrero has taken a public stand in defense of an ingredient that some other food companies in the country are boycotting. It has launched an advertising campaign to assure the public about the safety of Nutella, its flagship product which makes up about a fifth of its sales. The hazelnut and chocolate spread, one of Italy's best-known food brands and a popular breakfast treat for children, relies on palm oil for its smooth texture and shelf life. Other substitutes, such as sunflower oil, would change its character, according to Ferrero.
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Any move away from palm oil would also have economic implications as it is the cheapest vegetable oil, costing around $800 a ton, compared with $845 for sunflower oil and $920 for rapeseed oil, another possible substitute. Ferrero uses about 185,000 tonnes of palm oil a year, so replacing it with those substitutes could cost the firm an extra $8-22 million annually, at those prices. The company declined to comment on these calculations.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in May that palm oil generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. It did not, however, recommend consumers stop eating it and said further study was needed to assess the level of risk. The detailed research into the contaminant - known as GE - was commissioned by the European Commission in 2014 after an EFSA study the year before, into substances generated during industrial refining, identified it as being potentially harmful.

EFSA does not have the power to make regulations, though the issue is under review by the European Commission. The spokesman for Health and Food Safety, Enrico Brivio, said guidance would be issued by the end of this year. Measures could include regulations to limit the level of GE in food products, but there will not be a ban on the use of palm oil, he added.

The World Health Organization and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization flagged the same potential risk that EFSA had warned of regarding GE, but did not recommend consumers stop eating palm oil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has not banned the use of palm oil in food.
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High temperatures are used to remove palm oil's natural red color and neutralize its smell, but Ferrero says it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants.
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Reply Nutella maker fights back on palm oil after cancer risk study (Original post)
nitpicker Jan 11 OP
Socal31 Jan 11 #1
Nitram Jan 11 #3
mucifer Jan 11 #2

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 05:50 AM

1. If "Palm oil" was dangerous....

I wouldn't have made it out of high school.

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Response to Socal31 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 09:02 AM

3. I ate a lof of Palm Oil when I lived in Liberia. But the article says that it is the very high...

...temperature method of processing the oil to remove smell and color that creates carcinogens.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 06:55 AM

2. Palm oil is in lots of processed foods

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