JAN 20, 2017 04:20 AM PST

Cancer Concerns and Chocolate Spread

2 7 976

Almost everyone is familiar with Nutella, the jars of gooey hazelnut spread. It's chocolatey-goodness is a staple on breakfast toast in thousands of kitchens. Concerns about one of the ingredients, palm oil, have raised questions however. First it was deforestation. The spread contains 20% palm oil which the manufacturer, Ferrero, gets mostly from forests in Malaysia. Because it's profitable, farmers there are cutting down other trees and plants and this is affecting animal habitats and some say is impacting climate change.

As if that were not enough, the European Food Safety Agency says that palm oil contains high levels of glycidyl fatty acide esters, or GE and this contaminant is carcinogenic. GE is formed when palm oil is heated to temperatures above 200 degrees Celcius. The maker of the spread has taken out ads and issued press releases in an effort to reassure customers that they process the palm oil in Nutella in a safe manner. They also assert that if they were to use a different ingredient, like sunflower oil, the product would not be as good, would have a shorter shelf life and cost more. They also point out that their spread is not the only food to contain palm oil. Some stores in Italy have refused to carry the product, but Ferrero continues to assert the safety of their product.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 05, 2018
Videos
JUL 05, 2018
Can Food Be Prescribed?
Hippocrates, the father of medicine was famous for saying, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and what he meant was that eating
JUL 21, 2018
Videos
JUL 21, 2018
The UK's First '3 Person Baby'
Mitochondria carry their own genetic material, which is only inherited from mom.
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Award-winning Images of Organoids From the Koch Institute
Every year, the Koch Institute at MIT shares some of the most stunning images produced at the research facility.
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Why Cuttlefish are Called Chameleons of the Sea
Did you know that cuttlefish can change color, texture, and shape? Did you know they contain a bone called the cuttlebone? There is a reason why they are c
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
What does sunscreen look like with a UV camera?
  Have you ever wondered if there’s really a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? You’re not the only one. YouTuber Physics Girl set out
Loading Comments...