JAN 20, 2017 4:20 AM PST

Cancer Concerns and Chocolate Spread


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
DEC 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 23, 2019
The Captivating Mating Process of a Jumping Spider
When you’re a male jumping spider and you fancy finding a female to mate with, you might try your hand – or in this case paddle – at impr...
DEC 29, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 29, 2019
Anthills Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg
At first glance, an anthill looks like a small pile of sand on the Earth with a tiny hole in the top that ants crawl into to evade danger, but they’r...
JAN 15, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 15, 2020
The "Normal" Body Temperature Has Decreased
Did you know that the standard human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit was established in 1868? A few modern studies have called this figure into...
JAN 29, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 29, 2020
Milk, a Controversial Food?
When it comes to foods with a controversial reputation, milk isn't your usual suspect. First and foremost, we humans are mammals and breast milk is a q...
FEB 09, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 09, 2020
Horned Lizards Are Great Predators, But Also at Avoiding Predation
There are at least 17 known species of horned lizard belonging to the genus Phrynosoma, but the giant horned lizard (Phrynosoma asio) is the largest of the...
FEB 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 11, 2020
Why China Was Banned from the International Space Station
The International Space Station is just that – a place where international space agencies can work together in an effort to accomplish similar goals:...
Loading Comments...