Nutella has launched a large advertising campaign in response to a European Food Safety Authority study claiming palm oil, one of the spread’s main ingredients, may contain a carcinogen, Reuters reports.
The study was particularly concerned with young people’s consumption of palm oil (Nutella is a popular part of breakfast for Italian children, Reuters notes), though the research showed there was reason to believe palm oil consumption held risk for adults as well: “The Panel concluded that GE [glycidyl fatty acid esters, which are present in palm oil] is a potential health concern for all younger age groups with average exposures, and for consumers with high exposure in all age groups.” They label the compound as genotoxic and carcinogenic, and note more of the potentially harmful substance was found in palm oil, which was refined for food processing (which the spread of course is).
Ferrero, the parent company of Nutella, which makes up one-fifth of its sales, points to the fact no official results or recommendations were borne of the study. “Further research to fill data gaps and improve the knowledge on the toxicity of these substances” needs to be done, the study concludes, though the EFSA has informed the organization that monitors EU food safety of their findings. Per Reuters, further guidance on palm oil consumption should be released later this year after the commission has time to review.
"Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward," Ferrero's purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella explained to Reuters. The company does not plan on producing the product with rapeseed or sunflower oil—both are more expensive and would result in a less (1) delicious and (2) long-lasting product.
Stay tuned. Trust nothing.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.