Nutella = junk food, part 2
(If you haven’t already, read the original post on Nutella here.)
FAQ on a Nutella site mentions this about modified palm oil:
“The modified palm oil is a mix of the liquid and solid oil naturally extracted from the fruit of the palm. The mix is adjusted to assure the best consistency for easy spreading. The process also reduces the level of saturated fat.”
Well, at least we know it is not hydrogenated — however, the phrase “mix is adjusted” could easily involve other questionable methods such as interesterification. The claim that it reduces saturated fats makes me even more suspicious of unnatural temperings.
Btw, the answers to all the FAQ’s are exquisitely worded to reassure us of it’s healthy nature. For example, the very first question of “What is Nutella?” is answered by: “a deliciously unique spread made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa”. No mention of the two largest ingredients by weight (sugar and modified palm oil). It continues: “Nutella® has no artificial colors or preservatives“, which is true, but again no mention of the artificiality of the modified palm oil.
Another example of the misleading wording: “Hazelnuts are a main ingredient in Nutella®. Each 13 OZ jar contains about 50 hazelnuts.” Well, I tried to look up what 50 hazelnuts must weigh — according to wolframalpha, on average 2kg. Which makes me suspect they used an incredibly tiny hazelnut variety.
According to Wikipedia, the formulation of the spread varies by country, no doubt tweaked to comply with local regulations and for best marketing angle. Unlike the US/Canada ingredient list, the actual percentages of the ingredients are specified in other countries. Assuming that the ratios are approximately the same, the touted ingredients are:
13% hazelnuts + 7.4% cocoa + 6.6% skim milk
for a total of 27%, the unmentioned rest being sugar, oil, and a bit of emulsifier and flavouring.
I have to admit, they have a very skillful marketing department.