Nutella Is Being Pulled Off Shelves Because Of A Cancer-Causing Ingredient

One of the major ingredients in Nutella may cause cancer. This revelation has led to the popular chocolate hazelnut spread to be pulled from grocery store shelves throughout Europe.

In May, the European Standards Agency warned there could carcinogenic chemicals — Glycidyl fatty acid ester (GE) — in palm oil when it is heated above 200 degrees Celsius, or almost 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Palm oil happens to be a major ingredient in the spread and gives Nutella its smooth, velvety texture and prolongs shelf life.

Ferrero, the maker of the spread, is fighting back against these claims Nutella with a marketing campaign. The Italian corporation has reassured its customers of their decision to keep palm oil in the spread, despite fears.

“Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward,” said Ferrero’s purchasing manager, Vincenzo Tapella.


The EFSA did not completely advise people against consuming it, and admitttedly said that more research needed to be conducted. The World Health Organization and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization both warned about the possible risks of palm oil.

The high temperatures are used on the oil to remove its red color and neutralize the smell. Ferrero insists that they use an industrial process that does not heat the substance above 200 degrees Celsius. “The palm oil used by Ferrero is safe because it comes from freshly squeezed fruits and is processed at controlled temperatures,” said Tapella.

Enrico Brivio, Spokesmen for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission, said guidelines related to palm oil should be completed by the end of 2017.

Dr. Helle Knutsen, chair of Contam, the EFSA panel that investigated palm oil, stated, “There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the Contam panel did not set a safe level for GE.”


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