IT’S perhaps one of the best foods found in a jar, but a photo claiming to reveal exactly what goes into Nutella may have you thinking twice before dipping a spoon into the chocolatey goodness.
A new image shared on Reddit claims to show the ingredients that go into making a jar of Nutella — and if you thought Hazelnuts would be high up on the list, think again.
The picture displays a regular jar of Nutella set beside another jar which contains layers of ingredients that go into making the famous spread.
The first layer, which is the second highest ingredient in the jar — is palm oil — which takes up about a quarter of the jar.
Just last week, the European Food Safety Authority claimed palm oil was more of a carcinogenic than any other oil, and could lead to cancer.
Ferrero — the company behind Nutella — denied the claims, saying their oil is of the highest quality and safe for consumption.
Underneath the oil, sits a slither of skim milk powder, cocoa and crushed hazelnuts — which altogether account for another quarter of the jar.
Finally — the rest of the jar is filled with sugar — which is evidently the biggest ingredient in Nutella, taking up a good half of each jar.
Nutritionist and dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan said that while she isn’t surprised by the ingredient listing, she is concerned that people still might see the spread as ‘healthy’ because of the hazelnuts and greenery on the packaging.
“The image of healthy hazelnuts might skew the thinking of a consumer,” Dr McMillan told news.com.au.
“Nutella is basically confectionery and not a food for everyday. It contains palm oil, and I would never buy any food with palm oil as ingredient.”
Nutritionist Kristen Beck agreed with Dr McMillan, saying the biggest problem with Nutella is that it’s still marketed as a wholesome, healthy spread targeted at children — when it’s clearly not.
“The thing about Nutella is that it has been marketed as a health food based on its’ hazelnut and cocoa content,” Beck said.
“But the reality is, it contains way more refined white sugar than anything else and that’s why it tastes so good.
“Cocoa is rich in antioxidants, and hazelnuts are healthy and contain healthy fats — but any benefit from these ingredients would be drowned out essentially by the sugar and palm oil content.”
According to Nutella’s nutritional label, a serving of the spread — which is 37 grams or two tablespoons — contains a whopping 21 grams of sugar.
So for a standard 750g jar of the spread, that’s 425 grams of sugar — meaning more than half the jar is made up of the sweet stuff.
When contacted by news.com.au, Ferrero were unable to disclose the full proportions of ingredients within each jar, as their recipe is “unique” and they wish to “safeguard” this.
“The ingredients and nutritional information detailed on Nutella’s labels fully comply with the requirements of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand,” the statement read.
“We (Ferrero) have always taken a transparent and open approach to declaring our ingredients, including our use of palm oil, which 100% sustainable and RSPO-certified segregated palm oil, which is traceable.”
Ferrero said that the labelling on their products enables consumers to make smart decisions about portion sizes when using the spread.
“The labelling on our products enables consumers to make informed choices and helps ensure that Nutella can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet,” they said.
“We fully comply with Australian and New Zealand labelling legislation and Ferrero provides consumers with accurate and clear nutritional information on packs.
“One of Ferrero’s core nutritional beliefs is that small portion sizes help people to enjoy their favourite foods in moderation.”
Dr McMillan said while Nutella may not be the healthiest spread of choice, there are ways of making your own healthy alternative.
“You can make your own nut butters at home if you have a powerful blender,” she said.
“Add cocoa to make them chocolatey, and if you want to sweeten add a little honey but control the amount.”