Tag Archives: palm oil

redpalmoil

Ingredient Spotlight: Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil is taken from the fruit of the oil palm tree. It comes from the same part of the palm tree as regular palm oil, but it is less processed and retains the red color from its high concentration of carotenes. It’s rich in Vitamins A and E. Apparently, when processed, creating regular palm oil, the carotenes along with other nutrients are stripped.

Red palm oil retains more nutritional value than regular palm oil, but there’s something else to consider. The conventional creation of palm oil is bad for the planet. In Indonesia, the growing demand for palm oil is driving tropical forest destruction. In Malaysia, peatswamp forests are being obliterated, and the disappearing forests endangering the habitat of the “pygmy elephant — the smallest elephant on earth — the clouded leopard, the long-nosed tapir and many rare birds.”

As the word about the devastation that the cultivation of palm oil can cause spreads, people are beginning to take notice and companies are beginning to make changes. Sustainable palm oil is in its infancy, and according to Worldwatch Institute, palm oil sustainability criteria remain controversial. But it’s a start.
The increased consumer interest due to the overhyped health and weight loss claims in red palm oil has put quite an increase on demand, at least in the United States. Increased demand for a product that happens so quickly rarely leads to sustainability.
Continue Reading @ MNN

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Nutella on bread

France’s ‘Nutella Amendment’ Causes Big Fat International Row

Threat to quadruple taxes on products containing palm oil, one of Nutella's key ingredients, angers producers in Malaysia

It is the sweet and sickly staple of many a French schoolchild's breakfast: la tartine de Nutella, a dollop of chocolate and hazelnut spread on a slice of baguette.

An estimated 235,000 tonnes of the paste – reportedly invented in the back room of an Italian pastry shop in 1944 – are consumed every year, around 100m pots in France alone.

Little wonder, then, that health warnings and government threats to impose a fat tax, known as the "Nutella amendment", have caused a mini revolution among Gallic consumers and sparked an international row.

On Monday, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council hit back at French claims that palm oil, a key ingredient in Nutella and widely used in margarine, biscuits and crisps, was detrimental to the environment and fuelling obesity. "Malaysia is deeply concerned with French Senator Yves Daudigny's proposed 300% tax increase on palm oil … Palm oil is a healthy, natural and important product, which 240,000 small farmers in Malaysia are proud to produce.

"Contrary to Senator Daudigny's comments, every nutritional and food expert concludes that palm oil is in fact free of dangerous trans fats, free of GMOs and contains valuable vitamins," the council's chief executive said in a statement.

Nutella's maker, Ferrero (of Ferrero Rocher chocolates fame), has also moved to reassure its customers in France, insisting that there will be no change in the recipe.

"Even if the tax is passed, we're not planning to change our recipe," Frédéric Thil, French director of the Italian company, told Le Parisien. He added that if the French went ahead with the increase, it would add at most six centimes to the price of a pot.

Nutella was first hit in 2010 by a broadside from the European Union that insisted jars of the spread would have to carry a health warning as it did not conform to the EU's "nutritional profile".

Nutella's main ingredients are sugar, milk powder, hazelnuts, cocoa, emulsifier, flavouring and palm oil, which is also used widely in margarine, biscuits and crisps.

France's Socialist government plans to quadruple taxes on products containing palm oil, arguing that its production is harmful to the environment and its consumption is fuelling obesity.

At present, palm oil is taxed at around €100 (£80) per metric tonne in France, but the government is proposing to raise this to €400. Around 20% of Nutella is palm oil.

The French government has already raised taxes on sugary drinks and is also proposing a tax hike on beer to help plug the hole in public finances and improve the nation's health.

Full Article @ Guardian

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