A new image claims to show exactly what goes into your jar of Nutella – and it may shock you.
Instead of the usual chocolate-hazelnut spread, this picture shows the famous jar filled with layers of the brand’s five main ingredients in their raw form: palm oil, cocoa, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder and sugar.
Each layer is said to accurately represent the proportion of each ingredient in a jar of Nutella – and shockingly, half the jar is filled with white sugar.
The picture went viral on social media this week, circulating on Reddit where it was upvoted 28,700 times.
It follows the recent Nutella cancer scare, which arose after a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) declared palm oil to be more carcinogenic than any other oil.
But Nutella has since denied its spread poses a cancer risk, saying the palm oil it uses is of high quality and is safe to eat.
Nutella, which is made by Ferrero, wouldn’t confirm or deny if the new viral image sweeping the web accurately represents the proportions of ingredients in each jar of the spread as it said its recipe is a closely-guarded secret.
But in the nutritional information on its jars and on its website, Nutella reveals that each 15 g tablespoon of the spread contains 8.5 g of sugar – which means that each 400 g jar contains a whopping 227.2 g.
That works out as 753 g sugar cubes per jar – and makes up more than half of the jar’s weight.
Among the other ingredients pictured in distinctive layers within the Nutella jar is the controversial palm oil.
The chocolate spread relies on palm oil for its smooth texture and considerably long shelf life and Nutella insists the spread would not be the same without the oil.
Palm oil is also the cheapest oil on the market, and a switch in ingredients would cost Ferrero an extra $8-22 million a year.
Of the viral image, Nutella said in a statement: ‘We don’t disclose the full proportions of the ingredients in Nutella as our recipe is unique and we wish to safeguard this.
‘The product’s label provides simple and clear nutritional information per 15g portion, or two heaped teaspoons, as well as per 100g. The ingredients are also listed on the Nutella website.’
Ferrero, Nutella’s manufacturers added: ‘One of Ferrero’s core nutritional beliefs is that small portion sizes help people to enjoy their favourite foods in moderation. 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.’
Of the recent cancer scare, it added: ‘The health and safety of consumers is an absolute and first priority for Ferrero and we confirm that Ferrero products are safe.
‘The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has analysed the presence of contaminants in a large number of products and oils stating that the presence of contaminants depends on the oils and fats used as well as the processes they are subjected to.
‘It is for this reason that Ferrero carefully selects quality raw materials and applies specific industrial processes that limit their presence to minimum levels, fully in line with the parameters defined by the EFSA. In addition, our auality teams constantly monitor such factors and guarantee the food safety of our products to the consumer.’