Nutella – A Consumer Awareness Article

All I can say is “Wow!” With a 5 year old in my house, when the TV show cut to a Nutella® commercial, I was curious: A mom was in the kitchen saying Nutella® is a great and nutritious way to get her kids to eat breakfast, She spreads it on “whole grain” bread or “whole grain” waffles. Nutella® has over 50 whole hazelnuts in each jar.

I consider Nutella® to be a spreadable chocolate bar. I thought I might have judged it too harshly, so I went onto Nutella’s website and found the following information:

What is Nutella® spread?

Nutella® (pronounced “new-tell-uh”) is a tasty unique spread made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa. Nutella® has no artificial colors or preservatives. It can be used on a wide variety of breads.

Awesome! So then I took a closer look at the ingredients:

• Over 50 Hazelnuts per 13 oz. Jar
• Contains No Artificial Colors
• Contains No Artificial Preservatives

Ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Hmmm: This is interesting. The first ingredient listed is sugar. Palm oil, well palm oil is a saturated fat, but it’s OK since it is a vegetable saturated fat (it’s different from animal fat) and the body treats it differently. Cocoa has caffeine in it, but chocolate is a good anti-oxidant. Skim milk and reduced minerals whey (milk). What would reduced minerals whey be? The process takes the whey from milk, dries it and treats it to remove some of the minerals. The ash content of the dry product may not exceed 7%. Then pH-adjusting ingredients are used to adjust the acidity of reduced-minerals whey. Lecithin as emulsifier. That’s okay, it keeps the stuff from separating or is it? Apparently they use soy lecithin: Soy lecithin (E322) is extracted from soybeans either mechanically or chemically. It’s actually a byproduct of the soybean oil production, and finally vanillin, which is artificial vanilla.

Next the Product label

200 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. 200 calories. 100 calories from fat. Of the 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams are from sugar.

No thanks. I’ll opt for some real unadulterated hazelnut butter spread on my wheat toast and a twist or two of Trader Joe’s Cinnamon sugar (or make my own).

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2 Responses to Nutella – A Consumer Awareness Article

  1. Deb Bodnar says:

    Thanks. I’ e been wondering about Nutella. You saved me some precious time and unwanted calories.


  2. FormulaZone Nutritionist says:

    Thanks for the comment. The public is often mislead on the wholesomeness of foods. I saw that one of the leading peanut butter brands has now come out with a chocolate hazelnut spread as well…ugh! Read the label of these popular peanut butters and see how much added “stuff” is in there. Our family buys a natural peanut butter with one ingredient listed on the label: peanuts!

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