Tuesday 19 September 2017

This Irish version of Nutella hits the same spot– without the controversial palm oil

Wyldsson Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread
Wyldsson Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Earlier this week, an experiment which visually broke down the ingredients of Nutella went viral across the world, highlighting just how much controversial palm oil lies within each jar of the hazelnut spread.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, the oil is more carcinogenic than any other but still remains a major, and low cost, ingredient in many popular spreads and sweets on the market in Ireland, including Nutella.

The image has gone viral on Reddit. Credit: Reddit User MrFlow
The image has gone viral on Reddit. Credit: Reddit User MrFlow

Irish entrepreneur Dave McGeady spotted an opportunity to bring a healthier version of the hazelnut spread to Irish kitchens minus the palm oil and refined sugar, which makes up more than 50pc of each Nutella jar.

"I’ve always loved hazelnut and cocoa spreads, and used to eat loads of the stuff until I took a look at the back of the jars and saw how much sugar, palm oil and other junk is in so many of these products," he said.

The Wyldsson product still contains 82kcal per 15g serving so while it is still suggested to be enjoyed in moderation, the hazelnut and cocoa spread contains much less refined sugar than its supermarket alternatives, and is sweetened using dates. Its list of ingredients is much shorter than Nutella’s and the product contains hazelnuts, dates, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts and Peruvian cocoa.

"There have been other 'Nutella alternatives', but they all swap out the sugar for honey or agave or some other sweetener that's basically sugar by a different name. We use real actual dates instead. And you'll notice that others swap out palm oil for vegetable oil. but we don't use any oils.

"It has been a massive success for us since we launched last year because there's nothing else like it."

A 360g jar of the spread can be purchased at McGeady’s online store on wyldsson.com for €7.99.

Wyldsson Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread
Wyldsson Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread

Meanwhile Ferrero, the company who makes Nutella, responded to the social media storm that erupted earlier this week on Reddit, when a user shared an image of a jar of Nutella broken down by ingredient.

In a statement, Ferrero did not comment on the accuracy of the image but said the product should be continue to be used as recommended - as part of a balanced diet.

"One of Ferrero’s core nutritional beliefs is that small portion sizes help people to enjoy their favourite foods in moderation. The labelling on all our products enables consumers to make informed choices and helps ensure that Nutella can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet."

The chocolate spread contains a contaminant which has been found to increase cancer risks Photo:Getty
The chocolate spread contains a contaminant which has been found to increase cancer risks Photo:Getty

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