Palm oil and junk food


Italy is now free of palm oil’ In foods. With the exception of a few products that happen to qualify as HFSS ( High Fats, Sugar and Sodium). Or more simply,
junk food.

Junk food

, brief review and reflections.


of horror

– St. Charles, ‘
Tomato flavor‘ (already mentioned in previous article). Denomination ‘potato chips – Crinkle Chips [?] with tomato flavor‘.

Distinctive traits, palm oil and sodium glutamate in ingredient list.

Saturated fat 12% (total fat 30%), sugars 2.7% (carbohydrates 53%), salt 1.4%, 517 kcal per 100 g.

– Mondelez, ‘


– the Original‘. Denomination ‘fried potato puffs‘. Violation of law, absence of potatoes mentioned in food name. Instead, the first ingredient on the list is ‘flakes and potato starch‘, followed by palm oil. (1)

Saturated fat 9.5% (total fat 22), sugars 0.7% (carbohydrates 64), salt 3.86%, 476 kcal per 100 g.

Poor legibility on silver background.

– Mondelez, ‘
The Originals‘.

Denomination ‘cheesy corn crispies’. Which, however, is melted and powdered (!).

Characteristic signs, in addition to palm and sodium glutamate, flavor enhancers E627 and E631 possibly derived from meat or fish. Possible non-eligibility for vegetarians, to be checked.

Saturated fat 15.5% (total fat 32), sugars 4.7% (carbohydrates 51), salt 1.23%, 525 kcal per 100 g.

Poor legibility on silver background.

Sweets to die for

– Giovanni Cova & C., ‘
with chocolate cream filling’.

Ingredients list ‘vegetable margarine‘ with ‘non-hydrogenated vegetable fats from palm…’ and ‘sourdough’ of unknown composition. (2)

Health risk, outlawed allergens (‘nuts‘?).(3)

Saturated fat 13% (total fat 20), sugars 27% (carbohydrates 54), 423 kcal per 100 g.

– Ferrero






.), Rocher,

etc etc



dominates Ferrero’s ingredient lists, without being either sustainable

nor even ‘good
. (4) SuperEnalotto numbers, in extract to follow.

Nutella, saturated fat 10.6% (total 30.9), sugars 56.3% (carbohydrates 57.5), 539 kcal.

Nutella b-ready, saturated fat 9.5% (total 27), sugars 47.1% (carbohydrates 60.7), 521 kcal.

Rocher, saturated fat 14.1% (total 42), sugars 39.9% (carbohydrates 44.4), 603 kcal! Slightly less than butter, which, however, has other virtues.

Palm oil, junk food and health

The combination of the use of tropical fat in foods and their poor nutritional profile is apparent, even in these few examples. We look forward to developing a broader analysis with reader input, even more pleased to learn the ultimate abandonment of this problematic ingredient, a primary cause of land robbery and and deforestation.

Nutrition labels with colored markings would certainly be helpful in red-tagging products such as those under consideration, the consumption of which must be minimized in frequency and quantity. In the face of the real risks of overweight, obesity and related diseases(diabetes
, cardiovascular diseases



) – starting in childhood
. Risks that unfortunately already afflict our population.

Pending measures

regulatory measures suitable to facilitate consumer choice, it is recommended that products with palm in the ingredient list be avoided. For Health
our own and our loved ones. Even more so for that of the communities violently torn away from their lands, and the environment.

Of course, it is not that man has a duty to devote himself to the extirpation of evil, even the most immoderate; rightly, he may have other matters to attend to; but it is his duty, at least, to keep himself out of it, and, if his thoughts are away from it, he should not help evil in fact. If I devote myself to other purposes and projects, first I must at least verify that I am not pursuing them by sitting on another man’s shoulders. First of all, I have to get down from there so that he can also pursue his goals.‘ (Henry David Thoreau)

Dario Dongo


(1) The composition of ‘

flakes and potato starch

‘. If they were compound ingredients, the failure to cite their composition would constitute further wrongdoing. On the rules of ingredient labeling, see the article

(2) Is there perhaps an ‘animal’ margarine on the market today? Violation reg. EU 1169/11, Article 7.1.c.

As for the illegitimacy of the wording ”

non-hydrogenated vegetable fats

‘, see the article

(3) For more on the topic of allergen labeling, see the articles


(4) See in this regard the recent scientific study by R. Cazzola Gatti

et al.

., ‘

Sustainable palm oil may not be so sustainable

‘, at

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.