Place of origin
Region or state
|Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa solids, milk powder|
Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of "Pasta Gianduja" in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as "Supercrema".
In 1963, Ferrero's son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed "Nutella". The first jar of Nutella left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular.
In France, senator Yves Daudigny proposed a tax increase on palm oil from €100 to €400 per metric tonne. At 20%, palm oil is one of Nutella's main ingredients and the tax was dubbed "the Nutella tax" in the media.
World Nutella Day is February 5.
On 14 May 2014, Poste italiane issued a 50th anniversary Nutella commemorative stamp. The 70 Euro cent stamp was designed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and features a jar of Nutella on a golden background. Ferrero held a Nutella Day on 17 and 18 May to celebrate the anniversary.
The main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and palm oil, followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk. In the United States, Nutella contains soy products. Nutella is marketed as "hazelnut cream" in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria.
An older recipe, Gianduja, was a mixture containing approximately 71.5% hazelnut paste and 19.5% chocolate. It was developed in Piedmont, Italy, after taxes on cocoa beans hindered the manufacture and distribution of conventional chocolate.
Two of the four Ferrero plants in Italy produce Nutella, in Alba, Piedmont, and in Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi in Campania. In France, a production facility is located in Villers-Écalles. For Eastern Europe (including Southeast Europe, Poland, Turkey, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and South Africa it is produced in Warsaw and Manisa. For Germany and northern Europe Nutella is produced at the Ferrero plant in Stadtallendorf, which has been in existence since 1956.
Nutella is a form of a chocolate spread. Therefore, the process of this food item is very similar to a generic production of chocolate spread. Nutella is made from sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, and vanillin.
Initially the process of making chocolate spread begins with the extraction of cocoa powder from the cocoa bean. These cocoa beans are harvested from cocoa trees and are left to dry for about ten days. This natural ingredient is then shipped off to the processing plant. In the case of Nutella, the processing plant is situated in Italy by the Ferrero Company. Typically cocoa beans contain approximately 50% of cocoa butter therefore they must be roasted to reduce the cocoa bean into a liquid form. This step is not sufficient enough to be turned into a paste because it solidifies at room temperature, and would not be spreadable on food items such as toast. After this initial process, the liquid paste is sent to presses, which are used to squeeze the butter out of the cocoa bean. The final products are round discs of chocolate: pure compressed cocoa. The cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean is then transferred elsewhere so it can be used in other products.
The second process involves the hazelnuts. Once the hazelnuts have arrived at the processing plant, a quality control is issued to inspect the nuts so they are suitable for processing. A guillotine is used to chop the nuts to inspect the interior. After this process the hazelnuts are cleaned and roasted. A second quality control is issued by a computer-controlled blast of air, which removes the bad nuts from the batch. This process is undergone to ensure that each jar of Nutella is uniform in its look and taste. Approximately 50 hazelnuts can be found in each jar of Nutella, as claimed by the company.
The cocoa powder is then joined with the hazelnuts along with sugar, vanilla, skim milk and it is mixed in a large tank until it becomes a paste-like spread. The modified palm oil is then added to help retain the solid phase of the Nutella at room temperature, which substitutes for the butter found in the cocoa bean. In addition, whey powder is added to the mix because it acts as a binder for the paste. Whey powder is an additive commonly used in spreads to prevent the coagulation of the product because it stabilizes the fat emulsions. Similarly to the whey powder, lecithin, which is a form of fatty substance found in animal and plant tissues is used to emulsify as it promotes homogenized mixing of the different ingredients allowing the paste to be spreadable. It also aids the lipophilic properties of the cocoa powder which, again, keeps the product from separating. For the flavor aspect, vanillin is added to enhance the sweetness of the chocolate. The finished product is then sent off to be packaged.
Nutella contains 70% saturated fat and processed sugar by weight. A two-tablespoon (37 gram) serving of Nutella contains 200 calories including 99 calories from 11 grams of fat (3.5g of which are saturated) and 80 calories from 21 grams of sugar. In addition, the spread contains 15 mg of sodium and 2g of protein per serving.
Class action lawsuit
In the United States, Ferrero was sued in a class action lawsuit for false advertising that led some to believe that Nutella carries nutritional and health benefits, being touted as 'part of a nutritious breakfast'. They agreed to pay $3 million (up to $4 per jar for up to five jars in returns by customers) in an April 2012 settlement. The settlement also required Ferrero to make changes to Nutella's labeling and marketing, including television commercials and their website.
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- Palm oil
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