For Free Choice just attended the European Palm Oil Conference 2018 (Madrid, 3-4 October). Pietro Paganini, professor at John Cabot University, intervened to comment on the implications of ‘free from palm oil’ in the market with a focus on the Italian case.
You can take a look at Professor Paganini’s presentation by clicking here.
Professor Paganini pointed out how the indiscriminate use of the “palm oil free” claim, that appears on the packaging of food products, risks fooling citizen consumers into making the wrong choices. Palm oil has fallen victim to a derogatory campaign for commercial reasons. Many food companies have removed it from their products, saying they want to reduce saturated fat content. However, as we reported in this study, this is not the case at all.
In many cases the absence of palm oil does not correspond to lower levels of saturated facts, compared to similar products that do contain palm oil. In other cases the benefit is barely significant from a nutritional perspective, above all when taking into account the daily diet as a whole. Moreover, the use of the “palm oil free” label presents a misleading message, even from an environmental perspective. Palm oil plantations are in fact the most sustainable of all crops.
The conclusion, therefore, is that the indiscriminate use of the “palm oil free” claim, that appears on the packaging of food products, risks fooling citizen consumers into making the wrong choices.