Saturday, 20 October 2018

E471 - the hidden palm oil in peanut butter


As a treat and as a change from all the jam I make, we do like the odd jar of peanut butter yet trying to find some we are happy to buy has been an interesting journey.

First of all so many varieties are sold in plastic jars - no thank you.

Then a read of the ingredients shows many contain palm oil.  No thanks again.

Enter Sun-Pat peanut butter.  Glass jar (albeit with a plastic lid) and no palm oil.  Happy enough with that, or so I thought. On Instagram @BusyGreenMum posted a picture recently saying she hoped she had finally found a peanut butter that was palm oil free and she hoped it wasn't hiding under an E number or something.  The ingredient list she also posted showed it contained E471: 

E471 is a synthetic fat, produced mainly from plant origins but in some cases also from animal fats.  The most commonly used fat/oil to make E471 is palm oil.

Sun-Pat peanut butter contains palm oil - hidden in the additive E471



I contacted Sun-Pat and they confirmed that the E471 in their peanut butter is made from palm oil which would explain why there is no "Palm Oil Free" label on their jars of peanut butter. 

I asked both on Twitter and on this blog if people knew what E471 was made from and almost everyone said they did not.

So whilst Sun-Pat does not proclaim on their jars to be palm oil free they don't make it clear either that their peanut butter does contain palm oil.  I asked them on their Facebook page why they used E471 made from palm oil and also asked if they had any plans to use E471 that did not contain it. They initially did not reply so I asked again to which they said they had no plans to stop using E471 made from palm oil.  

Contacting businesses to tell them you are unhappy about their product and/or that you have stopped buying it and explaining why needs to be something more people to do ensuring businesses are made aware that the public increasingly do not want environment damaging products and are boycotting them.  You could add your own commetns to the Sun-Pat Facebook page or add comments to what I wrote:

Link to my original comment asking about E471.
Link to my comment saying I will not now be buying Sun-Pat peanut butter. 

Sun-Pat is now another brand of peanut butter that is no longer on my shopping list (and one of the few I could buy in France) so I am now left with 2 options.  I can either ask friends who visit to track down some peanut butter made with 100% peanuts and in a glass jar (and ideally organic) ... which, to be honest, is a bit of an ask ... or I can make my own.

Anyone have a good home-made peanut butter recipe?  

The food additive E471 is most commonly made from palm oil