Ben and Jerry’s has agreed to pull the words “all natural” from their labels after a dispute with the Center for Science in the Public Interest made the claim that several of their ingredients did not meet the “natural” criteria.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest or CSPI stated that Ben and Jerry’s could not use the words “all natural” because of several ingredients used in their products including alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils were not considered “all natural.”
Alkalized cocoa, also known as Dutch Process cocoa, is treated with an alkali to reduce it’s acidity. It is darker in color than regular cocoa and said to have a milder taste. It mixes easily with liquids making it perfect for use in ice creams and other liquid drinks. However, in a 2008 study done in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it was found that alkalized cocoa has less antioxidants and has less beneficial substances than regular or pure cocoa. However, it has not been determined whether alkalized cocoa is considered harmful to the body.
Corn syrup is a corn derived sweetener used in foods to help avoid crystallization, soften the texture of foods, and enhance flavor. It is also a less expensive sweetener in comparison to cane sugar and that is widely why it is used in products which require sweeteners. There has been some controversy trying to link corn syrup with obesity and diabetes, however, no solid evidence or correlation has been made. What is known is that corn syrup and other sweeteners is higher in calories and lower in nutritional value–which increased consumption can lead to obesity and other related problems.
Hydrogenated oils have been all over the news lately. Hydrogenated oils are broken down oils that become partial or fully saturated. Trans fats are not needed by the body and can lead to diseases like coronary artery disease when consumed in moderate to large amounts.
Ben and Jerry’s is agreeing to remove all labels from their products containing the words “all natural” but will not be changing any of their recipes or the ingredients used in their products.
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA has stated that they have no objection to using the words “all natural” as long as the product does not contain any added colors, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.
Sean Greenwood, spokesperson for Ben and Jerry’s states that he is removing the words from Ben and Jerry’s labels because the company is tired of battling over the meaning of the words “all natural” which he feels has different meanings for different people.
The labels will gradually removed from products over the next several months.