the shortage of sunflower oil forces food manufacturers to change their recipes

Since the end of April, several thousand derogations have been granted to food manufacturers. This authorizes them to modify the recipes of certain products, without changing the packaging immediately. They will therefore be able to replace sunflower oil, which has become increasingly rare because of the war in Ukraine, with other ingredients.

Concretely, this means that you can end up with cannelloni, but also pie crusts, crisps, cookies, preserves, or even margarines, in which the sunflower oil has been replaced by olive oil. rapeseed, palm or coconut. But it won’t be written in the ingredient list.
To inform consumers, manufacturers will have to add a sticker to the package, but only if the recipe change involves the addition of a new allergen – soy lecithin or peanut oil, for example – , or if a claim like “palm oil free” is no longer true.

In the vast majority of cases, sunflower oil is replaced by rapeseed oil, and more rarely by palm or coconut oil, which are not allergens and whose absence is not not necessarily highlighted on the packaging. In these cases, manufacturers can simply write in inkjet, next to the expiry date, the word “derog”. But it is not very visible, and in addition, it gives no information on the nature of the change.

And it’s not much better indicated on store shelves: if you’re lucky, you might come across an A4 sheet in black and white, with a link to the site of the Directorate General for Competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF), which lists all recipe changes. Fortunately, on this side, the search engine is quite well done. But you still need to have a smartphone, and the time to browse the internet during your shopping. And that is not won.

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