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Snack-foods

Nutella for breakfast? Chocolate maker pushing FDA to reclassify spread

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The FDA may put Nutella into a category with jams and jellies. (iStock)

Nutella lovers enjoy the creamy spread on toast, pancakes, waffles and more-- but is it really okay to eat all day?

Ferrero, the Italian company behind the chocolate hazelnut spread, are now making a case that their product is suitable as a breakfast food, not just something you should enjoy for dessert. 

Ferrero wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce Nutella’s serving size from two tablespoons to one, according to Bloomberg. The company already filed a petition with the FDA in 2014 asking for the food to be categorized along the lines of other a.m. spreads like jams and honey.

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On Tuesday, the agency announced intent to seek more information on flavored nut-butter spreads, their planned use and usual consumption amounts. The amount of Nutella people really eat in one sitting is now under scrutiny. 

Since 1993, the FDA has considered the spread to be among “other dessert toppings." But Ferrero says the two-tablespoon serving size on the U.S. label could be confusing and lead people to think they should use that amount on their toast. The FDA sets “reference amounts customarily consumed” (RACC) for 139 categories of food products, which helps determine serving size.

The agency said it’s asking for information now because it recently issued a final rule updating certain RACCs (and, also, because of the petition).  

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“Because Nutella is used in the same manner as jams and jellies, uniformity in RACC values among Nutella, jams, and jellies would enable consumers to make informed nutritional comparisons of these similar products,” Ferrero wrote in its petition.

Almost three-quarters of Nutella consumed in the U.S. was used on bread in 2012, compared with just 2 percent on ice cream, Ferrero said. Starting on Nov. 2, the FDA began taking comments on the issue. The comment period will last for 60 days.