Ben & Jerry's: Not all ingredients natural

Aug. 13, 2010 at 2:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. food advocacy group is calling on Vermont ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's to drop the "All Natural" claim on its ice cream and frozen yogurt.

Officials at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington say 48 out of 53 flavors of Ben & Jerry's All Natural ice cream and frozen yogurt contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil -- all ingredients that do not exist in nature or have been chemically modified.

For instance, All Natural Chubby Hubby ice cream contains three non-natural ingredients: alkalized cocoa, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and corn syrup. Cocoa processed with an alkalizing agent changes the chemical structure, taste and appearance of cocoa and reduces its acidity and flavonol -- the antioxidants with possible health benefits -- content.

"These ingredients are safe -- only a small amount of partially hydrogenated oil is used -- but it's a stretch to call any of them 'natural,'" Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, says in a statement. "Ben & Jerry's sylvan labels notwithstanding, these ingredients come from the factory, not the farm. And slapping an 'all natural' label on the products certainly implies that the products are top quality and deserve to fetch a higher price."

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