The Agency of Food Control (AKU) recently conducted official investigation regarding the presence of palm oil in dairy products in Albania. Spurred by the concerns expressed in the investigative TV show Fiks Fare about the presence of palm oil in dairy products, which showed that some product labels did not indicate the presence of vegetable oils, the AKU declares:
The order issued by the director-general immediately requires that samples of milk byproducts such as yoghurt, cheddar cheese, yoghurt cream, which contain palm oil are analyzed accordingly, as indicated by the Institute of Veterinary Food Protection (ISUV)
Legal measures will be taken against food businesses whose products contain palm oil without being mentioned on the label.
The journalist’s research showed that the majority of butter products sold in Albania contain palm oil, even though the product label indicates that it contains natural dairy fats.
According to the specialists and doctors, palm oil is classified as an ingredient that is harmful to health, if it is used with no care or in large quantities. Nevertheless, it is used for the production of butter and yellow cheese.
Journalists also investigated a total of 20 samples, 16 butter samples and 4 cheddar cheese in the ISUV, the only the only food security institute in Albania.
The results showed that only one of the samples was within the accepted norm. The other twenty samples contained 5–50% palm oils.
Import of Palm Oil in Albania
The journalists worked with the AKU, where they learned that in 2016, 3,720 tons of palm oil were imported into Albania. There are 24 companies that trade this product primarily used in the food industry that produces desserts. And up to this time, in May 2017, 1,500 tons were imported.
For traders, the consumption of palm oil is rather profitable for the food industry. The products which use this oil have a lower production cost and preserve their durability in room temperature for a long period of time.
One liter of oil costs around 180 lekë. The price of one kilogram of butter is 600 lekë, while local yellow cheese is 800 lek.ë So, three times cheaper. The result:
Eight products which contain 5–10% palm oil
- Conad Butter
- Imported Mozzarella cheese
- Lufra Butter
- Despar Butter
- President Butter
- Klegen Butter
- Burro Bianco Fiore Butter
- Klegen Cheese
Eleven products which contain 20–30 % palm oil
- Mireli Cheese
- Klegen Butter
- Erzeni Butter
- German Spar (of SPAR food market chain)
- Gjirofarma Cheese
- Cow cheese (packed by KMY)
- Margarine Erzeni
- Soal Butter
- Extra Milk Butter
- Ajka Butter
- Village butter (dairy store at Kavaja street )