When choosing your foie gras, avoid this potentially carcinogenic additive!

When choosing your foie gras, avoid this potentially carcinogenic additive!

A UFC-Que Choisir survey reveals that a third of the foie gras tested from a selection of 15 references currently on the shelves contain a problematic additive. Keep your eyes peeled when shopping.

Sodium nitrite, a preservative additive used by manufacturers, has been criticized for years for its potential health risks. Present in particular in cold meats, according to recent studies it is associated with colorectal cancer, but nevertheless still authorized. However, this additive is also found in a series of foie gras on sale on our shelves. This is what the UFC-Que Choisir association specifies in an article dated December 18.

These 5 foie gras (out of 15) contain nitrites

The association simply looked for the mention E250, the acronym which represents sodium nitrite, on the jars of foie gras currently sold as the holidays approach. Out of 15 whole duck foie gras examined, 5 of them, or a third, actually contain this nitrite. This would be:

  • Montfort House;
  • The Flavors;
  • Reflections of Europe (Carrefour);
  • Labeyrie;
  • Cora.

“A practice that it would be time to ban, for a product positioned in a high-end niche!, writes the media, especially since the other references studied do not use these additives, proving that it is possible to do without them.”

Freshness remains a guarantee of quality, a brand stands out

UFC-Que Choisir also evaluated the taste qualities of the different foie gras tested, via a jury of professionals. They tasted 15 foie gras cooked, semi-cooked or cooked in a cloth, kept fresh, ambient or frozen. They noted the appearance, the smell, the texture with the knife and in the mouth, the taste and its persistence in the mouth.

Generally, indicates the media, semi-cooked foie gras (including torchon) are more popular, while the bottom of the ranking is occupied by cooked products. Fresh products are systematically better rated than ambient products, but also remain more expensive, around €100 per kilo.

According to the established classification, It’s the Delpeyrat brand. wins the prize for best supermarket foie gras for Christmas.

The association mentions, however, that the choice of products at the time of the tests, at the end of November, was limited due to a still low supply on the shelves, partly due to the 2022 avian flu epidemic which disrupted production. Currently the assortments are more extensive.

Also pay attention to the origin

Finally, UFC-Que Choisir reminds us that a look at the origin is also welcome. Among the 15 products tested, 14 do indeed come from French farms, but the Auchan foie gras indicates an “EU origin”, “a vague mention which probably hides Hungary or Bulgaria”. To be sure of a French local product, the association indicates that it is better to ensure the presence of a “Foie gras de Europe” mention or an official sign of quality such as AOP or IGP.