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Unilever responds to viral video of 'non-melting' bread spread
By Robert Abong'o - Sara Okuoro | Updated Jul 12, 2018 at 13:52 EAT
Blueband on supermarket shelves [COURTESY]

Unilever has responded to a viral video showing a woman complaining at how BlueBand could not melt in hot water.

In the video, the woman is seen boiling water in a pan and adding BlueBand which fails to melt.

She then argues the product could be harmful as she endlessly adds more BlueBand to the water. "Let me show you what I just discovered…the Blue Band doesn't melt in hot water. What are we feeding on? What happens when it goes in the stomach? This is not safe," says the woman.

Unilever has issued a disclaimer on the product explaining why it is insoluble and has assured customers that the company is committed to maintaining the highest standards on its products.

"Our attention has been drawn to an online video on Blue Band. We wish to assure our customers and stakeholders that Unilever remains committed to the highest standards of the manufacturing process, marketing and sales. There are two variants of Blue Band: Blue Band Spread for Bread and Blue Band original. Blue Band spread for bread is a very delicate and sensitive low-fat product. To withstand the high temperatures, harsh distribution conditions experienced locally and to the markets we export to and to ensure it remains stable throughout its shelf life, it needs extra ingredients," read part of the disclaimer.

It goes on to scientifically explain why BlueBand Spread for Bread doesn't dissolve in high temperatures:

"We use emulsifiers made from vegetable oils, which helps to bind the low fat, water, and other constituents together to prevent separation. As a result, Blue Band Spread is very stable and does not easily melt at high temperatures. Emulsifiers are ingredients commonly used in the manufacturing of food and confectionery. When using Blue Band Spread for cooking, it will not melt like Blue Band Original which is ideal for baking and cooking. Hence the reason it is recommended to solely use it for SPREADING. Unilever products are and continue to be made to the highest quality standards that meet both local and global guidelines for our consumer optimal satisfaction," read the disclaimer.

Emulsifiers or emulsifying agents are used in food to make the food more enjoyable. They make it possible for water and oil to become finely dispersed in each other, creating a stable, smooth and homogenous mixture.

Common foods that have emulsifiers include processed meat, honey and chocolate.

According to a study done by Nature Immunology and published in March, emulsifiers have the potential to damage intestinal barriers, which eventually leads to inflammation, increasing the risk of contracting chronic diseases. However, this research was done on mice. 

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