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CHOCOLATE

Danes warned of Easter balloon choc danger

Denmark’s Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) has rebuked several websites for publishing an Easter recipe for making chocolate bowls with party balloons, warning that it risks contaminating the chocolate with dangerous chemicals.

Danes warned of Easter balloon choc danger
Mette Holmgren demonstrates the risky procedure. Photo: YouTube
Several Danish websites, including online supermarket Nemlig.com, have shown readers how to dip a balloon in melted chocolate, wait for the chocolate to solidify, and then pop the balloon, to create attractive chocolate bowls. 
 
However, Maja Kirkegaard from the DVFA told Danish news agency Ritzau that balloons were not designed for food contact, rendering the method potentially unhealthy. 
 
“Although the impact of the various substances is small in a single chocolate bowl, it is essential to minimise one’s overall exposure to harmful substances, particularly the carcinogens and endocrine disruptors,” she told Danish news agency Ritzau. 
 
“Balloons are made of rubber, and the production of rubber can form nitrosamines and nitrosatable substances,” she explained. “There may also be other unknown chemical substances that are not intended for contact with food.” 
 
A spot check by Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 found illegal substances in 23 of the 39 balloons checked. 
 
Danish news agency Ritzau advised readers to instead freeze a water in a bowl of the desired shape and then to pour melted chocolate over the frozen mold. 
 
If a balloon is used, Ritzau recommended wrapping it in clingfilm before applying the chocolate, thus minimising the transfer of unhealthy nitrosamines. However, in that case the temperature of the chocolate must not exceed 34C. 
 
Below is a video made by Mette Holmgren, demonstrating her now discredited method of making chocolate bowls. 
 

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CHRISTMAS

‘The chocolate tastes of cardboard’: 10,000 Danish Advent calendars recalled

If your Danish Christmas calendar has left you with a funny taste in your mouth, there’s a legitimate reason for it.

'The chocolate tastes of cardboard': 10,000 Danish Advent calendars recalled
Photo: Frellsen

10,000 Advent calendars have had to be recalled in Denmark after several people complained about a rather odd taste in the chocolate bonbons hidden inside them. 

“We have found that there’s an added taste in some of the calendars,” Frellsen, a Danish company known for producing quality coffee and chocolate products, announced on Friday.

“We suspect this off taste stems from the calendars’ packaging.”

In case you’re wondering, Frellsen representatives were referring to the taste of the chocolate inside the cardboard boxes, not to the calendar themselves, which would obviously taste of, erm, cardboard.

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These ‘chokoladejulekalender’ are sold at 40 Frellsen traders across the country and 52 chocolate retailers.

“All the packaging for these Advent calendars is recognized as suitable for contact with food, and we believe that there is no health risk,” Frellsen clarified in a press release.

Anyone who’s bought one of the potentially foul-tasting chocolate calendars can get their money back by handing it in a Frellsen store, without the need to take the taste test.

There is however an unfortunate dilemma at hand. All the proceeds from these calendars are going to the global NGO Save the Children, so as CEO Peter Frellsen points out, if all 10,000 Christmas calendars are returned, “the charity faces the prospect of missing out on 80,000 kroner”.

“We’ll of course talk to Save the Children about this,” Mr. Fressler added, whilst also apologizing profusely to customers.

“They take care of a lot of kids and we have a chocolate factory so maybe we can figure something out.”
 

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