The federal Consumer Protection Agency Profeco is coming down hard on the butter industry after a study concluded that several brands claiming to be butter are actually made with vegetable oil.
The National Laboratory for Consumer Protection found in its analysis of 35 brands claiming to be butter that Chipilo, Selecto salted and unsalted and Soriana unsalted butters are not, in fact, butter at all, the agency said in a press release Wednesday. To qualify as butter, products must contain 80% milk fat and 16% water.
Profeco also called out Chedraui’s “butter style” product for printing the word “style” in tiny letters on its label, suggesting it can mislead consumers. Likewise for La Abuelita spreadable butter which is actually a mixture of butter and vegetable oil and Eugenia spreadable butter with vegetable oil.
Also under fire are brands of butter that profess to be low-fat, which should have a maximum of 60% fat, 25% less than the regular product, government regulations state. Gloria low-fat and reduced-fat spreadable butters, Great Value and La Abuelita reduced-fat butters all exceed the government’s threshold for fat content, the study found.
Brands found in violation of federal guidelines are subject to administrative sanctions by Profeco, which has been conducting periodic studies on butter violations since at least 2006.
Thirty-five brands underwent multiple tests including evaluation of consumer information on the label, salt content and water content of fat.
Brands that passed Profeco’s rigorous testing include Alpura, Vaca Blanca, Lala, Gloria Gourmet, Gloria salted, Aguascalientes, Flor de Alfalfa, Lyncott unsalted, Kerrygold, Lurpack and Gloria Ghee.
Spreadable butters that are what they claim to be include La Abuelita, Lyncott, Président and Gloria brands.
Profeco urges consumers to read labels carefully, make sure the product has not expired, that the packaging has not been damaged and that is has been refrigerated. The government agency also recommends moderation in the consumption of butter products as they contain saturated fats and can lead to high cholesterol.