When Lustucru works out with the ingredients

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The German NGO FoodWatch, specialist in the denunciation of food fraud, targets Lustucru: its nice communication hides unacceptable practices!

Lustucru is one of the favourite pasta brands of the French. But its nice communication, focused on its cracked pasta martians, hides a much less funny reality. Lustucru misleads consumers by cheerfully filling its pasta with cheap ingredients that it is careful not to show or mention on the front of the package. For example, tortellini cured ham parmesan cheese claims to be "more generous" but the filling is stretched with water, thickened with semolina and contains more flavour than real spices. The packet of tortellini contains barely a teaspoon of parmesan cheese, largely mixed with potato flakes and pork belly, much cheaper than the famous cheese or cured ham. To denounce this legal - but not legitimate - trick, foodwatch is launching a new petition and a video targeting Lustucru.

Lustucru uses substitution practices to sell its tortellini cured ham parmesan: it does without good ingredients - more expensive - and happily replaces them with other, cheaper ones.

The food industry often claims that its products are made according to a special method or recipe and that the ingredients are carefully selected. But to keep costs down, they replace the most expensive ingredients such as meat, cheese or vegetables with substitute ingredients and flavourings, all with the addition of water. Frequently, potato flakes or starches replace cheese or are used to thicken the consistency of the product. They inspire confidence because there are no worrisome additive names.

Why is it legal?

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No minimum quantity of cheese is required to display on the package. There is no requirement for manufacturers to adjust the size of the image on the package to the quantity actually present in the product. The producer can therefore seduce the consumer with a promise of quality on the package or in advertising even though the product contains very few of the touted ingredients. There is also no obligation to indicate the exact quantity of each ingredient on the front of the package. As a result, the consumer cannot guess how much water, potato flakes, starch, flavouring, etc., was actually used to "dilute" the product. Lustucru's Parmesan Cured Ham tortellini with a beautiful parmesan visual contain barely 2.8% of the famous cheese.

Lustucru says... that it refuses to answer consumers...

Lustucru claims on its website to be at the disposal of consumers for any question related to its products. But when asked about the small quantity of ingredients it does not hesitate to boast about at length on the front of the tortellini packaging, Lustucru evades.
Since Lustucru uses so little parmesan, it should not promote it on the package. Or it should keep its promise and include a decent amount of the promoted ingredient.

In France, no law forces the industry to be totally transparent about the composition of the food it produces. foodwatch protests against this opacity: industrialists who refuse to tell the whole truth hope to continue to sell as much without being worried. But consumers don't want to swallow anything anymore. 

Sources :
- Foodwatch petition addressed to Lustucru (Triballat Noyal): www.change.org/foodwatch_lustucru 
- Foodwatch's letter to Lustucru and the manufacturer's response: www.foodwatch.org/uploads/media/lettre_foodwatch_reponse_Lustucru.PDF
- Why are Lustucru's tricks legal? The facts: www.foodwatch.org/uploads/media/foodwatch_Lustucru_tortellini_ruses_legales_les_faits_01.pdf
- Legal tricks: how E.Leclerc, Maggi, Lustucru, Vrai and Puget mislead consumers www.foodwatch.org/fr/s-informer/topics/des-ruses-legales/dernieres-actus/comment-eleclerc-maggi-lustucru-vrai-et-puget-induisent-les-consommateurs-en-erreur/
- Read also: Over 94,000 consumers sign the first foodwatch petition and react massively www.foodwatch.org/fr/s-informer/actualites/foodwatch-demarre-fort-monsieur-leclerc-reagit/

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