Stiftung Warentest: basil pesto often bad

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Stiftung Warentest: basil pesto mostly disappointing

Cashew instead of pine nuts, potato flakes instead of parmesan, bamboo fibers, lactic acid bacteria and even carcinogenic substances. Stiftung Warentest found every third basil pesto to be “poor” in the test and not a single product received the top grade.

Not according to the original recipe
After examining 30 pasta sauces with basil, including 6 pesto Genovese and 24 basil preparations, the Stiftung Warentest came to the sobering conclusion that every third product was "defective". Only a few manufacturers of ready-made pesto stick to Genova's original recipe: fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino, garlic and salt. Since this is not patented, the producers are not tied to the ingredients. And so it is tricked during production.

Potentially carcinogenic substance
Manufacturers would replace all or part of expensive ingredients with cheaper ones. For example, sunflower instead of olive oil, cashew instead of pine nuts, potato flakes or wheat semolina instead of parmesan and pecorino. "Instead of 20 percent, as traditional recipes recommend, you can sometimes find less than one percent cheese," says the report. Only three of the products examined were rated "good", as the magazine "test" reports in its August edition. All six sauces with the imprint "Pesto Genovese" did not perform well, some of the original ingredients were missing and one product, the "Ppura" biopesto, was found by the testers to find the potentially carcinogenic substance anthraquinone. The Swiss company was informed about the contamination and the company the batch called back from the market. "We cannot recommend a" Pesto Genovese "from the test," said the sobering conclusion.

Pestle by Jamie Oliver fails in taste
As an alternative to the original “Pesto Genovese”, products are sold commercially under the names “Pesto alla Genovese”, “Pesto Verde” or “Basil pesto”. The three test winners came from this segment. Other brands failed in taste, such as the pesto from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. According to the testers, it tastes "aroma-poor and watery." Bamboo fibers were found in the pesto from Bernbacher. Test manager Birgit Rehländer emphasized: "This is not food." She was generally surprised: "I didn't expect so many defects." In the pesto "Lucchi & Guastalli ”from Manufactum for 8.90 euros, lactic acid bacteria were even found.

Quality does not have to be expensive
Surprisingly, inexpensive products in particular came off positively. The three articles rated as “good” were, in some cases, many times cheaper than those that failed. The winners were: "Fresh Pesto Basiliko" by Hilcona (2.08 euros / 100 grams), "Casa Morando Pesto Verde" by Aldi Nord (0.63 euros / 100 grams) and "Pesto alla Genovese" by Rewe (0, 78 euros / 100 grams) Homemade pesto should be even better and healthier. Delicious pesto recipes can be found on the Internet, among other things. (Ad)

Image: Benjamin Klack /

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Video: Basil Pesto Sauce - By Vahchef @

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