What’s Really in My Chocolate? The essentials
So, you have managed to find yourself some quality looking chocolate. The price looks reasonable and the usual vocabulary in its pretty font is clearly plastered over the front but is this all just a charming distraction? We have all been here before, but what is actually in our chocolate?! Fortunately for us all, it is now a mandatory requirement for all foods to have packaging that has a clear and orderly list of all ingredients. Since 2014 and then additionally in 2016, the laws surrounding food ingredient listings became even strict. Furthermore, all allergens have to be listed in bold so that at a quick glance anyone can make an informed decision as to whether to eat it or not. Additionally, it is required that the way the ingredients are listed is just as important. They now have to be in the order of quantity, meaning whatever features in your chocolate the most will be at the top of the list! Hopefully, Cocoa!
Here at Choc on Choc, we thought that it would be informative to make a clear blog post on the common and essential ingredients found in chocolate. Plus, we just wanted to talk about all the yummy ingredients found in chocolate!
Firstly, let’s start with cocoa and sugar, the absolutely essential ingredients needed to make any chocolate! It might shock you to learn that you can create chocolate with extremely limited ingredients. Whilst copious companies choose to poke, prod and switch up various ingredients in their chocolate, there is one that you actually have to include and that is cocoa! Cocoa can be labelled as a wide span of different term ranging from cocoa beans to cocoa solids. Apart from the exquisite 100% pure cocoa chocolate, there are usually at least two ingredients in chocolate, cocoa and sugar. Chocolate that contains two ingredients is your dark chocolate. Of course, the ratio of these two will vary depending on where you buy it from!
The second important ingredient is cocoa butter! You will find cocoa butter in many dark or milk chocolates. Cocoa butter is the natural fat found in the actual cocoa bean and is said to add a creamier flavour to your choccy!
Next, we have a popular ingredient that is milk! Milk chocolate has a minimum of three ingredients, of course including milk to the standard sugar and cocoa! However, plot twist, white chocolate has zero cocoa beans but has cocoa butter, along with the milk and sugar.
The unfortunate thing for milk chocolate is that milk is a huge allergen! This means that you will now see it listed in the ingredient list in bold! If this affects you, do look out for things such as dried milk or milk powder as well!
That’s all the essential ingredients that you will find in chocolate. I know so you’re thinking to wait, there’s usually loads more ingredients listed on the back! These are the optional ingredients that without them, will still make chocolate, well chocolate! Each and every company will have different lists that will range sparsely. We will take a look at these in our next blog post, the non-essentials!