How do you know if it’s real chocolate?

With so many companies fudging the truth in their advertising how do you know if they are using real chocolate or some vegetable oil based substitute? 

The answer is simple: cocoa butter, if the milk, white and dark chocolates doesn’t contain cocoa butter it is not legal to call the product chocolate. 

There are some common sense exceptions, chocolate cake is a perfect example, since the public knows that a chocolate cake has other ingredients. Another example would be chocolate pudding, it’s common sense and the public knows it’s not 100% chocolate.

 Apparently the companies that are advertising “chocolate covered strawberries” but are not using chocolate think everybody knows that they are not using chocolate.

 Other companies are claiming their product is “chocolate flavored”, but this is also incorrect. To legally use the term “chocolate flavored” there has to be cocoa powder (in one of its many forms such as chocolate liquor..) in the product. Because there is no cocoa powder/chocolate liquor in white chocolate nothing can be called “white chocolate flavored”.

 A number of so called “experts” say there is no such thing as “white chocolate”, they are incorrect, and the FDA actually has a “standard of identity” for white chocolate. A standard of identity is a list of what must be in a substance in order for it to be called by that regulated name. When enforced, the standards of identity keep the consumers from buying chalk instead of the advertised product.

 Here is the short version of white chocolate from the FDA’s web site:

  1. “What is the composition of white chocolate?
  2. White chocolate is the solid or semiplastic food prepared by mixing and grinding cocoa butter with one or more of the optional dairy ingredients listed in 21 CFR 163.124(b)(2) (see question 3 below) and one or more optional nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners. It contains a minimum of 20 percent cocoa butter, a minimum of 14 percent of total milk solids, a minimum of 3.5 percent milkfat, and a maximum of 55 percent nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners. (21 CFR 163.124)”

So the real question is when is the FDA going to enforce the current standard of identity on chocolate?

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