What Is in Your Chocolate Bar?
Fair Trade Chocolates
Chocolate is undoubtedly everybody’s favourite food. They’re widely available and they’re delicious regardless of the type of chocolate. Even the ones you find at petrol stations, while considered unhealthy because of their sugar content, are still delicious.
One of the most popular forms of chocolate is the chocolate bar. It also has different types - dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate.
Milk chocolate is probably the most popular of the three. It’s not as bitter as dark chocolate but not as sweet as white chocolate. While dark chocolate contains the least amount of sugar of the three types of chocolate.
Chocolate bars may vary in tastes and consistency. But most of them contain more or less the same ingredients, the only difference is the amount of ingredients found in these chocolate bars.
Fair trade chocolates is another category of chocolate that is becoming more popular. They’re the same as any other chocolate bars however they’re made from ethically sourced ingredients.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ingredients found in chocolate bars.
Ingredients in your chocolate bars
Chocolate liquor is the morsel of the cacao fruit, after having been roasted and shelled. Once the beans are fermented and dried, they are ground down to a paste called chocolate liquor. This is what goes into making your chocolate product.
It’s pure cocoa that comes in either solid or semi-solid state. Being pure cocoa, it’s one of the base ingredients of all chocolate bars. On its own chocolate liquor tastes bitter and despite its name it doesn’t have any alcohol content.
Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from cocoa beans. Its appearance ranges from pale yellow to creamy white. It’s used in a wide range for confectioneries like chocolate bars to give them creamy consistency.
It also adds flavour, texture and aiding in melting in products such as chocolate, cookies, candies, cakes, pastries, ice cream and other desserts. The major food applications are confectionery products (chocolate), baking goods (cookies, biscuits) and frozen dairy products.
Milk is one of the base ingredients of milk chocolate and white chocolate. It provides most of the sweetness or flavor in these chocolates. Some chocolates add additional milk byproducts to enrich the taste and texture, including whey proteins, casein, lactose and nonfat dry milk.
It’s also the reason that your favorite sweet indulgence has a rich and creamy taste. In many parts of the world, cow’s milk is used to make both kinds of chocolates.
Sugar is one of the base ingredients of chocolate. The amount of sugar determines how sweet the chocolate is. For instance, dark chocolate tastes more bitter than milk chocolate because it contains less sugar. The less sugar a chocolate contains, the bitter it tastes and the darker is its colour.There are many sugar-free chocolates that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like stevia. These chocolates are for people who have dietary restrictions.
The use of an emulsifier in chocolate bars is to make them withstand higher temperatures without melting right away. It also makes chocolate bars more stable and smoother in texture and consistency. It’s sometimes used a replacement for cocoa butter and often found in mass produced chocolate bars because it’s cheaper.
Most fair trade chocolates don’t contain any emulsifiers so if you want your chocolate bars emulsifier-free, choose fair trade chocolates. It’s still recommended though to check the ingredients of fair trade to make sure it doesn’t contain emulsifiers.
Next Up: 5 of Our Favourite Fair Trade Chocolates