Types of chocolate
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Chocolate is a range of products derived from cocoa (cacao), mixed with fat (i.e., cocoa butter) and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. There are several types of chocolate according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation.
The use of particular name designations is sometimes subject to governmental regulation.
The cocoa bean (or other alternative) products from which chocolate is made are known under different names in different parts of the world. In the American chocolate industry:
- chocolate liquor is the ground or melted state of the nib of the cacao bean, containing roughly equal parts cocoa butter and solids
- cocoa butter is the fatty component of the bean
- cocoa solids are the remaining nonfat part of the cacao bean, which is ground into a powder
Different forms and flavors of chocolate are produced by varying the quantities of the different ingredients. Other flavors can be obtained by varying the time and temperature when roasting the beans.
- "Unsweetened chocolate", also known as "bitter", "baking chocolate", or "cooking chocolate", is pure chocolate liquor mixed with some form of fat to produce a solid substance. The pure, ground, roasted cocoa beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor. With the addition of sugar, however, it is used as the base for cakes, brownies, confections, and cookies.
- "Semisweet chocolate" is frequently used for cooking purposes. It is a dark chocolate with (by definition in Swiss usage) half as much sugar as cocoa, beyond which it is "sweet chocolate." Semisweet chocolate does not contain milk solids.
- "Bittersweet chocolate" is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to which some sugar (less than a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla, and sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable when baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as 'couverture'. Many brands now print on the package the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate is.
- "Couverture" is a term used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter. Popular brands of couverture used by professional pastry chefs and often sold in gourmet and specialty food stores include: Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, Chocodate, Chocofig fuel chocolates, and Guittard. These chocolates contain a high percentage of cocoa.
- milk powder, liquid milk, or condensed milk added. In the 1870s, Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter developed solid milk chocolate using condensed milk, but German company Jordan & Timaeus in Dresden, Saxony had already invented milk chocolate in 1839; hitherto it had only been available as a drink. The U.S. Government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor. EU regulations specify a minimum of 25% cocoa solids. However, an agreement was reached in 2000 that allowed what by exception from these regulations is called "milk chocolate" in the UK, Ireland, and Malta, containing only 20% cocoa solids, to be traded as "family milk chocolate" elsewhere in the European Union.
- "Hershey process" milk chocolate is popular in North America. It was invented by Milton S. Hershey, founder of The Hershey Company, and can be produced more cheaply than other processes since it is less sensitive to the freshness of the milk. The process is a trade secret, but experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, which stabilizes the milk from further fermentation. This compound gives the product a particular sour, "tangy" taste, to which the American public has become accustomed, to the point that other manufacturers now simply add butyric acid to their milk chocolates.
- White chocolate" is a confection based on sugar, milk, and cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
- "Cocoa powder" is used for baking, and for drinking with added milk and sugar. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural cocoa (like the sort produced by the Broma process), and Dutch-process cocoa. Both are made by pulverising partially defatted chocolate liquor and removing nearly all the cocoa butter; Dutch-process cocoa is additionally processed with alkali to neutralise its natural acidity. Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat acidic with a strong chocolate flavour. Natural cocoa is commonly used in recipes that also use baking soda; as baking soda is an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening action that allows the batter to rise during baking. Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and warmer colour than natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in blending with liquids. However, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavonoids present in cocoa. In 2005 Hershey discontinued their pure Dutch-process European Style cocoa and replaced it with Special Dark, a blend of natural and Dutch-process cocoa.
- "Compound chocolate" is the technical term for a confection combining cocoa with vegetable fat, usually tropical fats and/or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. It is often used for candy bar coatings. In many countries it may not legally be called "chocolate".
- "Raw chocolate" is chocolate that has not been processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients. It is sold in chocolate-growing countries, and to a much lesser extent in other countries, often promoted as healthy.
Flavors such as mint, vanilla, coffee, orange, or strawberry are sometimes added to chocolate in a creamy form or in very small pieces. Chocolate bars frequently contain added ingredients such as peanuts, nuts, fruit, caramel, and crisped rice. Pieces of chocolate, in various flavours, are sometimes added to cereals and ice cream.
|Product||Chocolate Liquor||Milk Solids||Sugar||Cocoa Fat||Milk Fat|
|Milk Chocolate||≥ 10%||≥ 12%|
|Sweet Chocolate||≥ 15%||< 12%|
|Semisweet or Bittersweet (Dark) Chocolate||≥ 35%||< 12%|
|White Chocolate||≥ 14%||≤ 55%||≥ 20%||≥ 3.5%|
In March 2007, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, whose members include Hershey's, Nestlé, and Archer Daniels Midland, began lobbying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the legal definition of chocolate to allow the substitution of "safe and suitable vegetable fats and oils" (including partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) for cocoa butter in addition to using "any sweetening agent" (including artificial sweeteners) and milk substitutes. Currently, the FDA does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients. To work around this restriction, products with cocoa substitutes are often branded or labeled as "chocolatey" or as in the case of Hershey's Mr. Goodbar containing vegetable oils, "made with chocolate".
The legislation for cocoa and chocolate products in Canada is found in Division 4 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR), under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA). The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the FDR and FDA (as it relates to food).
|Product||Cocoa Butter||Milk Solids||Milk Fat||Fat-Free Cocoa Solids||Cocoa Solids|
|Milk Chocolate||≥ 15%||≥ 12%||≥ 3.39%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 25%|
|Sweet Chocolate||≥ 18%||< 12%||≥ 12%||≥ 31%|
|Chocolate, Bittersweet Chocolate, Semi-sweet Chocolate or Dark Chocolate||≥ 18%||< 5%||≥ 14%||≥ 35%|
|White Chocolate||≥ 20%||≤ 14%||≥ 3.5%|
The use of cocoa butter substitutes in Canada is not permitted. Chocolate sold in Canada cannot contain vegetable fats or oils.
The only sweetening agents permitted in chocolate in Canada are listed in Division 18 of the Food and Drug Regulations. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and sugar alcohols (sorbitol, maltitol, etc.) are not permitted.
Products manufactured or imported into Canada that contain non-permitted ingredients (vegetable fats or oils, artificial sweeteners) cannot legally be called “chocolate” when sold in Canada. A non-standardized name such as “candy” must be used.
Products labelled as "Family Milk Chocolate" elsewhere in the European Union are permitted to be labelled as simply "Milk Chocolate" in the U.K. and Ireland.
|Product||Total Dry Cocoa Solids||Cocoa Butter||Non-Fat Cocoa Solids||Total Fat||Milk Fat||Milk Solids||Flour/starch|
|Chocolate||≥ 35%||≥ 18%||≥ 14%|
|Couverture Chocolate||≥ 35%||≥ 31%||≥ 2.5%|
|Chocolate Vermicelli or Flakes||≥ 32%||≥ 12%||≥ 14%|
|Milk Chocolate||≥ 25%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 25%||≥ 3.5%||≥ 14%|
|Couverture Milk Chocolate||≥ 25%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 31%||≥ 3.5%||≥ 14%|
|Milk Chocolate Vermicelli or Flakes||≥ 20%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 12%||≥ 3.5%||≥ 12%|
|Family Milk Chocolate||≥ 20%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 25%||≥ 5%||≥ 23%|
|Cream Chocolate||≥ 25%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 25%||≥ 5.5%||≥ 14%|
|Skimmed Milk Chocolate||≥ 25%||≥ 2.5%||≥ 25%||≤ 1%||≥ 14%|
|White Chocolate||≥ 20%||≥ 14%|
|Chocolate a la taza||≥ 35%||≥ 18%||≥ 14%||≤ 8%|
|Chocolate familiar a la taza||≥ 30%||≥ 18%||≥ 12%||≤ 18%|
|Note 1: "Total Fat" refers to the combined cocoa butter and milk fat content.|
|Note 2: "Total Dry Cocoa Solids" as defined in this and all world regulations refers to combined cocoa powder and butter.|
In Japan, 'chocolate products' are classified on a complex scale (q.v. ja:チョコレート#チョコレートの規格).
Chocolate materials (チョコレート生地 chokorēto kiji?):
- Pure chocolate material (純チョコレート生地 jun-chokorēto kiji?)
- Cocoa content ≥35%, cocoa butter ≥18%, sucrose ≤55%, lecithin ≤0.5%, no additives other than lecithin and vanilla flavouring, no fats other than cocoa butter and milk fats, water ≤3%
- Pure milk chocolate material (純ミルクチョコレート生地 jun-miruku chokorēto kiji?)
- Cocoa content ≥21%, cocoa butter ≥18%, milk solids ≥14%, milk fats ≥3.5%, sucrose ≤55%, lecithin ≤0.5%, no additives other than lecithin and vanilla flavouring, no fats other than cocoa butter and milk fats, water ≤3%
- Chocolate material (チョコレート生地 chokorēto kiji?)
- Cocoa content ≥35%, cocoa butter ≥18%, water ≤3%. It is also permitted to substitute milk solids for cocoa content as follows: cocoa content ≥21%, cocoa butter ≥18%, combined milk solids & cocoa content ≥35%, milk fats ≥3%, water ≤3%.
- Milk chocolate material (ミルクチョコレート生地 miruku chokorēto kiji?)
- Cocoa content ≥21%, cocoa butter ≥18%, milk solids ≥14%, milk fats ≥3%, water ≤3%
- Cocoa content ≥15%, cocoa butter ≥3%, fats ≥18%, water ≤3%
- Quasi milk chocolate material (準ミルクチョコレート生地 jun-miruku chokorēto kiji?)
- Cocoa content ≥7%, cocoa butter ≥3%, fats ≥18%, milk solids ≥12.5%, milk fats ≥2%, water ≤3%
Chocolate products (チョコレート製品 chokorēto seihin?):
Products using milk chocolate or quasi milk chocolate as described above are handled in the same way as chocolate / quasi chocolate.
- Chocolate (チョコレート chokorēto?)
- Processed chocolate products made from chocolate material itself or containing at least 60% chocolate material. Processed chocolate products must contain at least 40% chocolate material by weight. Amongst processed chocolate products, those containing at least 10% by weight of cream and no more than 10% of water can be called raw chocolate (生チョコレート nama chokorēto?)
- Chocolate sweet (チョコレート菓子 chokorēto kashi?)
- Processed chocolate products containing less than 60% chocolate material
- Quasi chocolate (準チョコレート jun-chokorēto?)
- The Quasi symbol should officially be circled. Processed quasi chocolate products made from quasi chocolate material itself or containing at least 60% quasi chocolate material.
- Quasi chocolate sweet (準チョコレート菓子 jun-chokorēto kashi?)
- Processed quasi chocolate products containing less than 60% quasi chocolate material
Chocolate is a product based on cocoa solid and/or cocoa fat. The amount and types of cocoa solids and fat that the term implies is a matter of controversy. Manufacturers have an incentive to use the term for variations that are cheaper to produce, containing less cocoa and cocoa substitutes, although these variations might not taste as good.
There has been disagreement in the EU about the definition of chocolate; this dispute covers several ingredients, including the types of fat used, quantity of cocoa, and so on. But, in 1999, the EU at least resolved the fat issue by allowing up to 5% of chocolate's content to be one of 5 alternatives to cocoa butter: illipe oil, palm oil, sal, shea butter, kokum gurgi, or mango kernel oil.
A recent workaround by the US confection industry has been to reduce the amount of cocoa butter in candy bars without using vegetable fats by adding polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), which is an artificial castor oil-derived emulsifier that simulates the mouthfeel of fat. Up to 0.3% PGPR may be added to chocolate for this purpose.
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