Types of chocolate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chocolate most commonly comes in dark (bottom), milk (middle), and white (top) varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration.

Chocolate is a food product made from roasted and ground cocoa pods mixed with fat (e.g. cocoa butter) and powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. There are several types of chocolate, classified primarily according to the proportion of cocoa and fat content used in a particular formulation.

The use of particular name designations is subject to governmental regulation in some countries.

List of types[edit]

Eating chocolate[edit]

Dark chocolate[edit]

Dark chocolate bar

Dark chocolate, also called plain chocolate, is produced using only cocoa butter,with no milk fat included. It is made from chocolate liquor to which some sugar, more cocoa butter and vanilla are added. Dark chocolate can be eaten as is, or used in cooking, for which thicker baking bars, usually with high cocoa percentages ranging from 70% to 100%, are sold. A higher amount of cocoa solids indicates more bitterness. Many brands display the cocoa percentage on their packaging.

European Union rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids.[1] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor.

"Bittersweet chocolate" is a version of dark chocolate intended for baking with a low amount of sugar, with the sugar typically consisting of about 33% of the final mass.[2] Semi-sweet chocolate" includes more sugar, resulting in a somewhat sweeter confection, but the two are largely interchangeable in baking.

As of 2017, there is no high-quality evidence that dark chocolate affects blood pressure significantly or provides other health benefits.[3]

Milk chocolate[edit]

Milk chocolate tablet

Milk chocolate is solid chocolate made with milk added in the form of powdered milk, liquid milk, or condensed milk. The first known variation was developed by Jordan & Timaeus in 1839 with donkey milk.[4] In 1875 a Swiss confectioner, Daniel Peter, developed a solid milk-chocolate using condensed milk, which had been invented by Henri Nestlé, Peter's neighbour in Vevey.[5][6]

Cadbury is the leading brand of milk chocolate in the United Kingdom.[7][8] The Hershey Company is the largest producer in the US. The actual Hershey process is a trade secret, but experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, and then the milk is pasteurized, stabilizing it for use. This process gives the product a particular taste, to which the US public has developed an affinity, to the extent that some rival manufacturers now add butyric acid to their milk chocolates.[6]

White chocolate[edit]

White chocolate tablet

White chocolate, although similar in texture to that of milk and dark chocolate, does not contain any cocoa solids that impart a dark color. It is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, which has been extracted from the cocoa liquor. It is pale ivory coloured, and lacks many of the compounds found in milk and dark chocolates.

White chocolate is the type of chocolate containing the highest percentage of milk solids, typically around or over 30 percent, while milk chocolate has only around 25 percent.[9]

In 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration established a standard for white chocolate as the "common or usual name of products made from cocoa fat (i.e., cocoa butter), milk solids, nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners, and other safe and suitable ingredients, but containing no nonfat cocoa solids".[10]

Blonde chocolate[edit]

Blonde chocolate is made by slowly heating white chocolate, which gives it a golden color and triggers Maillard reactions in it. These reactions create a range of flavor compounds, contributing to its caramel-like flavor.[11] It was discovered accidentally in 2006 by a chef at Valrhona, who in 2012 were the first company to make it commercially.[12]

Ruby chocolate[edit]

Ruby chocolate tablet

Ruby chocolate is a type of chocolate created by Barry Callebaut, a Belgian–Swiss cocoa company.[13] The variety was in development from 2004, and was released to the public in 2017. The chocolate type is made from the Ruby cocoa bean, resulting in a distinct red colour and a different flavor, described as "sweet yet sour".[14]

Raw chocolate[edit]

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 lesser extent in other countries. It is often promoted as being healthy.[15] Raw chocolate includes many essential antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. This includes protein, iron, and fiber.[16]

Gianduja chocolate[edit]

Gianduja bars

Gianduja chocolate is made by blending hazelnut butter with chocolate paste. Similarly to standard chocolate, it is made in both plain and milk versions. It may also contain other nuts, such as almond.[17] As a bar, gianduja resembles regular chocolate, excepting the fact that it is significantly softer due to the presence of hazelnut oil.[18]

Vegan chocolate[edit]

Vegan chocolate is a chocolate resembling milk chocolate but using plant milk instead of milk.

Organic chocolate[edit]

Organic chocolate is chocolate which has been certified organic, generally meaning that there are no chemical fertilizers or pesticides used in growing the cocoa beans producing the chocolate. As of 2016, it was a growing sector in the global chocolate industry. Organic chocolate is a socially desirable product for some consumers.[19] Many producers of organic chocolate source their ingredients from certified fair trade cocoa farms and cooperatives.[20]

Confectionery chocolate[edit]

Baking chocolate[edit]

A bar of dark baking chocolate

Baking chocolate, or cooking chocolate,[21] is chocolate intended to be used for baking and in sweet foods that may or may not be sweetened. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate, are produced and marketed as baking chocolate. However, lower quality baking chocolate may not be as flavorful compared to higher-quality chocolate, and may have a different mouthfeel.[22]

Poorly tempered or untempered chocolate may have whitish spots on the dark chocolate part, called chocolate bloom; it is an indication that sugar or fat has separated due to poor storage. It is not toxic and can be safely consumed.[23]

In the USA, baking chocolate containing no added sugar may be labeled "unsweetened chocolate".

Couverture chocolate[edit]

Couverture chocolate (dark and white)

Couverture chocolate is a class of high-quality chocolate containing a higher percentage of cocoa butter than other chocolate which is precisely tempered. Couverture chocolate is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing ('couverture' means 'covering' in French). Popular brands of couverture chocolate used by pastry chefs include: Valrhona, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Callebaut, and Guittard.

Compound chocolate[edit]

Pieces of dark compound chocolate cake coating

Compound chocolate is the name for a confection combining cocoa with other vegetable fats, usually tropical fats or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. It is often used for candy bar coatings. In many countries it can not legally be called "chocolate".

Modeling chocolate[edit]

Modeling chocolate is a chocolate paste made by melting chocolate and combining it with corn syrup, glucose syrup, or golden syrup. It is primarily used by cakemakers and pâtisseries to add decoration to cakes and pastries.

Legal requirements by country/region[edit]


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).[24]

Canadian requirements for chocolate
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.[25]

The only sweetening agents permitted in chocolate in Canada are listed in Division 18 of the Food and Drug Regulations.[26] 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.[25]

European Union and United Kingdom[edit]

There has been disagreement in the EU about the definition of chocolate; this dispute covers several issues, including the types of fat and the quantity of cocoa used. In 1999, however, the EU resolved the fat issue by allowing up to 5% of chocolate's content to be one of six alternatives to cocoa butter: illipe oil, palm oil, sal, shea butter, kokum gurgi, or mango kernel oil.[27]

Products labelled as "family milk chocolate" elsewhere in the European Union are permitted to be labelled as simply "milk chocolate" in Malta, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.[28] [29]

Chocolate requirements in the European Union and United Kingdom
Product Total dry cocoa solids Cocoa butter Non-fat cocoa solids Total fat[a] Milk fat Milk solids Flour/starch
Dark 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% ≥ 20%
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%


In Japan, 'chocolate products' are classified on a complex scale.

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 flavoring, 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 flavoring, 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%
  • Quasi chocolate material (準チョコレート生地, jun-chokorēto kiji) a
    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

United States[edit]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the naming and ingredients of cocoa products:[30][31]

Semisweet and bittersweet are terms traditionally used in the United States to indicate the amount of added sugar in dark chocolate. Typically, bittersweet chocolate has less sugar than semisweet chocolate,[32] but the two are interchangeable when baking. Both must contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids.

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.[33]

American requirements for chocolate
Product Chocolate liquor Milk solids Sugar Cocoa fat Milk fat
Buttermilk chocolate ≥ 10% ≥ 12% < 3.39%
Milk chocolate ≥ 10% ≥ 12% ≥ 3.39%
Mixed dairy product chocolates ≥ 10% ≥ 12%
Skim milk chocolate ≥ 10% ≥ 12% < 3.39%
Sweet chocolate ≥ 15% < 12%
Semisweet or bittersweet 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.[34] Currently, the FDA does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients.[35] To work around this restriction, products with cocoa substitutes are often branded or labeled as "chocolatey" or "made with chocolate".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Total fat" refers to the combined cocoa butter and milk fat content


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  18. ^ Medrich, Alice (2015). Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes. Artisan Books. p. 157. ISBN 9781579656850. gianduja resembles a bar of chocolate. It is softer on the tooth than a plain chocolate bar (because of the oil from the hazelnuts)
  19. ^ Mitch Lipka (11 February 2015). "Is organic chocolate worth the price?". Reuters. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
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  24. ^ "Responsibilities of the Agency: 11. (3) (a)". Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act. Department of Justice Canada. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012. The [Canadian Food Inspection] Agency is responsible for the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act as it relates to food, as defined in section 2 of that Act
  25. ^ a b "Division 4: Cocoa and Chocolate Products". Food and Drug Regulations. Department of Justice Canada. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  26. ^ "Division 18: Sweetening Agents". Food and Drug Regulations. Department of Justice Canada. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  27. ^ "EU Agrees on Chocolate Definition Upsetting Major Cocoa Producers". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  28. ^ "Guidance on the Cocoa and Chocolate Products Regulations 2003" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 October 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
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