Not everything that appears to be chocolate is chocolate
Basically, chocolate consists of cocoa mass (cocoa butter together with fat-free cocoa dry matter), sugar and alternatively added powdered milk or milk fat. Depending on how many of these components chocolate contains, the legislation distinguishes dark/plain chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Dark and white chocolate must contain at least 18%, or more precisely 20% of cocoa butter. The regulation (No 76/2003 Coll.) prescribes the minimal portion of fat-free cocoa dry matter (14%, or more precisely 2,5%) and overall cocoa dry matter (35%, or more precisely 25%). It is mandated that manufacturers place the legible product information on the packaging. The information does not apply to dry matter contained in milk chocolate. If this information is presented, it says about a share of cocoa butter. In the case of milk and white chocolate, it is necessary so that the information about minimal content of milk fat (either of them 3,5%) as well as about a share of dry matter (either of them 14%) were noticed too.
Cocoa butter – a valuable ingredient
Cocoa butter is the crucial part of chocolate and the manufacturers of high-quality chocolate do not spare it as well as do not add another fats to it; although on some conditions it is admissible. Cocoa butter must not be substituted for milk fat or exotic oils. Dark chocolate must contain at least 18% of cocoa butter. In the case of chocolate,coating, the number is 31%.
The small cocoa dictionary
Cocoa mass – cocoa powder together with cocoa butter and natural moisture content; when sugar added, chocolate mass is created.
Cocoa dry matter – The content of dry matter of cocoa ingredients (for example cocoa mass, cocoa powder and cocoa butter). For simplification purposes of this article, cocoa dry matters means just cocoa.
Cocoa powder (cocoa) – powdered cocoa mass from which is partly removed fat.
Cocoa butter – vegetable fat extracted from crushed and roasted cocoa beans; its quality significantly influences the final taste of chocolate.
You are on a diet and you like sweets as well? Sugar-free chocolate is a perfect choice for you. Enjoy its taste without remorse. The final sweet taste of this chocolate is accomplished by artificial sweeteners that are perfectly suitable both for diabetics and those watching their weight. Thanks to artificial sweeteners this sugar-free product contains few calories. If you want to have a healthy sweet tooth, then add dark chocolate to your diet. Besides having the lower content of calories, it has wholesome effects on the human body. If consumed appropriately and in moderation, real chocolate serves as an antioxidant, contributes to a good mood and of course belongs to one of the most famous aphrodisiacs.
Sugar-free chocolate is usually sweetened with the sweetener called maltitol (the substance extracted from starch) or fructose (a natural sweetener contained in fruits). Besides these two substances there is also stevia (extracted from a tropical plant) which can be used to flavor chocolate. An extract from stevia contains few calories. Chocolate with artificial sweeteners has two important properties: the low calorie content and the fact that it does not cause tooth decay.
Although sweetened with artificial sweeteners, sugar-free chocolate is used in confectionery just as its “sugar double”.
You can eat it; you can add it – broken into pieces – to the dough; you can dissolve it in cream and icing; you can make beautiful decorations of it. Muffins with sugar free chocolate taste as great as the ones with sugar-free chocolate. If you want to break pieces of chocolate to the muffin dough, the best choice is chocolate with the highest content of cocoa. It has actually the higher point of melting and thus the broken pieces never merge the dough during cooking. After getting cold, muffins remain perfectly crispy.
The perfect chocolate coating is made of chocolate with the lower content of cocoa and the higher content of fat. The perfect hot chocolate is made of 70-percent plain chocolate which is easy to dissolve in milk or cream. For the light version of hot chocolate, use milk with the lower content of fat. Everyone who likes this delicacy will get to like chocolate suitable for diabetics. The artificial sweeteners mean few calories but not at all the lower quality of the taste.
It is possible that chocolate with the higher content of cocoa is in terms of the taste too strong for some consumers who require the sweet taste. The new product on the market is chocolate without any added sugar – chocolate that is sweetened by stevia or sugar alcohols such as erythritol, isomalt or maltitol. Chocolate of our manufacturing is sweetened by maltitol.
The significant properties of maltitol
It is required of manufacturers that they place legible product information on the packaging if the content of maltitol is more than 10%.
- It has the lower energy value than common kinds of sugar. By way of contrast: 10 kJ (2,1 kcal)/g for maltitol. 7 kJ (4 kcal)/g for sugar.
- It has 75–90% of the sweetness of sucrose. This property enables to use it without a combination with the other sweeteners. As for the taste, it is similar to sucrose, which is its advantage. It does not causes an aftertaste.
- It does not promote tooth decay. Maltitol is resistant to metabolism by oral bacteria which break down sugars and starches to release acids that may lead to cavities or erode tooth enamel.
- Because absorption in intestines takes slowly, maltitol affects the blood sugar level to a lesser extent than sugar. The fluctuation of blood glucose is from this reason not so noticeable. Its glycemic index (GI) is not as high as the one of sugar. By way of contrast: GI of sucrose is 45; GI of maltitol is 45.
- Our supplied maltitol does not contain gluten and thus is perfectly suitable for coeliacs (although made of corn, the manufacturers guarantee that gluten is not present).
- If eaten not in moderation, it can cause flatulence, meteorism and have a laxative effect.