Chocolate Ingredients

From cocoa beans we can obtain several byproducts, but only two are required to manufacture a chocolate bar:

  • Cocoa press cake, is the mass resulting from roasted and ground beans, which gives aromas to the chocolate. It is very bitter and astringent. The international regulations on chocolate bar labeling require that it must be present in all chocolate bars except white chocolate.
  • Cocoa butter, the fat of the cocoa beans, is yellow, solid, tasteless and odorless. The butter contains from 50% to 60% of saturated acidic fats; 35% to 40% of oleic acid, which is beneficial to health; and about 2% of linoleic acid. Cocoa butter can be added to the cocoa press cake, which already contains it in large quantity (over 50%) in order to make the processing easier and to make the chocolate easier to melt in the mouth. It is not mandatory by chocolate production regulations to add cocoa butter to the press cake.
  • Sugar is a mandatory ingredient according to the various worldwide chocolate production regulations. At least 1% of sugar must be present for the product to be called Chocolate. Some bars are produced using alternative sweeteners, but they result in a lower-quality product.

    Some additional ingredients that may be used to manufacture a chocolate bar are: vanilla, soy lecithin and vegetal fats (e.g., palm oil, kerité butter and illipe butter). These fats can be present only in small quantities, less than 5% of the overall product. No quality manufacturer uses these fats, which are cheaper than cocoa butter, but make the chocolate bar “greasier.”