Chocolate is a range of foods derived from cocoa (cacao), mixed with fat (e.g., cocoa butter) and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. There are several types of chocolate, classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation.
The use of particular name designations is sometimes subject to international governmental regulation. Some governments assign chocolate solids and ranges of chocolate differently.
The cocoa bean 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 cocoa bean, which are ground into a powder.
Different forms and flavours of chocolate are produced by varying the quantities of the different ingredients. Other flavours can be obtained by varying the time and temperature when roasting the beans.
- Milk chocolate is solid chocolate made with milk added in the form of powdered milk, liquid milk, or condensed milk. In 1875 a Swiss confectioner, Daniel Peter, developed the first solid milk-chocolate using condensed milk, which had been invented by Henri Nestlé, Peter's neighbour in Vevey. European Union regulations specify a minimum of 25% cocoa solids. However, an agreement was reached in 2000 that allowed an exception from these regulations in the UK, Ireland, and Malta, where "milk chocolate" can contain only 20% cocoa solids. Such chocolate is labelled as "family milk chocolate" elsewhere in the European Union. "Cadbury" is the leading brand of milk chocolate in the United Kingdom. The United States government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor. 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.
- Dark chocolate, also known as "plain chocolate", is produced using a higher percentage of cocoa with all fat content coming from cocoa butter instead of milk, but there are also "dark milk" chocolates and many degrees of hybrids. 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. Baking chocolate containing no added sugar may be labeled "unsweetened chocolate".
- White chocolate is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, without the cocoa solids. It is pale ivory colour, and lacks many of the compounds found in milk and dark chocolates. It remains solid at room temperature as that is below the melting point of cocoa butter.
- Ruby chocolate is a type of chocolate created by Barry Callebaut. 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 flavour, described as "sweet yet sour".
- 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.
- Compound chocolate is the name for a confection combining cocoa with other vegetable fat, usually tropical fats 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".
- 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.
- Cocoa powder is the pulverized cocoa solids left after extracting almost all the cocoa butter. It is used to add chocolate flavour in baking, and for making chocolate drinks. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural cocoa produced by the Broma process, with no additives, and Dutch process cocoa, which is additionally processed with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat, and 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 darker colour. It 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.
Flavours 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 breakfast cereals and ice cream.
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 "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).
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 Malta, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
In Japan, 'chocolate products' are classified on a complex scale (q.v. 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%
- Quasi chocolate material (準チョコレート生地, jun-chokorēto kiji) [[CITE|a|undefined]] 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 or cocoa fat or both. 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 more cocoa substitutes.
There has been disagreement in the EU about the definition of chocolate; this dispute covers several ingredients, including the types of fat used and the quantity of cocoa. In 1999, however, the EU 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 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.