The texture, aroma and irresistible flavour, no one can resist, it is incredible how with even a smallest bite, it can make you forget about everything. There are three kinds of chocolate white, milk and dark chocolate. What makes chocolate so special? It’s a cacao butter, which is used as a main ingredient in some chocolate.
The chocolate making process needs a big effort and it is a long process. The cacao beans go through a series of techniques like fermentation, dry roasting, cold-pressing, separating cacao butter from the mass. There are two kinds of cacao beans. Most modern chocolate comes from forastero beans, which are considered easy to grow. But there are the criollo beans, which is believed to make much tastier chocolate.
The cacao butter has pale yellow color, which is then used to make the chocolate. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s supply comes from Africa. The Ivory Coast is the largest cacao producer. —it takes about 400 beans to make a pound of delicious chocolate. Did you know that cocoa butter, is actually not a butter at all? It is not an animal fat like butter, it is a fat derived from the plant. Because it comes from a plant, cocoa butter does not contain cholesterol.
Research shows that cocoa butter has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels. The cocoa butter has similar taste and smell as cocoa beans. It is edible but is very high in calories. Despite its health benefits, be aware that it can lead to obesity if consumed in large quantities.
True about the cacao butter
Chocolate’s rise to popularity did bring happiness to people but it also led to a dark practise of adulterating the primary ingredient. This is not a common phenomenon in the food industry. We have seen many fall prey to it milk, cheese, oils, liquors, and other ingredients.
Since cacao butter is an expansive commodity, many manufacturers of chocolates replace it with other types of fats such as vegetable oils – coconut, palm, rapeseed, soybean. Read carefully the label on some of the cheaply priced chocolate wrappers, Never buy chocolate if you see on a label that hydrogenated vegetable oils have been added. Their taste is different and aroma of real chocolate don’t match , they are terribly harmful for health and the most dangerous of all kinds.
Vegetable oils are liquid at room temperature, so the process of hydrogenation is employed to make them attain a solid state or a firmer texture, it converts them into saturated fat. They cause some of the most fearful diseases, such us obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. This what we are feeding ourselves and our children if don’t read label and buy cheap chocolate.
Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.
Read the label carefully
There are many don’t read the labels and believe, everything that is available on the supermarket shelves is good for health.
So why chocolates that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, which we all say is harmful for health, are open for purchase by the authorities? The reason is that, they are allowed on the condition that all the ingredients must be clearly mentioned on the label so that the consumers can make their own choices. There is a law in US, that a product can be called chocolate only if it contains 100% cacao butter.
Did you know that almost all chocolates in India that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils don’t have the word ‘chocolate’ mentioned on the wrapper?
Being consumer is hard, we often fail to read label because we are in hurry or because the words ate too small we can’t see or just because we are lazy to read. The attractive wrappers make us believe there is a real chocolate and we grab as we pass by without reading a label. If you want to eat healthy food always read a label before taking a product.