Here's an issue that's dear to my heart. I work for a very high end chocolate manufacturer...and we are leading the fight to protect the ingredient standards of chocolate in America.
The current legal standard to call something "Chocolate" is that it be made of:
1) Chocolate Liquor*
2) Cocoa Butter**
3) Real Sugar
4) Real Milk solids (for Milk Chocolate)
*Chocolate Liquor (or unsweetened baking chocolate) is the meat or nib of the cocoa bean which has been ground into a smooth paste. It contains more than 50% cocoa butter.
**Cocoa Butter is the vegetable fat found in cocoa beans which is released when Chocolate Liquor is pressed.
(Cocoa Powder is the solid portion that remains after the cocoa butter has been pressed out of the Chocolate Liquor)
Today, whenever you see the ingredient "chocolate" on a package, it MUST be made of these, and only these ingredients.
The proposed, lower standards would allow for cheaper, non-cocoa-bean vegetable fats to be substituted for cocoa butter, and still allow manufacturers to call the resulting brown stuff "Chocolate".
The purity and flavor of the chocolate we know and love would be compromised, and we would not be able to tell which manufacturers used pure cocoa butter and which ones used cheap oils by reading the ingredient statement. This is a BAD thing for all chocolate lovers.
Basically, they want to make the chocolate equivalent of Velveeta...but not be required to call it "processed cheese food".
By today's standards, such items may be called "chocolate-flavored"...but not "Chocolate".
And we want very much to keep it that way.
There is more information here. It will tell you what to do to help. Your voice counts. Make it heard.
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