A chocolate a day to keep the doctor away?

Expert chocolate makers talk on the importance of fine healthy chocolates.

Next time you eat a piece of chocolate, make sure it’s a bar of healthy chocolate! Chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne and diabetes. People are not aware that these kinds of chocolates are made up of vegetable oil or cocoa butter.

“Don’t go by what has been added to the chocolate”, says L Nitin Chordia. “Focus on the chocolate base.

L Nitin ChordiaL Nitin Chordia

Does it contain vegetable oil? Is it milk chocolate? Is it white chocolate? Is it a 55% dark chocolate? If any of the above 4 is true, you should not perceive the chocolate as a “healthy” product”.

There are two kinds of chocolate making process - one is where you buy bulk chocolate and melt it and pour into a mould or a chocolate bar and then sell it. Majority of the chocolate makers follow this process and are called Chocolatiers.

The newer process of chocolate making is making it from the bean to bar - and these people are called as chocolate makers. The bean to bar chocolate process is where the chocolate maker buys cocoa beans from the farmer and grades it ensuring there are no impurities. After this the beans are roasted and removed from the shell and the leftovers are grinded. Sugar or flavours are then added and the final process is moulding it.

Nitin says, “In chocolates the attractive flavours with fruit and nuts are to take your attention away from the base chocolate”. He says that Indian sweets have lesser sugar than most of the white and milk chocolates.

India’s health problem can be attributed to these low cost chocolates being made available and consumed.

A chocolatier should be aware if he is buying pure chocolate containing 100% cocoa butter or a compound chocolate, which is completely made with hydrogenated vegetable oil. These compound chocolates are cheaper compared to pure chocolates.

“Dark chocolates are considered to be one of the biggest discoveries uncovered today. Any chocolate which does not have diary is called dark chocolate and this means that dark chocolate by default is vegan.

Nowadays, we also have dark milk chocolate which has a higher percentage of cocoa content in it”, says Nitin.

Dark chocolates need not always be healthy. If dark chocolate has 70% in it, then 70% is cocoa content and the balance 30% is sugar. More than 70% dark should be considered as healthy chocolate. Coco is believed to have a lot of polyphenols which is good for health.

Rajeshwari KamaraajRajeshwari Kamaraaj

“Cocoa in its purest form is rich in antioxidants. The awareness about compound and covertures is so limited among consumers. The benefits of dark chocolates made from natural chocolate liquor and cocoa butter can never be attained by compounds”, says Rajeshwari Kamaraaj, a baker and student of Lavonne Academy.

Next Story