Chocolate is a widely used ingredient present in many of our daily foods such as milk shakes, candy bars, cookies and cereals. And although ranked as one of the most favourite flavours in western societies, chocolate remains a product that requires complex procedures to be produced.
Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, the fruit produced by Theobroma cacao, or cacao tree. These beans must be then refined and shipped to the manufacturing factory for cleaning, conching and grinding. These cocoa beans will then be imported or exported to other countries and be transformed into different types of chocolate products.
How are chocolate spreads obtained?
One of the main chocolate derivates that we use in our diets are chocolate spreads. The basic principle of a spreadable cream is to replace all or part of the cocoa butter present in chocolate with one or more liquid, or creamy, fats to obtain a flexible or spreadable texture.
Chocolate can be described as a suspension, which is a particular kind of dispersion consisting of non-fat solid particles (cocoa solids, sugar crystals and, eventually, milk powder particles) dispersed in cocoa butter as a continuous (liquid) fat phase. In order to stabilize the suspension, emulsifiers are added to the mixture. The most common emulsifier used for this purpose is lecithin, a mixture of phospholipids of vegetable origin.
Also, the fats present in the chocolate are prone to be oxidized by reactive oxygen species, present in the air, resulting in a loss of nutritional properties and an unpleasant odor and taste. To avoid this degradation, antioxidants, like natural vitamin E, can be added to the mixture.
Degradation of fats in chocolate and natural antioxidants
BTSA, the leading European manufacturer of natural antioxidants and natural vitamin E, offers innovative developments such as TOCOBIOL® PLUS L 85. It is a synergistic blend of our TOCOBIOL® antioxidant, ascorbyl palmitate and sunflower lecithin.
TOCOBIOL® is a natural antioxidant made from the distillation of a single raw ingredient, whole Non-GMO soybean oil. It naturally contains mixed tocopherols, plant sterols, squalene and monoglycerides which provide its unique antioxidant and dispersibility properties. Ascorbyl palmitate, naturally derived, provides additional synergistic qualities when combined with our TOCOBIOL® antioxidant. Sunflower Lecithin, naturally derived, is added as an emulsifier.
Tocobiol: the solution for chocolate spreads
The following test carried out by BTSA’s R&D department aims to demonstrate the greater antioxidant potency of the TOCOBIOL® PLUS L 85 and TOCOBIOL®. For this purpose, the RapidOxy® device will be used, which is based on the artificial acceleration of the oxidation process of the introduced products.
The following samples were introduced into this device:
- Chocolate spread (without antioxidant)
- Chocolate spread + 150 ppm TOCOBIOL® PLUS L 85
- Chocolate spread + 200 ppm TOCOBIOL®
- Chocolate spread + 300 ppm TOCOBIOL®
As can be seen in Figure 1, TOCOBIOL® PLUS L 85 is the most effective antioxidant, proving to be a great alternative to extend the shelf life of this type of product, and stabilize the chocolate emulsion. Also, TOCOBIOL® is a 100% natural alternative to protect chocolate from oxidation.