Once upon a time, healthy chocolate seemed to be a paradoxical concept because chocolate has a high calorie.
In recent years, chocolate producers have been innovating chocolate candies and snack bars to meet the health needs of consumers.
The implementation of sugar tax in some countries and the FDA's revision of the sugar label on the nutrition product label,
so the sugar content is the focus of chocolate. Sugar reduction is currently one of the ways in which chocolate can be healthy.
Sugar reduction is also challenging, as the sugar content of chocolate products has an effect on sweetness and texture.
Any alternative to sugar or the use of a sweetened product usually means an increase in cost, and the use of sweeteners other than sucrose increases the cost of production.
For example, polyols with less calories than sucrose, erythritol and maltitol, cost more than sucrose, as do stevia, although the current use in chocolate categories is relatively low.
Stevia is a popular zero-calorie sweetener, and more and more low-sugar or sugar-free products use stevia as the main ingredient.
The deficiency of stevia is that it has a post-bitter taste, so it is necessary to balance the best sweet taste in the product formula,
and at the same time achieve the goal of reducing sugar. SweeGen's BesteviaReb M is a stevia sweetener with a purity of up to 95%.
It has a similar taste of sucrose, does not contain post-bitter taste, and is usually compounded with other sweeteners.
However, no matter which natural sweetener the manufacturer uses, the taste is still important for healthy chocolate.
Finding one-to-one raw materials that can replace sucrose and fat while maintaining the inherent taste and texture of
the product is a big challenge, and often it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons.
Polyols are also a common ingredient in sugar-reducing chocolate formulations.
Barry Callebaut and Ingredion use polyols as a substitute for sucrose.
Barry Callebaut launched a sugar-free black milk chocolate product.The main alternative used is erythritol.
Irene's polyols can be added as sweeteners to chocolate sauces and syrups without adding additional heat.
In 2017, the company launched a low-sugar syrup VersaSweet, mainly extracted from corn and cassava.
At the same time, manufacturers can also achieve the sugar reduction of chocolate through functional ingredients such as dietary fiber.
Barry Callebaut also focused on the company's innovations in low-sugar or sugar-free chocolate products,
where sucrose was replaced with the company's proprietary dietary fiber blend. Inulin can also be used in low-sugar product formulations.
Inulin has a slight sweetness that helps regulate the taste of high-intensity sweeteners.
Dietary fiber can also act as a bulking agent to help improve the texture and mouthfeel of low-sugar chocolate products.