Can vegans eat chocolate?
In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can vegans eat chocolate?” and will discuss vegan ingredients present in the chocolates.
Can vegans eat chocolate?
Yes, vegans can eat chocolate. Vegan chocolate, like other vegan foods, is chocolate that does not include any ingredients produced from animals. If you’re looking for the finest vegan chocolate brands, look at the ingredients list on the package.
Most organic chocolate bars have a small number of components. For the most part, the components that go into vegan chocolate bars are cocoa butter, sugar, chocolate liquor, and vanilla extract. So, for vegans, the purer the chocolate, the fewer ingredients the better. As a result, for vegans, the ideal choice is high-cocoa-content dark chocolate that contains at least 50% cacao.
In recent years, the cocoa industry has constantly increased, reaching considerable production. Europe is the world’s largest chocolate market with 65% of the world’s production (4 million tons in 2019) worth EUR 18.3 billion. The geography of cocoa moves from the south of the world (76.3% of the world’s cocoa bean production comes from Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana) to the north and is concentrated in the hands of a few industrial processing players (four multinationals) that, alone, process 85% of the cocoa beans produced in the world (2).
Is it possible to have chocolate and be vegan?
As a whole, chocolates aren’t vegan due to the addition of sweeteners, which give the chocolate its sweet flavor. However, you’ll have to look for vegan chocolates from other companies if you want them. To do this, just follow the steps listed below.
Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. As a result, raw chocolate is a vegan-friendly plant-based food. As a result, raw chocolates are nothing more than plant seeds that must be sweetened before they can be eaten. Other popular and obscure companies’ chocolate bars and nibbles may not be vegan. Dairy and other animal-derived substances are quite likely to be used throughout the manufacturing process.
Other ingredients used to produce chocolate, such as sugar, nuts and soy lecithin are also plant-based (1).
Is it possible to eat dark chocolate without it becoming a vegan product?
Dark chocolate may be vegan, and there are many options to choose from. Chocolate bars and snacks often include milk as an ingredient. White chocolate looks like it contains dairy whereas milk chocolate has the word “milk” in it. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is readily available to vegans.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, may be non-vegan if it contains additional components produced from animals. To improve the flavor and taste of their dark chocolate, several companies use a combination of dairy ingredients (milk, milk fat, natural flavor, etc.). This is why it’s always best to examine the dark chocolate brand’s ingredient list before buying. Making vegan milk chocolate at home is a great way to satisfy your sweet needs while you’re on the go.
What is Vegan Dark Chocolate and How Can You Tell?
Dark chocolate, as we all know, is not vegan. Dairy products are permitted in moderation. Generally speaking, when we say dark chocolate isn’t vegan, we imply that it is possible to get vegan dark chocolate, but it is very uncommon. Only a few companies make pure dark chocolate that is 100 percent plant-based. The chocolates are marked as a vegan since they are made from plants, are pure, and are organic.
As a result, telling vegan dark chocolate from non-vegan varieties is simple. Most companies that make plant-based dark chocolate label their goods as vegan to appeal to the growing number of customers who identify as vegetarians or vegans. For further confirmation, look for them on the label or in the ingredients list.
You should also be aware that while some companies claim their chocolate is plant-based, it still cannot be considered vegan. There is a possibility that these items contain traces of substances originating from animals. Reading the ingredients is the safest bet. Dairy, enzymes, and natural flavorings should be avoided.
A possible reason for a dark chocolate to contain traces of animal products is the contamination with animal products, especially milk, in the manufacturing process. Improper handling of rework, inprocess and post process, cross-contamination, and insufficient or ineffective equipment cleaning and/or sanitation of shared processing and/or packaging equipment between products (3) can lead to the presence of “milk traces” in the product. In this case, it can still be considered vegan if the cross-contamination is minimum, according to the Vegan Society.
What Is It About Chocolate That Makes It Non-Vegan?
Ingredients such as dairy, enzymes, and natural flavors make chocolate non-vegan-friendly. Chocolate manufacturing relies heavily on dairy products.
Vegans steer clear of natural tastes since some of these flavorings are derived from animals. Various enzymes utilized in the chocolate-making process are also sourced from animals. As a result of these goods, chocolate may no longer be considered vegan and may no longer be appropriate for those who consume only plant-based or vegan foods. However, most of the enzymes used in the chocolate industry are microbial enzymes, since they are cheaper. In chocolate production, polyphenol oxidase is one component responsible for the formation of flavor precursors, beginning in the oxidative phase of the fermentation and continuing into the drying phase. Protease and carboxypeptidase (flavor protease) are used in the processing of cocoa almonds. This enzyme utilization is accomplished as a means of overcoming the low-quality problems of cocoa almonds processed early in plantations. Invertase or also commonly known as saccharase, glucosidase and invertase are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of sucrose. Thus, the result of the hydrolysis reaction of sucrose in the form of a mixture of fructose and glucose is referred to as inverted syrup (4).
Chocolate and milk go well together because the bitterness of the cocoa is balanced out by the sweetness of the milk. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate are the most popular three varieties of chocolate.
Because white and milk chocolate both include milk, the final product is not vegan. A little quantity of milk may be used to make certain dark chocolate non-vegan, while others do not include any milk at all – making them vegan. Still, others use non-dairy milk – making them vegan as well.
What Vegan Chocolate Stores Are There?
It’s a good thing there are vegan chocolates out there! All vegan chocolate enthusiasts will be happy to know that companies who identify their goods as vegan-friendly allow them to purchase vegan chocolate. Additionally, according to the chocolate preparation principle, animal components are unnecessary for making dark chocolate. It’s possible to find vegan-friendly ingredients in high-quality dark chocolate, including chocolate made with 100 percent cocoa solids.
However, most people cannot afford or get 100 percent cocoa since it is so dark and bitter. However, a greater percentage of cocoa in a product means it’s more likely to be vegan. Dark and milk chocolate contain much more sugar than vegan chocolate, which is why some vegan chocolates are fully vegan in the end. In addition, bear in mind that sugar is often made using bone char. Products featuring organic sugar as a component are available for purchase.
Other FAQs about Vegans that you may be interested in.
Can you eat fish on a vegan diet?
Do vegans actually make a difference?
Does the bible mention veganism?
In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can vegans eat chocolate?” and discussed vegan ingredients present in the chocolates.
- Beckett, Stephen T. Traditional chocolate making. Industrial chocolate manufacture and use. 2017, 1-9.
- Blanc, Simone, et al. The Role of Chocolate Web-Based Communication in Regional Innovation: Its Implication for Open Innovation. J Open Innov Technol Market Complex, 2022, 8, 84.
- Jackson, Lauren S., et al. Cleaning and other control and validation strategies to prevent allergen cross-contact in food-processing operations. J Food Protec, 2008, 71, 445-458.
- El Kiyat, Warsono, et al. Enzymes involving in chocolate processing. J Food Pharmaceu Sci, 2018, 6, 1-6.