Can you eat baking chocolate?
In this article, we will answer the question “can you eat baking chocolate?” and discuss the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate, and the benefits and drawbacks of eating baking chocolate.
Can you eat baking chocolate?
Yes, you can eat baking chocolate. Baking chocolate is also known as cocoa mass and is the bulk material to produce other types of chocolate, including milk chocolate, and bitter chocolate.
Baking chocolate is obtained after the roasting and grounding of the cocoa bean. At high temperatures, baking chocolate is a liquid, while at room temperatures, it has a solid form (1).
Baking chocolate is unsweetened and contains a high concentration of cocoa solids and its quality and properties are highly dependent on the raw material form which is produced, as well as the processing.
To obtain cocoa mass, cocoa beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked to obtain the cocoa nibs. The nibs are ground and melted to obtain the cocoa mass.
In the sequence, cocoa mass is partially defatted and other ingredients can be added to the cocoa mass to be sold as baking chocolate, depending on the manufacturer (1,2).
What is the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolates?
The difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate are the ingredients that they contain. Regular chocolates are made from the baking chocolate, which is the cocoa mass (1).
Baking chocolate is the same as cocoa mass, unless another ingredient is added. It is obtained after the grinding of the fermented, dried and roasted cocoa beans and extraction of the cocoa nibs (which are the core of the cocoa beans).
Baking chocolate is unsweetened and contains only cocoa fat and non-fat-cocoa-solids (NFCS) in a proportion of about 51% and 49%, respectively, as shown in studies (2).
As a consequence, cocoa mass has a very high concentration of phenolic compounds, such as catechins and procyanidins, which have improved antioxidant properties.
The amount of methylxanthines, including caffeine and theobromine is also higher (3). Methylxanthines, however, have negative and positive effects on health.
Regular chocolates are produced from cocoa mass added with different amounts of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lipids other than cocoa butter, emulsifiers and may contain flavorings, such as vanilla.
The amount of phenolics and methylxanthines is lower and the amount of sugar and other ingredients vary according to the chocolate type.
While bitter chocolate should contain at least 40% total cocoa solids, from which 22% are cocoa butter and 18% are fat-free cocoa solids, white chocolate should contain not less than 20% cocoa butter and not less than 14% milk solids (1).
What are the benefits and drawbacks of eating baking chocolate?
The benefits of eating baking chocolate are (1,2,3):
- Baking chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are related to a reduction of the oxidative stress in the body and the prevention of body lipid oxidation
- The consumption of cocoa phenolic compounds which are found in a higher amount in cocoa mass is related to the prevention of cognitive impairment and degenerative diseases
- The ingestion of polyphenols from cocoa is related to help preventing cardiovascular diseases
The drawbacks of eating baking chocolate are (1,2,3):
- Cocoa mass has a high amount of caffeine, which is reported to have negative effects on the fertility of men and women
- Caffeine contained in cocoa mass in higher qualities should be avoided by pregnant, as it can pass through placenta and affect the unborn child negatively
Other FAQs about Chocolates that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “can you eat baking chocolate?” and discussed the difference between baking chocolate and regular chocolate, and the benefits and drawbacks of eating baking chocolate.
- Beckett, Stephen T. Traditional chocolate making. Beckett’s Industrial Chocolate Manufacture and Use. 2017.
- Miller, Kenneth B., et al. Survey of commercially available chocolate-and cocoa-containing products in the United States. 2. Comparison of flavan-3-ol content with nonfat cocoa solids, total polyphenols, and percent cacao. J agric food chem, 2009, 57, 9169-9180.
- Jalil, A.M.M.; Ismail, A. Polyphenols in Cocoa and Cocoa Products: Is There a Link between Antioxidant Properties and Health? Molecules 2008, 13, 2190-2219.