You may think you are eating snacks coated in real dark chocolate, but you may actually be eating fake dark chocolate made with palm kernel oil. Unlike white and milk chocolate, there is no FDA standard of identity for dark chocolate. Many companies are deceiving consumers by claiming they use “dark chocolate” on the front of the package, but are actually replacing the cocoa butter with palm kernel oil.
The three components of Real Dark Chocolate are cocoa powder (non-fat solids), cocoa butter from the cacao bean, and a small amount of real sugar to cut the bitterness. Real Dark Chocolate melts below body temperature, releasing the flavor immediately in your mouth. When fake chocolate is used, cocoa butter is replaced with a vegetable fat (usually palm kernel oil), imparting a waxy texture and too sweet taste because the imitation chocolate does not melt in your mouth.
How to spot fake dark chocolate
By law, if vegetable fat coatings are used, the ingredients list must state “chocolaty” or “chocolate flavored coating and vegetable oil.” That is the only way you would know it is not Real Dark Chocolate. Sometimes the listing will illegally state “dark chocolate coating.” If the ingredients include alternative vegetable fats (palm oil, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc.), then it is not Real Dark Chocolate.
Here is an example of the ingredients list on a popular fruit and nut bar that does not use real dark chocolate:
dark chocolate flavored coating (palm kernel oil, chicory root fiber, sugar, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, natural flavor, salt)
Here are the ingredients in the Real Dark Chocolate coating used by NuGo Nutrition:
Dark Chocolate (unsweetened chocolate, cane sugar, cocoa butter)
Why it matters
Real Dark Chocolate has many health benefits, while fake chocolate does not! In fact the saturated fats in fake dark chocolate may raise bad cholesterol. Real Dark Chocolate is heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich, and may help maintain good cholesterol levels.
Additionally, there is huge difference in taste. The higher melting point of fake dark chocolate results in a waxy, overly sweet taste because it doesn’t melt in your mouth when consuming. Real Dark Chocolate lusciously melts in your mouth. As it melts, the cocoa butter separates from the non-fat cocoa solids, providing the smooth texture as the non-fat cocoa solids release the chocolate flavor.
You deserve to get what you think you are paying for – the health benefits and delicious taste that comes only from Real Dark Chocolate!