How much cocoa does a bar have to have to be chocolate?


In the candy market there are varieties of bars made with cocoa, but not all of them are chocolate... Find out why.

For a chocolate bar to be considered as such, it must contain at least 35% cocoa.

The chocolate bar is made mainly with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, and other ingredients such as sugar, milk and essences.

The first chocolate bars made in the world had an approximate proportion of 50% cocoa liquor and 50% sugar, which were flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, although they were not considered delicious snacks.

More than a century later, after its discovery by the Dutch chocolatier Conrad van Houten, it is added to the tablet of chocolate cocoa butter, which gives it a better texture and flavor, similar to what we know today.

But it is thanks to the Swiss businessman and chocolatier Daniel Peter, who at the end of the XNUMXth century, after several experiments, managed to put leheto the chocolate bar, an ingredient that gave it a better flavor, by reducing the natural astringency of cocoa.

The three types of chocolate

The three types of chocolate that are commonly known owe their name to the cocoa content they have and to their combination with certain raw materials.

Dark chocolate

This type of chocolate is made up of a mixture of cocoa liquor with sugar or another sweetener.

There are several presentations that range mostly between 45% and 70% cocoa content, with a minimum base of 25% cocoa butter.

However, you can see on the market dark chocolate bars with more than 80% cocoa, and even 100% of cocoa content, without any other type of ingredient.

Milk chocolate

Almost all chocolate produced in the world contains milk, as it gives it a smoother texture and flavor.

In this case, part of the cocoa liquor is replaced by milk solids, and they can be made with both powdered milk and sweetened condensed milk.

The percentage of cocoa in these chocolate bars also varies, and many can have less than 35% cocoa, being considered by experts as candy.

White chocolate

This chocolate bar is not chocolate, because it does not contain cocoa liquor.

It is made with cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids, which is why it does not have the brown color that characterizes roasted cocoa beans.

6 CommentsLeave a comment


  • Some recommend that the butter be 10% of the total of your chocolate. This proportion may vary depending on the chocolate you make, since milk chocolate may need up to 15% butter to flow properly. For a chocolate to be considered coverage and, therefore, malleable, it must contain at least 31% cocoa butter. Consider that the cocoa bean is approximately 50% fat, and from there you adjust the amount of butter to add. If you make a 70% cocoa chocolate, you do not need to add butter, since you would already have 35% butter coming from the same grain. If what you want is to soften the flavor and maintain the percentage of cocoa, you can add butter and decrease the amount of cocoa. Some occupy the proportion 60% cocoa, 10% butter and 30% sugar.
    I hope it is useful to you.

  • Your article seems interesting to me, but I think that we can currently find two segments in the chocolate production-supply market, or two ways of looking at cocoa, whatever... One is the implanted or imposed way of producing and consuming it, the other. which has obeyed the designs of the world chocolate industry for more than 40 years and which is based on Codex-Stan 87, to which more than 190 countries of the world are subject, and which in the best of cases establishes the minimum for a sweet chocolate – as you well refer to the famous 35% cocoa derivatives/extract, which is made up of 18% cocoa butter, 14% defatted cocoa and 3% something unknown. – See Codex –Stan 87). The second way of looking at chocolate is artisan production -which fortunately is not regulated-, in which the focus is food, and which is basically expressed by a primary chocolate, which is made up of two composition factors: cocoa/ cocoa paste and sugar, this chocolate is characterized because the cocoa content is always above sugar, let's say that for it to be an artisanal chocolate it must have at least 51% cocoa (prevalence index), if it is not This way would be sugar with cocoa.

    The primary handmade chocolates..
    1.- In the case of artisanal chocolate, we have table chocolate or to prepare drinks, technically it is made up of two composition factors: cocoa/cocoa paste and sugar -or some type of sweetener-, it is the first Of the 4 basic or primary chocolates, it is characterized by the fact that the sugar and cocoa molecule can be perceived -because it is unrefined chocolate-.
    2.- The second primary chocolate is the refined one, it is a chocolate that went through a process of refining and homogenization, it is characterized because it contains a high percentage of cocoa (75% to 98%).
    3.- The third primary chocolate is the couverture chocolate, characterized by the fact that there are 3 ingredients or composition factors: cocoa paste, sugar and cocoa butter, and for a minimum of 51% cocoa – a maximum of 20% cocoa. cocoa butter-; it goes through a process of reduction of the cocoa solids and exposure of the cocoa butter, and its due homogenization with the added cocoa butter and sugar.
    4.- The last of the primary chocolates is milk chocolate, it is a couverture chocolate that contains dry extract of animal milk (no more than 20% milk)...
    It is worth mentioning that, in artisanal production "white chocolate is not considered chocolate", since it lacks cocoa solids, its composition factors are cocoa butter, milk extract, sugar and additives; White chocolate is usually used as an application in artisanal chocolate -with "artisanal chocolate", we find the 3 dimensions that make up the cocoa-chocolate ecosystem, we are talking about: a) cocoa, b) chocolate and c) artisanal chocolate- .

    As you can see, the difference between the artisanal and the industrial is made explicit -I reiterate the previous comment-, in the understanding that the production of industrial or conventional chocolate is from a reconstituted extract, whose composition factors are cocoa butter (at 18 %), defatted cocoa (14%, also known as cocoa or lean cocoa extract), and a 3% that is unknown, to give a total of 35% -see the International Standards-... that's right, in the industrial production separate the cocoa components, squeeze the fat from the paste or the cocoa bean to obtain, on the one hand, cocoa butter -which, depending on the variety of the cocoa bean, can contain from 35% to 50%-, and on the other hand the defatted cocoa or cocoa, then they alkalize them -to raise the ph and control the acidity of the cocoa, in order to make the chocolate pleasant-; After having separated the components, they put them together in the aforementioned proportions and with this they establish the minimum % for a chocolate.

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