What is the Definition of Bean to Bar Chocolate?
With the hoovering confusion about the definition of bean to bar chocolate in the Indian context and whether every chocolate available in the Indian market is bean to bar or not, Cocoatrait has aimed to establish a definition inspired by global relevance of what should be called a legitimate “Bean to Bar” chocolate in India. Considering that today in India, Bean to Bar chocolate makers command a premium over their so-called competitors and most artisanal chocolatiers are able to quite easily get away by offering “melted commercial chocolate” as beautifully packaged hi-quality chocolate, it is imperative that the distinction be known and established. Yes! I use the word competitors because inspite of offering a completely different product, the consumer is largely unaware of the differences between a Bean to Bar and a artisanal chocolate made by melting larger slabs of chocolate and hence the chocolate sits next to each other in a chocolate shelf and the consumer ends up pays more for these “effortless” chocolates.
The aim of Cocoatrait’s definition of Bean to Bar is to aggressively and passionately protect and assist an Indian consumer to choose a chocolate bar which he/she has subconsciously understood & acknowledged as a chocolate bar that is made by directly converting choicest cocoa beans into a pure chocolate bar without altering any natural ingredient or without adding any artificial flavour. The definition also aims at laying a foundation of understanding in this fast paced, rapidly growing industry and to serve as a guiding light to existing and future generation Bean to Bar chocolate makers at the early stage of the Bean to Bar industry in India so that they can have consumers interest always in mind.
The medical fraternity in India has been, quite openly, but without too much understanding, recommending the consumption of dark chocolates for better health and a sustainable lifestyle. Consuming minimally processed foods made using limited number of only necessary ingredients is in everyones interest and this definition aims to serve this purpose.
Cocoatrait’s definition of a Bean to Bar chocolate in the Indian Context:
“Cocoa Beans directly processed (Optionally Roasted, Refined & Tempered) into a chocolate bar with or without adding plant based Sugars, Plant based Emulsifiers, Natural Vanilla, Extra Cocoa Butter, Moisture reduced Fruits/Vegetables, Nuts, Herbs, Salt and Natural spices, without reducing the percentage of naturally occurring Cocoa Butter, without adding any unnatural flavouring ingredients like synthetic flavours, essences or vanillin, without any artificial emulsifiers and made without adding any hydrogenated vegetable oils”
- This definition has been constructed keeping the Indian market and the current understanding (or lack of it) and perception of pure and healthy chocolates by an Indian consumer.
- While most standards globally allow for 5% of Vegetable oil and/or Animal fat to be added during chocolate making, this definition is restricted to usage of only Cocoa Butter (as a permitted fat).
- The % of ingredients would be determined as this definition evolves.
- The usage of an emulsifier is restricted to Soy or Sunflower Lecithin and the usage of PGPR is not entertained.
- The origins of cocoa beans or its impact has not been included and discussed in this definition at this stage (we shall let it evolve)
- The addition of milk is not entertained. It is widely believed that addition of dairy limits the ability of the body to absorb the antioxidants that the product offers. This means an addition of fat from another source (milk fat) and is left out of the scope of Bean to Bar chocolates.
- We have not detailed the permitted sweeteners and it would be determined as this definition evolves.
- This definition does not detail the processing allowed to Moisture reduced Fruits/Vegetables, Nuts, Herbs, Salt and Natural spices.
- This definition does not consider the Indian consumer’s taste palette, preferences and existing consumption habits.
- This definition does not intend to contradict any belief by the FSSAI or any other authority about the definition of Bean to Bar Chocolate and only serves as a guide.