How Are Reduced Sugar Chocolates Made? | Friars
How are reduced sugar chocolates made in these health conscious times?
In easy terms reduced sugar chocolates are produced with a reduction of the sugar content. This is a popular trend with many people, and indeed PHE (Public Health England) have set out guidelines for reduction of sugars in foodstuffs. Individuals are also becoming increasingly health conscious and whilst sugar is present in many natural forms, it is when used as an additional ingredient that it can become a cause of concern to consumers.
PHE have set out their voluntary guidelines for the top 9 food groups, including chocolate confectionery, to achieve a 20% reduction in sugar corresponding to portion size and sugar content. This reduction was scheduled to be achieved by 2020. This is a positive step in battling the rise in childhood obesity as well as aiming to lessen diabetes and the associated impacts of both.
However, it should be noted that whilst reductions in sugar content for the reasons stated are responsible actions, there is still scope to enjoy Chocolate in its original and newer forms. As with many factors in life, it comes down to sensible balances being struck by the individual consumer. In order to reduce the sugar content sweeteners (see more below) can be used. If reduced sugar is something that strikes a chord, then you could be very pleased to receive a box of our Cavalier Belgian chocolate selection or Cavalier Belgian chocolate seashells (sweetened with Maltitol) this festive season. They are just as good as you would expect from any added sugar selection.
Meaning of no added sugar
Differing from ‘Reduced’ sugar, no added sugar takes us into the realms of not incorporating further sugars from other sources, into our chocolate making process. Everyone who loves chocolate is aware of that satisfying moment when the smooth silkiness, accompanied by the intensity of the sweetness engulfs the taste buds and elicits that ‘mmmm’ type murmur of pleasure. If you’re thinking at this point, thats how your chocolate works for you, then you may be pleased to know that at the same time, this can be achieved without the input of large quantities of added sugars. It is also worth remembering that no added sugar chocolate will contain some naturally occurring sugar. In fact cocoa itself has a small naturally occurring sugar content as do many plants and fruits for example.
If no added sugar appeals to you then we can wholeheartedly recommend our own Friars fine selections. Coming in 15, 24 and 48 chocolate compilations, these are sure to be a firm favourite. With luxurious centres of praline, caramel, orange and coffee flavours these Maltitol and Steviol Glycocide(see below) sweetened delights are superb value.
What is used to sweeten no added sugar chocolates?
There is no denying that on the whole, chocolate like many other foodstuffs, gives the comfort, satisfaction and lets not forget, the energy it does, in no small measure due to it’s sugar content. The other thing that it can add though is calories and its because of this that the popularity of ‘Reduced’ and ‘No Added’ variations are gaining such a following. Therefore in order to maintain the satisfaction of the chocolate, suitable means of sweetening are needed. Fortunately there are a number of these alternatives which are wonderfully sweet but far less calorific
We currently use Maltitol and Steviol Glycosides as sweeteners in some of our chocolate range. I hear you thinking. These sound a bit scientific and not so appetising? But then again, when you look at simple sugars (those normally added to foodstuffs) they are known as Monosaccharides and Disaccharides to name but two. Perhaps they become more familiar referred to as Glucose and Fructose (Mono) and Sucrose and Lactose (Di).
Expanding on this theme, Steviol is derived from the plant ‘Stevia Rebaudiana’ which in turn is a member of one of our largest plant families, the Asteraceae, which boasts the Aster, Daisy and Sunflower among its number. An extraordinary plant in that in terms of sweetness it is 300 times sweeter than sugar, whilst being uniquely known to not add calories to your food! You can begin to see then, what a tremendous addition this can be to a chocolate.
Maltitol, by comparison, is a sugar alcohol (a polyol) used as a sugar substitute. Whilst it generally has 75 to 90 per cent of the sweetness of Sucrose (table sugar) and virtually identical properties, it ishalf as energy valued and perhaps more importantly not known to promote tooth decay. Good attributes to have in a much loved confection we would all agree. It can be found occurring in small quantities, naturally in certain fruits and vegetables but more often is produced by adding hydrogen to maltose, a sugar found in starches derived from the likes of corn and potatoes.
Our No added Sugar chocolates contain both of these sweeteners and provide a wonderful alternative. Try for example our Friars no added sugar selections of Crisp Pralines and Luxurious ganache filled chocolates; simply delicious.