Many adverse side effects are associated with gluten intolerance, from severe celiac disease to mild intolerance. Certain people should stay clear of it for their security. Other people prefer to trade some stomach bloating and brain fog to indulge in a sweet treat now and then. There isn’t a single in any way. No matter where you are, you have the right to determine if your food item has wheat or gluten, particularly concerning everyone’s favorite sweet tooth: chocolate.
What can you tell whether a chocolate product contains gluten?
Chocolate experts may be grumpy when asked about gluten-free chocolate. They’d like to shout: “There was never supposed to be gluten in chocolate!”. But don’t worry. They’ll usually remain calm and courteously explain to you the reason why (plain) chocolate is gluten-free. The confusion is because people don’t understand how chocolate is created or its ingredients.
All the essential ingredients used in white, milk, and dark chocolate are gluten-free by default.
Cacao Cacao is gluten-free. The cocoa bean is the seeds of cacao fruit. They are dried, fermented, and roasted. They are then refined, wonnowed, and then transformed into chocolate-based treats. They are made from carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals, yet they have no gluten.
Sugars are gluten-free. Whether artificial, like xylitol, or natural, such as honey, like white sugar; unrefined, such as panela, or made from fruit, such as monk fruit, sugar is not a food with gluten.
Mylks and milk can be gluten-free. Animal-derived milk (cow, camel, goat) and drinks derived from nuts (almond, macadamia, cashew) and many others (coconut and the majority of oatmeal) are all gluten-free.
Lecithins are gluten-free. Soy lecithin and sunflower, which are the lecithins most frequently used in chocolate production, are gluten-free since they are derived from soybeans and sunflower seeds.
Vanilla is gluten-free. Vanilla is gluten-free in all its variations (from the vanilla beans that are naturally grown to the more synthetic vanillin and the vanilla extract).
Furthermore, there isn’t a single stage of the bean-to-bar procedure which requires gluten-containing ingredients. Chocolate makers can include cocoa butter or lecithin to help make the chocolate smoother; however, adding anything else is unnecessary. There is a different issue when significant manufacturers use preservatives or additives containing gluten to lower costs and provide chocolate products with a longer shelf-life; however, this isn’t the standard practice (you will learn to identify these ingredients later in the article).
If plain chocolate isn’t gluten-free, why do people continue to be concerned about it?
We don’t want to drink chocolate in only its basic dark, milk, and white versions. What fun would there be? There are concerns when chocolate experts add ingredients containing gluten to the chocolate. We now have an issue with gluten.
WHY DOES CHOCOLATE CONTAIN GLUTEN?
The primary reason chocolate manufacturers add gluten ingredients to their chocolate is to improve taste and texture. Cereals, bread crumbs, malt syrup, and other elements that contain gluten provide the consistency of crunchy crumbs and add flavor to flat chocolate confections. However, if the purpose is to enhance the sensory experience for the consumer, the intention may not be as authentic in other instances.
Large producers may incorporate gluten-containing ingredients to cut costs, improve their production processes, and increase the shelf time of chocolate items. They can add preservatives, artificial flavorings, non-lecithin emulsifiers, and other products that have gluten for all the previously mentioned reasons.
Along with the deliberate inclusion of gluten-containing ingredients, an additional issue can be caused by accidental contamination.
If they do not want to become gluten-free certified, Chocolate companies won’t be able to use dedicated machines to process their gluten-free and gluten-free products independently. Everything is processed using the same devices. Notably, small, family-owned, and local companies can’t keep gluten-free.
How do you locate gluten-free chocolate that you are safe to eat? Let’s look at every possible possibility you’ll encounter.
The gluten-free certifications are issued to businesses by third-party organizations. They perform ingredient reviews, product testing, and factory inspections, among other processes, to ensure that the company requesting certification adheres to the strictest manufacturing standards. The objective is to ensure that each product with 20 % parts per million (ppm) in gluten or lower is healthy to consume, even when celiac disease is present. The company may claim to be gluten-free and place its logo on its packaging. However, the certification process requires a third-party organization to validate and accept the claim.
This is an excellent confidence boost for anyone trying to avoid gluten. This raises the question: Why don’t all companies have an official gluten-free certificate?
The third-party business runs an enterprise just like every other. It must be compensated for its services, including staff training and testing, inspections, and training. Based on the income and production of the business that has applied for a gluten-free label, it can cost hundreds of dollars. These expenses are just a fraction of the additional time required to use, collect documents, examine products, and wait for approval to alter production processes, coordinate staff, etc.
GLUTEN IN THE INGREDIENTS LIST
The list of ingredients can be the best method to detect chocolate containing gluten regardless of what text or images on the label might suggest.
It’s a good thing you don’t have to be aware of the entire list of available food products with gluten. Chocolate companies are legally required to list the ingredients with allergens like dairy, nuts, and gluten in a manner that differentiates them from other components. This means that they will be on the label in bold fonts, in different colors, and underlined to make them more noticeable (the method of writing will differ based on the specific country’s food labeling laws).