Skip to content

Emulsifiers in Chocolate: Is Chocolate without Soy Lecithin Possible?

What is the purpose of emulsifier?

Emulsifiers are commonly used in the to improve the texture, flow properties, gloss, and stability of chocolate products. help to disperse fat and other ingredients evenly throughout the chocolate, preventing separation and creating a smooth and homogeneous texture.

A bowl of brown liquid being poured into a bowlDescription automatically generated

Emulsifiers can also affect the crystallization process of cocoa butter, which is the main fat component of chocolate. It helps achieving the desired shape of physical properties of chocolate, such as contraction, snap, gloss, melting properties, and bloom resistance.

Furthermore, emulsifiers can aid in the tempering process of chocolate. The purpose of tempering is to achieve the desired crystal structure and ensure the proper texture, appearance, and shelf life of the chocolate. Emulsifiers can assist in the formation and stabilization of these seed crystals, facilitating the tempering process and enhancing the overall quality of the chocolate product.

What happens to chocolate without emulsifier?

Without an emulsifier, the fat and aqueous phases in chocolate can separate, resulting in a phenomenon known as fat bloom. Fat bloom is the migration of fat to the surface of chocolate, causing a whitish or greyish appearance and a gritty texture. This separation of fat can negatively impact the sensory attributes and overall quality of the chocolate.

What is the best emulsifier for chocolate?

Soy lecithin is a widely used emulsifier in the chocolate industry. It can be described as the best emulsifier for chocolate, at least for now. Soy lecithin has been shown to improve the stability and texture of chocolate. Lecithin can bind or store fat in chocolate, preventing fat bloom and improving the overall quality of the product.

A close-up of a field of green plantsDescription automatically generated

Aside from soy, lecithin can be made of sunflower as well. Sunflower lecithin can be used as a substitute for soy production without negatively affecting the physical or sensory properties of the chocolate. Sunflower lecithin has been of increasing interest due to its non-GMO status and commercial availability.

A field of sunflowersDescription automatically generated

Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) is other common . PGPR is a synthetic emulsifier derived from castor beans. It has been found to provide good rheological properties in liquid chocolate. Rheological properties in chocolate refer to how the chocolate behaves when subjected to mechanical forces, such as shearing, stretching, or deformation. Moreover, ammonium phosphatides (AMP) is also another common emulsifier used in chocolate products.

What is the emulsifier in chocolate spread?

Soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, AMP, and PGPR are some of the common emulsifiers used in chocolate products, including chocolate spread.

Can chocolate be made without emulsifiers?

Chocolate can be made without the use of emulsifiers, but the presence of emulsifiers can provide several benefits to the final product. As mentioned above, emulsifiers, such as lecithin, play a crucial role in chocolate production by promoting the formation and stabilization of emulsions, preventing fat bloom, and improving texture and mouthfeel. They help to disperse the fat () evenly throughout the chocolate, preventing separation and ensuring a smooth and homogeneous texture.

A stack of chocolate bars with syrup on topDescription automatically generated

Chocolate without emulsifiers will have coarser texture dan duller texture. It will also more difficult to process and less stable than emulsified chocolates. Nevertheless, the flavor of the chocolate itself should not be significantly affected by the absence of emulsifiers.

However, it is worth noting that the use of emulsifiers in chocolate is not mandatory, and there are alternative methods and ingredients that can be employed to achieve similar results. For example, a study by Dantas et al. (2021) explored the use of pectin extracted from okra mucilage as a substitute for lecithin in chocolate. The study found that formulations containing 25% okra pectin had a higher yield compared to formulations containing only lecithin, and the sensory characteristics of the chocolate were not affected by the substitution of lecithin with okra pectin.

A pile of cut okraDescription automatically generated

The choice to use or not use emulsifiers in chocolate production may depend on various factors, including the desired properties of the final product, cost considerations, and regulatory requirements. Emulsifiers can enhance the quality and stability of chocolate, but their use is not essential for the production of chocolate.

Wait, is Okra Pectin an Emulsifier?

Looking at the previous section's explanation, one might argue that okra pectin, which used as a substitute for lecithin in chocolate, is in fact an emulsifier. A non-lecithin emulsifier used in chocolate. Is this true? Some might say that okra pectin is an emulsifier, but some might not.

First of all, what is a definition of emulsifier? Emulsifier is a substance that helps mix and stabilize two or more substances by reducing their surface tensions. Both lecithin and okra pectin can achieve this result. However, usually, emulsifiers have a hydrophilic (water-attracting) end and a lipophilic (fat or oil-attracting) end. This is exactly what lecithin has. But okra pectin is a little bit different.

A glass of blue liquidDescription automatically generated

Okra pectin's emulsifying properties have been associated with its high acetyl content, presence of ferulic acids, or covalently bound proteins. These components can interact with oil droplets and water, forming a stable interface that prevents the separation of the two phases in an emulsion. Hence, pectin does not have the same hydrophilic and hydrophobic characteristics as usually found in traditional emulsifiers.

What percentage of chocolate is emulsifier?

The amount of emulsifier used in chocolate is typically a small percentage of the total ingredients, but the exact percentage can vary.

In general, emulsifiers are added to chocolate to improve its texture, stability, and flow properties. Common emulsifiers used in chocolate production such as soy lecithin is typically added at a concentration of around 0.3-0.5%. However, other emulsifiers such as polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) or other natural emulsifiers may also be used in different concentrations.

A person in a white coat and blue gloves holding a pile of ballsDescription automatically generated

Basically, the specific percentage of emulsifier used in chocolate can depend on various factors, including the desired texture, viscosity, and processing conditions. For instance, enrobing chocolate may contain a higher amount of emulsifiers compared to . Each chocolate manufacturer may have their own specific formulations and processes, so the percentage of emulsifier can vary.

How do you emulsify chocolate?

In commercial chocolate production, emulsifiers are often added during the early stages of chocolate making when mass, cocoa butter, and other ingredients are melted and mixed together. This ensures that the emulsifier is well-distributed throughout the entire batch.

However, the exact timing of emulsifier addition can vary depending on the specific chocolate recipe and manufacturing process. Some chocolate makers may choose to add emulsifiers during the because the continuous mixing and shearing action of the conche can help disperse the emulsifier evenly throughout the chocolate. Others may add it earlier in the mixing stage.

A person in a yellow lab coat and blue hat working on a machineDescription automatically generated

The important thing is to ensure that the emulsifier is thoroughly incorporated into the chocolate mixture so that it can effectively stabilize the chocolate, prevent separation, and create a smooth and consistent texture. The specific method and timing of emulsifier addition can be determined based on the chocolate recipe and the equipment available for the chocolate-making process.

Are emulsifiers in all chocolate?

Most of big chocolate brands such as Mars, Hershey, , Cadbury, , and Mondelez use emulsifiers. Hence, it is safe to say that the majority of commercially produced chocolate products, especially those designed for mass consumption and long shelf life, contain emulsifiers.

On the other hand, some premium and artisanal chocolate brands may choose to avoid emulsifiers in chocolate, focusing on minimal ingredients and traditional chocolate-making techniques. These chocolates are often marketed as “pure” or “clean” chocolates, relying on the natural emulsifying properties of cocoa butter.

A box of chocolatesDescription automatically generated

Overall, while emulsifiers are prevalent in the chocolate industry, there is a growing market for chocolates without emulsifiers to cater to consumers who prefer a simpler ingredient list. The exact percentage of chocolate products containing emulsifiers would require detailed market research and could vary by region and market segment.

Open chat
Need help?
Hi, how can we help you?