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3 Common Chocolate Questions - Answered!

Soy Lecithin, Chocolate Bloom

Valentine’s Day is a time when thoughts turn to love… and chocolate. So we’re going to sweeten your day by answering some of your most frequently asked chocolate questions. Read on to find out about soy lecithin, chocolate storage and chocolate bloom.

1. Why is soy lecithin used in chocolate and why are some consumers concerned?

Soy lecithin is an emulsifier added to chocolate to help bind the cocoa solids, sugar and milk so they stick to the cocoa butter. This improves the viscosity (“flowability”) of the chocolate when it is melted.

Recently, consumers have expressed an interest in chocolate products without soy lecithin for two reasons. First, soy is an allergen. For those concerned about allergens, we offer some Agostoni chocolate items with No Added Emulsifier (NAE), i.e. no soy. These products simply have more cocoa butter added to maintain the correct viscosity.

Second, since most of the soy in the US is genetically modified, consumers may reject soy lecithin in a general avoidance of GMOs. If this applies to your customers, they would be pleased to know that all soy lecithin in Agostoni chocolate is non-GMO. In fact, Agostoni does not use genetically modified ingredients in any of their chocolate and cocoa products.

2. What is the best way to store chocolate?

Chocolate acts like a sponge. In poorly sealed or unsealed packages it can absorb unwanted odors or flavors so it is important to keep chocolate tightly sealed. Agostoni’s triple layered bags are designed to provide additional protection to the chocolate. Be sure to roll up bags and clip them tightly closed when not in use.

Chocolate keeps best in temperatures from 54 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, out of the light, away from moisture and below 55% relative humidity. Shipping and storage need to prevent melting and avoid temperature fluctuations. Not storing chocolate properly will result in fat or sugar bloom (see below). To minimize this risk, all Agostoni chocolate is shipped in temperature-controlled trucks.

3. Why did my chocolate bloom?

There are two types of bloom, fat bloom and sugar bloom. Fat bloom is cocoa butter that has separated toward the surface. It can be in the form of specks, streaks, or a full cover that is dull and light grey in color. There are many factors that contribute to fat bloom, including incorrect or incomplete tempering, improper storage and the addition of incompatible fats. This will impact the chocolate, but only in this state. In most cases chocolate with fat bloom can be fully melted and re-set by tempering.

Sugar bloom is less common. It is a shiny, sticky and somewhat bumpy effect on the surface that results when chocolate attracts condensation in a humid environment. Typically, this happens when exposing very cold or frozen chocolate to room temperature air. To avoid this, chocolate that is chilled or frozen should be kept in airtight packaging and let it come to room temperature before opening. It is usually possible to re-melt and temper chocolate with sugar bloom after it has been well dried.

There you go! Some useful information to satisfy your chocolate cravings… Whether you’re responsible for quality, sourcing or you’re just a chocolate fan, we hope this information makes you more knowledgeable about chocolate’s many interesting characteristics.