October 7, 2005
For those "high-end" companies that still employ the use of non-GMO soya lecithin, could a gradual transition over to a synthetic lecithin/emulsifier be achieved without alienating its customer base and respective image?
And from a purist's standpoint, would you ever habitually purchase a bar from Valrhona, Amedei, Cluizel, or the like, that regularly used a "citric acid ester of mono- and di-glycerides" instead of the increasingly-more-expensive non-GMO soya lecithin--even if the taste were not adversely affected?
The Danish compnay Palsgaard, has developed such a synthetic emulsifer dubbed "4210." The company claims, that it can successfully replace soya lecithin, while still maintaining flavour. Check out the article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/n.....r-lecithin
March 17, 2005
I feel that the way forward is not to use any emulsifier at all. By the way, Cluizel does not use it, and Amedei stoped using it as well, though they still using old packaging, which states lecithin on it.
As to "further reducing total fat content" with that new substitute, bare in mind that amount of emulcifier in the chocolate is quite low indeed, and reduction will be negligible, it's only sounds good for marketing.
October 7, 2005
August 6, 2006
Companies like Amedei, Domori and Michel cluizel don't use soya lecithin. Others like Valrhona still use it. I really would mind replacing a natural ingredient with some synthetic stuff. Is it really good for your health? Beside beeing non-GMO can Palsgaard guarantee no other side effects compared to the real stuff?
Seventypercent.com only reviews real chocolate. Synthetic emulsifier is not real but soya lecithin is.
"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
December 7, 2005
When any ingredient with an Enumber is used in accordance with the regulations authorizing it, in absolute terms it is probably safer than many natural components. Here the risks of mycotoxin and secondary metabolites from freak environmental conditions during production are statistically higher and represent a more important long term health risk. Howver neither represents a risk significant enough to merit avoiding good chocolate!!!
Similarly the GMO marketing concept should not be blown out of all proportion as it can also make a valid contribution to "the real stuff".
Natural components with an "emulsifying" activity can arise in cocoa extracts of various types.
Some come from the butter. A certain degree of lipolysis of cocoa (& diry butter)can result from lipases generated either in the fermentation stage or from endogenous enzymes from beans. These have vitually identical structures to the "additives".
The stability of the emulsion is also affected by the viscosity, which can be modulated by the non-cocoa fat solids content and type.
If you want to cut costs by adding less fat, it must be replaced by something.
The naturally generated mono/diglycerides can have an identical structure to those added from Paalsgard, Quest or Danisco but often have problems of rancidity or variability during processing.
PGPR (PolyGlycerol PolyRicinoleates)are useful in improving tolerance to water eg in chocolate for ice cream coatings.
Like the citrems these are technically good soy lecithin subsitutes however citrems are more often used in improving flow properties of chocolate mass. While they are availble from Danisco, in theory they can also form naturally during fermentation.
Criteria used for "The real thing" can be a little too emotive when only based on a components origin. In the flavour world we have a huge difference in cost between nature identical, natural, and artificial. All have very precise legal definitions for labeling and dont forget the best ones in terms of performance are not always natural.
Should authenticity of such ingredients not be in the functionality and taste rather than just the chemical origin of its components?.
July 31, 2006
Frankly, I have to condemn all such additives as beneficial for the producer, not the consumer. 'Functionality' and 'performance' are about production benefits, not true cacao flavour. True, it is possible to construct a bunch of convenience foods that are more easily and cheaply available, any place, any time. Producers in these markets though are rarely interested in true quality, unless it creates a 'premium' market position for them - in which case they will miss the point and never be able to produce on an artisanal level because of the nature of their business model.
I think most visitors to this site would unanimously agree that the best chocolate is produced by chocolate makers who eschew or are moving away from any kind of additives such as emulsifiers. In different ways, Amedei and Domori are prime examples and have proved you can make great chocolate from nothing more than cacao beans and sugar. Both have recently dropped the use of lecithin altogether. Both lead me to conclude that no additional chemical components are necessary and indeed should be avoided.
Unless the bigger industrials realise this they will never produce the highest quality chocolate. In fact, they are looking in the wrong place. They should be looking to bean variety, quality and treatment rather than processing. But then that would cost more ...
December 12, 2005
Originally posted by execsearch
Should authenticity of such ingredients not be in the functionality and taste rather than just the chemical origin of its components?
I think as the effects of environment on a natural system (like cocoa beans in fermentation) are detailed by execsearch, the same should also be done when talking about the effects of environment on an industrial system, ie. the reactions leading to the production of citrems or PGPR-s. Just to mention a few: raw material grade, possible residues of catalysers, and the human factor as well. The effects on taste - a subtle quality depending on a maelstrom of small variations - in my opinion will form a chaotic system that is better seen from the endpoint created by nature than from a start point of a process "engineered" by man.
I totally agree with Martin. The business model of any producer using artificial additives will imply "to cut costs". High quality chocolate will not be produced by cutting costs. (Personally, I once had the chance to taste a chocolate containing PGPR. I was not aware of it, but I simply could not swallow the first bite and throw the whole thing to where it belongs.)
However I see an interesting "fashion"-like spreading of no-lecithine chocolates. First there was Cluizel, then Domori and Slitti, and now Amedei, Coppeneur and everyone else stepping on the market in the future. (Debauve et Gallais never used lecithine.)I think this can now be called an "industrial standard", while as far as I now, lecithine was present in the very first Fry bars as well, wasn't it?
March 11, 2006
Originally posted by Joanna
Co-incidentally, I am working on a paper on the history and use of lecithin, especially (but not exclusively) in chocolate. So if anyone who knows more about this than I do (all of you, it would seem) would like to help out, I would be happy to email direct.
I am also interested in getting hold of samples of lecithin at various stages of its processing.
Can you send me your paper?