Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree. Its ingredients generally include cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin and in some cases vegetable fat. Milk and speciality chocolates may have additional ingredients such as milk, fruits and nuts.Know More
The process of creating chocolate is complex. It starts with the harvesting of cocoa beans, which are found in the cocoa tree's fruit, also known as cocoa pods. The beans are taken out of these pods and dried before being shipped to the factory. These are then fermented, roasted and ground to create a liquid called chocolate liquor. This liquid naturally contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Pressure is then applied to the chocolate liquor to remove the cocoa butter, which leaves behind a pressed cake that is cooled and turned into cocoa powder.
Cocoa that is sold at grocery stores and used as a flavor by bakeries contains at least 10 percent cocoa butter. While cocoa is created by removing a percentage of cocoa butter, chocolate for eating is produced by adding it. Cocoa butter is an important ingredient of chocolate and makes about one-fourth of an average chocolate bar. It adds flavor to the chocolate and makes it more fluid.Learn more in Sweets
While pure, unsweetened chocolate is gluten-free, chocolate that is common in stores contains other ingredients, some of which may contain gluten. Two common ingredients that are added to pure chocolate that contain gluten are barely malt and wheat.Full Answer >
Of the major types of chocolate, white chocolate typically melts the fastest. Milk chocolate usually melts slower than white chocolate, but faster than semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate. In most cases, dark chocolate has the slowest melting speed.Full Answer >
Chocolate contains caffeine, and eating excessive amounts of it can cause nervousness, frequent urination, rapid heartbeat and difficulty sleeping. Pregnant and nursing women should moderate their chocolate consumption, as should individuals with high blood pressure, glaucoma or digestive disorders.Full Answer >
Sugar-free chocolate can act as a laxative if large amounts are consumed. This is due to the fact that sugar-free chocolate contains a sugar alcohol called Maltitol that ferments in the intestinal tract and attracts water. The resulting fermentation that attracts water can cause a laxative effect in the form of diarrhea and gas.Full Answer >