Is Chocolate Vegan and How Can You Tell?
Is Chocolate Vegan?
The good news is that there are several brands of vegan friendly chocolate. The bad news is that it is trickier to find true vegan chocolate because of the many artificial additives found in many chocolates nowadays. Since Sulpice Chocolat makes several flavors of gluten-free vegan chocolate, the question of whether or not all chocolate is vegan comes up a lot and the answer may surprise you. Don’t worry though, there are a number of delicious, high quality chocolate brands that will satisfy the sweet tooth of any vegan chocolate lover. Just remember though, its best to search the company website to double check that they are vegan friendly before going ahead and buying a tempting new brand of chocolate.
Ingredients in Vegan Chocolate
At first you might think that all chocolate is vegan because it comes from the cacao bean, which is a plant. However, there are many stages of chocolate production and during the actual production of chocolate many companies make changes to their recipes in order to decrease the cost of chocolate. This is usually due to the skyrocketing price of cocoa butter. In order to counter the expense, many chocolate manufacturers remove most or even all of the cocoa butter and replace it with animal and vegetable fats. Besides the obvious animal fat, lard, there are many fats derived from animal sources that have tricky names and are hard to recognize. Some of the most common, non vegetarian/vegan friendly additions are: Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Palmatic acid, Oleic acid (oleinic acid), Myristic acid (tetradecanoic acid), Lecithin (unless specified as soy-lecithin or soya lecithin), Lactose, Glycerides (mono-, di-, and triglycerides), and Capric acid (decanoic acid)-this one is often not even listed as an ingredient. Even ingredients as harmless sounding as natural flavorings are often derived from animal sources.
Another seemingly harmless ingredient to look out for is artificial vanilla flavorings, such as vanillin because it is often made with stearic acid (octadecenoic acid) which is derived from animal fat. So, when in doubt, it is always best to go as natural as possible. Pure vanilla is not only vegan it also makes a delicious enhancement to chocolate and is found in almost all available varieties.
Is Milk Chocolate Vegan?
The one point that is worth making on milk chocolate is that there is no getting around it. Milk chocolate just isn’t vegan. Even though it is still vegetarian friendly, the highest quality milk chocolates on the market, like Sulpice, isn’t vegan because it contains milk. Besides, if you can find a “milk” chocolate that doesn’t contain milk it probably has enough artificial additives to make you want to avoid it anyways.
At Sulpice, we understand that many people are choosing to adopt the vegan lifestyle. That is why we are proud to say that our dark chocolate is 100% vegan. This is due to the high quality of our ingredients. Our vegan couverture chocolate includes only the following ingredients – cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and pure natural vanilla. What this lets our consumer know is that the rich, vibrant flavor of our chocolate will be featured in every bite.