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Chocolate Percentages


ksaw29
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I've always seen Chocolates with the percentage on them, but never knew what exactly they represented. Do they:

- Show the amount of cocoa that is present in the bar?

- If so, is the sweetness of the bar affected by the percentage of cocoa present?

Just wanted to end my confusion. Thanks

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I've always seen Chocolates with the percentage on them, but never knew what exactly they represented.  Do they:

- Show the amount of cocoa that is present in the bar?

- If so, is the sweetness of the bar affected by the percentage of cocoa present?

Just wanted to end my confusion.  Thanks

The percentage is, in fact, the percentage of cacao in the chocolate. There are 2 components though, one is cocoa mass and the other cocoa butter (the chocolate maker will use cocoa liquor and supplement with extra cocoa butter for the final ratio.) The main other ingredient in dark chocolate is sugar so if a chocolate bar states 65% cacao most of the remaining 35% is sugar. The other ingredients are typically an emulsifer such as lecithin and sometimes vanilla or other flavoring.

so, in short, yes. Higher percentages have less sugar.

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Well Dantodd summed it up rather well and he is right on the money. That percentage is the percent of the chocolate bar that has come from the cocoa bean(cocoa solids and cocoa butter). And yes cocoa butter is usually added to make the melt of the bar smoother and that cocoa butter added is part of that percentage that you see...

One thing with sweetness is that the more cocoa butter they add the more sweet it will taste...so with two 70% cocoa content bars side by side, one can actually taste sweeter because there is more cocoa butter in one of them than the other...the cocoa butter isn't sweet but it isn't acidic or bitter either so it means that out of that 70% there will be less cocoa solids so it will be less bitter. Just a heads up...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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An easy way to remember, is that the cocoa percentages are simply the percentage of the bar that comes from the bean -- no matter what form. So, for example you had:

70% Cocoa Liquor 30% sugar = 70% Bar

60% Cocoa Liquor, 10% Cocoa Butter, 30% Sugar = 70% Bar

50% Cocoa Liquor, 20% Cocoa Butter, 30% Sugar = 70% Bar

....

10% Cocoa Liquor, 60% Cocoa Butter, 30% Sugar = 70% Bar

You can also have:

60% Cocoa Liquor, 40% Cocoa Butter, NO Sugar = 100% Bar.

As you can imagine (and as Robert mentioned), the lower percentages of liquor and higher percentages of cocoa butter, the more sweet it will appear.

For those that aren't familiar, (though most on this forum probably are), cocoa butter is simply the fat that is naturally present in the bean. (Most beans are about 53% fat/cocao butter by weight.) A good level of comparison is the peanut oil that floats on the surface of home made peanut butter. Cocoa butter is basically the same for the cocoa bean -- except that it has a higher melting temperature making it a "fat" instead of an "oil".

-Art

Amano Artisan Chocolate

http://www.amanochocolate.com/

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I, too, am thankful for this helpful information. I have wondered about all those percentages on the chocolate's wrapper.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Yes , its always nice to have more detailed information , in the ocean of generic information and sometimes approximated as well , so that you.

I was looking at more Eguittard chocolate and I found they have few more new chocolates ( or new for me ).One is this

Quetzalcoatl Bittersweet Chocolate

A very dark, high-intensity bittersweet chocolate for the afficionado. Dark, bold flavors linger with a minimum of sweetness. 72% cocoa-mass, meaning it contains no added cocoa butter. 56.7g/2oz per bar, Kosher‑Dairy.

It was interesting to see the fact that has no cocoa butter added so is 72 % cocoa mass I am wondering the sugar % in this one.

Vanessa

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The sugar percentage will be aprox. 28%. Maybe just a little less becuase of the lecithin and Vanilla...

I have tried this bar and it is a good tasting bar in my opinion...I am going to sit down and do a thurough tasting but just from a quick taste I did enjoy the bar...

It still has a very nice texture without the added cocoa butter...

Have you tried it yet?

Have a good one,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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Robert, I havent tryed yet , I was thiking to order few bars from the new ones , and also I was thinking to order some more milk chocolate and I was contemplating to get the 41% orinoco.Weird I have seen two version of thi one calls fro 38% the other 41%, Do you know anything about this chocolate by chance?

Also from el rey , the 40% dark milk rio caribe , any advise on that one ?

They have a sale on that one and if is close to caoba , I will like to get it.

Thank you

Vanessa

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Robert, I havent tryed yet , I was thiking to order few bars from the new ones , and also I was thinking to order some more milk chocolate and I was contemplating to get the 41% orinoco.Weird I have seen two version of thi one calls fro 38% the other 41%, Do you know anything about this chocolate by chance?

Also  from el rey , the 40% dark milk  rio caribe , any advise  on that one ?

They have a sale on that one and if is close to caoba , I will like to get it.

Thank you

Vanessa, I just got a couple pounds of the 41% Orinoco in my big Chocosphere order (43 lbs of chocolate - woot!). I personally really dislike the E. Guittard 38% milk chocolate, but I liked this one better. I'm still not in love with it, but that's probably just my dark chocolate bias showing.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Thank you Tammy, I will order el rey then , like you said I am more of a dark person ( in older age I guess for me :laugh: ) and el rey never disappointed me .I will though order some to try it out so I know .

Yes I will have to order several lb also.

Vanessa

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Robert, I havent tryed yet , I was thiking to order few bars from the new ones , and also I was thinking to order some more milk chocolate and I was contemplating to get the 41% orinoco.Weird I have seen two version of thi one calls fro 38% the other 41%, Do you know anything about this chocolate by chance?

Also  from el rey , the 40% dark milk  rio caribe , any advise  on that one ?

They have a sale on that one and if is close to caoba , I will like to get it.

Thank you

Vanessa, I just got a couple pounds of the 41% Orinoco in my big Chocosphere order (43 lbs of chocolate - woot!). I personally really dislike the E. Guittard 38% milk chocolate, but I liked this one better. I'm still not in love with it, but that's probably just my dark chocolate bias showing.

I'll have to try the Orinoco. I like the Soleil d' Or better than Guittard's regular 38%.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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  • 11 years later...

Was trying to explain percentages over on another food site, where someone had used Callebaut 70% as an example.  The chocolate is 'minimum cocoa 70.5%' and has a breakdown of 38.9% cocoa butter and 33.6% fat free cocoa solids, which add up to 72.5%. Another poster says "you wouldn't expect the 38.9 + 33.6 to equal 70.5, for the same reason that a cup of water and a cup of sugar equal less than two cups total volume" which I'm not sure makes sense.  Sugar dissolves in water and a cup of each will make 1.5 cups of simple syrup.  But chocolate is solids suspended in fat, and Callebaut would be starting with the whole bean, not mixing pure cocoa butter and totally fat free cocoa powder.  So, what's up with the 2% variance?  Anyone have an explanation, or is it actually 72% labeled as 70%?

 

https://www.callebaut.com/en-US/chocolate-cocoa-nuts/70-30-38nv/70-30-38

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I don't know for sure, but, since it's labelled as minimum 70.5% maybe they add a touch extra to make sure. I know some companies put extra food by weight into their packaging, just to make sure that every package contains at least what the wrapper promises.

 

I am also wondering if it isn't done so that if the chocolate gets stored in a humid place, the additional weight of atmospheric water absorbed by the sugar doesn't push the percentage down below the label %, causing legal troubles.

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2 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

 

I am also wondering if it isn't done so that if the chocolate gets stored in a humid place, the additional weight of atmospheric water absorbed by the sugar doesn't push the percentage down below the label %, causing legal troubles.

 

I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with atmospheric water absorption. Chocolate is always packaged in something moisture resistant and the sugar is not so incredibly hygroscopic that it is sucking water out of the air through its coating of cocoa butter. Remember, fat is waterproof and we’re talking dense, fatty chocolate, not cotton candy. 

 

 

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