In a notification of 5 May 2016, the FSSAI has proposed changes to standards dealing with Chocolates in the category of ‘Sweets & Confectionery’ in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. The FSSAI has also invited comments, views and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft notification within a period of 30 days.
The FSSAI has given a broader definition of chocolate and the major proposed amendment is that it has included the addition of vegetable fat in chocolates. It has limited the use of vegetable fat other than cocoa butter and says that vegetable fats must not exceed 5% of the finished product. This will be calculated after the total weight of any other added edible foodstuffs has been deducted but will not reduce the minimum contents of cocoa materials. The vegetable fats permitted to be used in chocolates will be the ones prescribed in the regulations.
FSSAI has defined chocolates as a homogeneous product that is obtained by an adequate process of manufacture from a mixture of one or more of the ingredients, namely, cocoa beans, cocoa nib, cocoa mass, cocoa press cake and cocoa dust (cocoa fines/powder), including fat reduced cocoa powder with or without addition of sugars, cocoa butter, milk solids including milk fat. None of the materials will be rancid, or have an off odour and will be free of insect and fungus infestation, filth, adulterants and any harmful or injurious matter.
There has been no change to the types of chocolates and they remain as in the earlier regulation and these are Milk chocolates, Milk Covering Chocolate, Plain Chocolate, Plain Covering Chocolate, Blended Chocolate, White chocolate, Filled Chocolate and Composite Chocolate.
Chocolates may contain artificial sweeteners as provided in regulation for White, Milk, Plain, Composite And Filled like Saccharin Sodium at 500ppm, Aspartame (methylester) at 2000ppm and Acesulfame Potassium at 500ppm and these have to be declared as provided in Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Chocolates may also contain optional ingredients like edible salts, spices and condiments, permitted emulsifying and stabilizing agents and permitted sequestering and buffering agents which may be needed for use in different types of chocolates.
The new proposed standards pertaining to Vegetable Fats
The vegetable fat may be single or in blends but will need to comply with the following criteria
- The vegetable fats must be non–lauric vegetable fats, which are rich in symmetrical monounsaturated triglycerides of the type POP (palmitic acid -oleic acid- palmitic acid), POSt (palmitic acid -oleic acid-stearic acid) and StOSt (stearic acid -oleic acid- stearic acid).
- They should be miscible in any proportion with cocoa butter, and are compatible with its physical properties (melting point and crystallization temperature, melting rate, need for tempering phase).
- Vegetable fats used in chocolate must be obtained only by the processes of refining and /or fractionation, which exclude enzymatic modification of the triglyceride structure.
The vegetable fats which conform to the above criteria and which are obtained from plants may be used like
- Sal (Shorea robusta),
- Kokum gurgi (Garcinia indica),
- Mango kernel (Mangifera indica),
- Barneo tallow (Shorea spp.),
- Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis and Elaeis olifera)
- Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) cocoa butter substitute