Through a notification dated 15 May 2017 the FSSAI has revised the standards for chocolates and has included the standards for two new types of chocolate categories. These amendments will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2017. However, FBOs are obliged to comply with these amendments only by 1 January 2018.
FSSAI has revised the standards for use of vegetable fat in chocolates. In the existing standards the use of vegetables fats was not permitted in chocolates with the exception of cocoa butter. FSSAI has now permitted the use of other vegetable fats, besides cocoa butter in chocolates in keeping with international practices and CODEX. The use of vegetable fat must not exceed the limit of 5% in the finished product. The FBOs must prescribe to the source of the vegetable fat for use in chocolates as is given in the regulation.
Labelling for vegetable fats
Further the FSSAI has specified that the label declaration must mention the quantity of vegetable fat used in the chocolate.
In the case of chocolates which contain vegetable fats other than cocoa butter there is a need for the following label declaration in bold
“CONTAINS VEGETABLE FAT IN ADDITION TO COCOA BUTTER”
Standards for vegetable fats
The vegetable fat may be used singly or in blends and shall comply with the following
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)
- 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)
- obtained by the process of refining and /or fractionation, which excludes enzymatic modification of the triglyceride structure and in conformity with above standard
The following vegetable fats, obtained from plants, are permitted for use as cocoa butter equivalents
Sal (Shorea robusta),
Kokum gurgi (Garcinia indica),
Mango kernel (Mangifera indica),
Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis and Elaeis olifera),
Mahua Oil (Bassia latifolia or B. longifolia),
Dhupa Fat (Vateria indica),
Phulwara fat (Madhuca butyracea),
Dharambe fat (Garcinia cambogia)
Addition of standards for two chocolate categories Praline and Covertures
Praline is defined as a product that is made in a single mouthful size, where the amount of the chocolate component shall not be less than 25 per cent of the total weight of the product; the product shall consist of either filled chocolate or a single or combination of the chocolates for which standards have been specified in these regulations.
Coverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains more cocoa butter than other chocolates. FSSAI has stated that coverture shall contain, on a dry matter basis, not less than 35 per cent total cocoa solids of which not less than 31 per cent shall be cocoa butter and not less than 2.5 per cent fat-free cocoa solids. It may also contain artificial sweeteners as specified in Appendix A of the regulations. The labelling declarations will be as per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and labelling) Regulations, 2011.
With the addition of standards for these two chocolate categories FSSAI now has standards for a total of 10 types of chocolates which include Milk chocolate, Milk covering chocolate, Plain chocolate, Plain covering chocolate, Blended chocolate, White chocolate, Filled chocolate, Composite chocolate, Praline and Coverture.
Optional ingredients permitted in chocolates
Chocolates may contain one or more of the following substances namely
- edible salts
- spices and condiments and their extracts
- vitamins and minerals
- permitted emulsifying and stabilizing agents
- permitted sequestering and buffering agents