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I have been researching and testing various recipes for sugar free chocolates.  A friend recently stumbled upon a sugar free version during her family vacation to Williamsburg, VA.  The chocolate is claimed to be dairy free and sugar free and comprised of cocoa beans from 4 different countries + himalayan salt blended together.  That is it.  The company Angelic Chocolates claims there is no sugar, sugar substitutes, sorbitals, fructose, corn syrups or appertains in their product.  Has anyone ever heard of this?  And would this be possible?

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Allie:

Apart from the fact that I have not idea what "appertains" are and I don't see a reference to them on the web site, there's nothing in the company's claims that is not possible. (And strictly speaking, it would be sorbitol not sorbitals).

What I would take away from the description is that the chocolate will be very intense. For most people, 90%+ chocolates are very much acquired tastes and most people find it very difficult to eat more than a very small portion at a time. 

But - just ground cocoa beans and salt? It's a legitimate recipe - though again, strictly speaking, most "Himalayan" salt is mined in Pakistan.

I have ordered a bag of Angelic Chocolates for my family and friends to sample.  However my friend and daughter who is diabetic proclaim the chocolates to be anything but bitter and without a salty after taste.

I shall update everyone on the flavor once we have tasted the chocolates.

 

I suspect she's referring to "aspartame" which is the artificial sweetener in Nutrasweet, Equal (as name brand sweeteners) and in pretty much every diet soda out there.

Details are everything.  It's a new operation run by an individual named Stephanie Mayes.   Get her to send an ingredient list (she's required to have one).

Either this is almost pure liquor, or it's simply untrue.  Tasting it should immediately tell you which one it is.

I contacted the store this evening and the proclaim the ingredients are as stated previously: 4 cocoa beans from 4 different countries + Himalayan salt blended together.

How is the nutritional value established; i.e. who establishes this?  Is this per state or determined by a separate entity?

 

 

Then it's basically just liquor.  As Clay notes, it's not going to be a chocolate bar as most people have come to expect.  

Nutritional values can either be generated using what's called the 'red book' of food nutritive values (basically a generic template of food categories maintained by the FDA), or using compositional analytical data generated in house or by your supplier. Almost everyone uses the red book, because it's easier.

Salt is noted for its ability to reduce bitterness in some contexts. Try adding tiny (!) amounts of salt to a cup of espresso, mix, and take a small sip. Do this a couple of times and pay attention to the sensation of bitterness as it changes.

We just received the bag of Angelic "Sugar Free" Chocolates on Tuesday.  I distributed the 20 pieces to family and friends, a couple local chefs, and the last few to co-workers.  While I have not heard back from everyone as of yet, I myself can detect an after taste of sweetness.  It almost tastes like a chocolate easter bunny... meaning that it has a smooth sugarery taste to it yet, not overpowering.  A co-worker who is diabetic stated that her blood glucose level raised several points after eating it.  Very disappointing, as my conclusion is that this chocolatier is not being honest with the list of ingredients on her bags of chocolate. 

Stephanie Mayes, a diabetic herself, was the owner of Angelic Chocolates and if you read about her you will find that she was looking for a way to feed herself chocolate without affecting her diabetes too much. She found this in her refined recipe that she claims to have taken 4 years to perfect. Using nothing but strained chocolate and Himalayan salts she found that she could, in fact, fool the senses(so to speak).  Now Cacao in the pod is surrounded by a white substance that is reported to be sweet to the taste. If this is true, and I don't doubt that it is, then Cacao must have some content of sweetener such as natural sugars. Rather minuscule perhaps but none the less it must contain some content of sugar. If your friends blood glucose level rose a little than I suspect it is because of the natural content of sugar contained in the chocolate.  Remember Stephanie was a diabetic herself and she had heart issues as well and looked for a way to be able feed herself heart healthy chocolate. I don't believe that she mislead anyone and if her nutrition facts were incorrect she would probably have been visited by a gov. agency before now. This is wonderful chocolate.

Ah, the power of marketing.

Adding salt is not a great way to make something heart healthy.

Chocolate liquor has about 1% natural sugars in it.

The FDA doesn't have time to visit most large food mfrs, much less the small mom & pop shoppes.

Adding salt isn't a good way to make something heart healthy? Himalayan salt or Pink salt is known and proven to have the same 84 minerals that are contained in the human body. It has also been proven to clear arteries and increase circulation while lowering blood pressure. I'm over the age of 50 and my blood pressure is low for a 20 year old much less a 50 year old and I ingest a major amount of salt including pink salt. This is not heart healthy you don't think? Where did you receive your education Doctor? 

Pink salt also is known to balance the acid and alkali in the body. Einstein once said it takes a genius to see the obvious so let's look at something obvious. The ingredients list no lecithin which is used to balance acid and alkali in chocolate; could it be that the pink salt is being used instead since it's known to have the same balancing affects? Possibly.

As for the Gov. agency, latter 1990's an explosion occurred in a chicken packing facility in NC. OSHA (a gov. agency) found fault at the factory and levied fines. Soon after they went out into the workplace and began to levy fines around the state. Did they go to the the big corp's? no. They went out to the little housing sites where the little mom and pop contractors and subcontractors were working not Dupont or Sampsonite where a worker might not have worn a protective glove in a factory. According to your statement they would have no time to go to the little guys. The same holds true for the FDA (a gov. agency) Little Johns Back Yard Chocolate Shack is exactly where their going. The FDA is a Big Boys Club and you aint in it. 

I could certainly walk through my degrees and where they came from, but i suspect that's not really where your question lies.  I understand you *want* to believe that something's that effectively almost pure NaCl with a few minor minerals in it will be a healthful panacea - however it's very well understood that in order to get that little bit of minerals, you end up getting a lot of salt - which is also similarly understood to be a direct driver of hypertension.  See The Lancet, Harvard medical student review, or any one of the 10,000 other reputable sources that have published as much.   I could also review a list of the peer reviewed journals i've published in, and the clinical trials that have been conducted. My work has, over the years, helped shape current FDA (for the US) policy and similar agencies in other countries all over the world.  You are correct that i'm not employed by 'the big boys club' of the FDA.  Lecithin does absolutely nothing to 'balance the acid and alkali' in chocolate.  It's function is purely as an ampiphillic emulsifier.

If you are marketing a food product as a medicinal food, or as appropriate for a demographic that has serious health issues - it comes with a responsibility to do so in a fashion that is consistent with current medical understanding.  Marketing salt (and lets be honest here - Himalayan salt IS salt) as heart healthy because it has a few minor minerals (and again - lets be honest - they are VERY minor - the average NaCl composition of this salt is 95%..).  It's irresponsible.  Likely illegal (you ARE familiar with the US labeling requirements related to sodium content and heart health, correct?)

I've been at this a very long time.  It's been my observation that there's a group of folks who desperately want to believe in non-traditional approaches (raw food, high salt, low carb, whatever), and often outright discredit mainstream science, while quoting the non-traditional sources or personal experiences that have not been peer reviewed, published, or even replicated.  There almost always is no reputable science that has been replicated backing any of it up.  What i find interesting is when those folks comes to an established board asking for information, and when they do not receive the answer they like, proceed to disparage and attempt to discredit the one who attempted to help them, because the answer did not lie within the constraints of their pre-existing personal belief system.

I will not engage in an extended discussion on this past this post.

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