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I am trying to find unsweetened milk chocolate or stevia sweetened milk chocolate.  Yes, I know I have plebeian taste buds, but I love the texture of the milk chocolate, just not the cloying sweetness. And I do love dark couverture for the silky texture, but even that has a bit more bitterness than I like, and too much sugar.  I could also use some protein in my vice to help with blood sugar levels.  Anyone know of any makers doing this, or who could tell me how to make unsweetened couverture into unsweetened milk chocolate with home kitchen equipment?


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I'm assuming you're diabetic, if you're managing your blood sugar levels, so you probably already know taht milk sugar will have lactose in it. If you remove sucrose from the formulation, you're going to have left a physical void that needs to be filled with something - most industrial producers fill sugar void with a sugar alcohol (maltitol, for example), and replace the milk with a milk protein (sodium caseinate, for example). You'll need to give some thought as to what you will replace your milk and sugars with, depending on your specific situation.

There is not anyone making this on a large scale commercial scale as far as i know, but i've not looked recently. The folks over at chocolate alchemy can help you try your hand at making a batch at home, but it will require about a 500 dollar investment to get you rolling.

Stevia is essentially a protein from an African plant. it's actually 2 proteins - there's a A fraction and a B fraction. Commercially, it's become available in the last year via a fermentation process that enzymatically produces one of these fractions. it results in a powder that's approximately 600x sweeter than sucrose. from your store, you can buy it already preblended with a carrier, or a bulking agent - such as maltodextrin, that roughly makes a teaspoon of it about as sweet as a teaspoon of sugar. you can try to use that as a guide to dial in a sweetness level you are interested in, but maltodextrins will impart a certain textural impact.
The only sugar-free products I can find use sugar alcohols, usually maltitol. It is interesting there is no "unsweetened" milk chocolate. I don't know if the chemistry is the issue, but more likely just not a lot of demand for it. I suspect the average customer for milk chocolate expects a sweet product. Even the "high percentage cocoa" milk chocolates are pretty sweet, in my opinion. But maybe there is a market for "bittersweet milk chocolate" that has been undiscovered.

Stevia is still a relatively new sweetener in the U.S. I can't help but believe that there would be a demand eventually because of the perception that it is "natural" etc. I don't know how expensive it is when purchased on an industrial scale, which probably is important.

You might contact The owner is on a "sugar-free mission" and only sells sugar-free products. He may know of either a source or something coming "down the pike."

On the medical side, while it's reasonably easy to incorporate small amounts of dark chocolate (70%) into one's diet with minimal adverse effect on blood sugar, it's a harder (but not impossible) to manage with milk chocolate. The impact on blood sugar levels for about 3 oz of milk chocolate is comparable to an 8 oz glass of apple juice, a ripe banana, or a 2 oz bag of corn chips, based on Glycemic Load (GL), which is the most commonly used method of expressing the effect of a food on blood sugar. A "high cocoa mass" milk chocolate has a GL around 7 per 50 gms. However, a milk chocolate that has a lower percentage of cocoa mass (meaning more sucrose and lactose) may have a GL double that. The lactose has some effect, although it's glycemic index is fairly low at 46-48.

A sugar free version of milk chocolate typically cuts the GL to about 3-5 per 50 gms, or roughly half of a good quality milk chocolate, so it makes some sense that people who are very concerned about minimizing blood glucose spikes consider a sugar-free product. (However, sugar-free products still contribute calories, and if one develops excess body fat, insulin resistance can lead to blood sugar elevations.)

Once a Hollywood celebrity starts demanding stevia-sweetened chocolate, it'll happen somewhere. :-)
The Reb A component (the sweeter of the protein fractions) is very, very expensive. Very. As in if you had a shoe box full of the stuff you'd retire a very rich man. Good thing it's blended with 99.9% maltodextrin to make it affordable 8-)

Chocolates have already been developed with stevia as the high intensity sweetener. The formulations are completed, and ready to roll. What's lacking is the demand. A chocolate mfr is not about to start offering another type of chocolate that requires a clean out (and hence complexity and waste) if the new product isn't going to deliver something unique and value added over what they're currently producing. That demand is not there (yet at least) for stevia chocolates at sufficient scale to make it reasonable.
Update: Check out this article from Confectionary News

There's already this erythritol-sweetened chocolate on the market:
and I think I've seen this or a rebranded version of it at Trader Joes or Whole Paycheck.

I've made chocolate from xylitol but it has a strange cooling effect in the mouth that was disconcerting and it left a lingering sweet aftertaste that is not so desirable. It may also have the gas-producing effect that people complain about with malitol, and is an not-discussed side effect of the agave powder (inulin) that some are using in "raw" chocolate. Inulin is not digestible by humans, but your gut bacteria love it, so you can see where the bad side effects come from!

BTW, Sebastian, Stevia is a South American plant, not African, as the posted article explains. It is actually used traditionally as a sweetener for mate along with lemon verbena in areas like Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and S. Brazil where mate is drunk. But plain stevia has a nasty bitter aftertaste I don't like. Reb A in combo with small amounts of sugar has a much better taste profile, though that nullifies the sugar free benefit of it!
Nat - actually, the plant grows in many places, however the geography from which it was first extracted and purified for commercialized consumption was Africa, and the subsequent enzymatic scale up production process was based from that material, with a significant amount of that work being completed in Israel and Minnesota. It was from that material that it was understood that there are multiple glycoside fractions that contribute to the overall sweetness of the gross (whole) material, and that some of those fractions are sweeter than others, with the rebaudioside-A fraction as delivering the highest sweetening potency.

There are hundreds of different species in the rebaudiana family, and vary from location to location, with their glycoprotein components similarly varying (ie, your stevia plant in mexico will likely sweeten - and taste - differently than your stevia plant from s. africa). Some are definitely more naturally potent than others, and some do a better job at mitigating the off flavors associated with the product than others.
Sebastian, sorry, since I research plant origins and ethnobotany, when you said the "plant is African" I assumed you meant the plant has its natural distribution in Africa, which it is not. It is from Southern South America as this book on Stevia explains:

The first Rebaudioside A may have been extracted from a plant growing in Africa, but I can't find any source that verifies that. Again this book implies that happened in Japan:

Are you thinking of thaumatin or Talin, a non-caloric natural sweetener that is 2000x sweeter than sugar that is extracted from the plant Thaumatococcus daniellii that is of African origins? I've played with this chemical and it's very difficult to use due to its super strong and lingering sweetness.
Sorry, I meant the actual physical source for the material that is currently commercially available was african. commercially, it's not being supplied as a direct extract from this plant any longer - rather it's an enzymatic bioreaction process.

My frame of reference? Was part of the team that was responsible for it's identification and subsequent creation of the process required to commercialize it.
Ah, ok, I understand now. Thanks for clarifying that. I should've warned you that us botanists get feel uneasy when people talk about plant origins, especially since I've spent the last 10 years trying to teach people that chilis are from Central America and not Asia, and that mangos are from Borneo and not Mexico!

This may be off topic, but can you tell us how you went from studying the extraction and synthesis of Rebaudiosides to chocolate making? And is it really a simple enough compound to make it cheaper to create from bioreactors (using yeast or E. coli?) rather than extract from plants?
Strange career path, isn't it? My background is actually genetic engineering and organic chemistry, but after having done it for a number of years discovered i pretty much hated lab work (and waged a philosophical war wherein i came to the conclusion that what i was doing was wrong - just because we can, doesn't mean we should - but that's another topic). I pretty much lucked into chocolate 20 years ago - fell into it completely by accident (or providence, depending on how you view things) - never in a million years that i'd be doing what i'm doing now, didn't even know it was an option!
I don't think there is aniything except lactose in Tiroler Edle 70% purissima maxima (an Austrian company, in cooperation with domori).

They claim, there is 70% cacao and 30 % milk - cacao mass, whole milk powder and cacao butter.

I was very positively surprised by the taste - expresively chocolaty and with the caramel note, typical for good milk chocolates, and - this is most important thing - not too sweet.


I have a colleague (the buyer at a local chocolate store) who is going to ISM (international confectionery show) in a couple of weeks and I have asked him to see if he can locate it, try it, and see if it's worth bringing in. They already bring in product from Germany so they should be able to combine shipping.

In the meantime, it's available on and other on-line shopping outlets in the EU - the company, Tiroler Edle, is Austrian.

:: Clay


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