A chocolate crib sheet: keeping up with the latest chocolate trends is a tasty proposition – includes related articles – Ingredient Technology
Keeping up with the latest chocolate trends is a tasty proposition
“Theobroma,” which means “food of the gods,” is the scientific term for chocolate. A fitting description, says one chocolate supplier, seeing that chocolate has the ability to “transform ice cream and frozen novelty products into magnificent delights of taste and enjoyment.”
While the supplier’s kudos for the attributes of chocolate may seem a bit overzealous, there is no denying the product’s appeal to consumers or the dairy industry’s desire to develop novel products utilizing the cocoa bean-derived ingredient.
“Everyone wants a new angle,” says one chocolate supplier, “something different, unique.” With the variety of chocolate and cocoa types on the market, the new product ground is fertile.
Current trends support the versatility of the ingredient. In frozen desserts, research is being conducted on white chocolate chunks and soft chunks (“ice cream inclusions that don’t break people’s teeth,” says one supplier). Reduced-fat chocolate is on the horizon as technology improves, but the hurdle of FDA regulations has yet to be cleared.
For milk products, the trend is towards milder chocolates, says one supplier, not as much for taste reasons as for cost issues. Leaving out the cocoa produces a lower cost product. The danger implicit in this approach to formulating chocolate milk is that the chocolate taste negligible. “Pretty soon the taste is so mild, it’s like a sweet milk. [If it continues,] eventually dairies will lose business to the soft drink industry,” says one supplier.
What follows are three reference charts intended to answer basic chocolate questions.
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