People need to be very cautious when it comes to food consumption. There is no insufficiency of food products in the market and similar is applicable to chocolates. People often get attracted to beautiful and pleasant packing along with the sugariness that the sellers promise. Before buying a chocolate, it is compulsory to check the signs of quality check and its approval on its packaging in order to confirm that the product is suitable to consume. The Government of India has a commissioned agency to ensure the quality of food available to the consumers, known as Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI).  FSSAI, established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, keeps a check on the quality of food that is being manufactured or sold in the Indian markets by setting up food standards in the country by issuing the FSSAI Food License

Related: The Benefits of an FSSAI License

On 15 May 2017, FSSAI issued a notification revising the set standards for chocolates. Two new chocolate categories have been included in the New Revised Standards. These amendments and revisions made by FSSAI are referred to as the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standard and Food Additives) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2017. From 1 January 2018, the Food Business Operators are expected to comply with these amendments and regulations.

It is important for the Food Business Operators manufacturing, storing, distributing, importing, and selling chocolates must enlighten themselves with the below-mentioned amendments issues by FSSAI for chocolates and work in compliance with the safety standards set by the association.

Revisions made by FSSAI for Chocolates 

FSSAI Revisions

The FSSAI revisions apply to the earlier standards that were set for the use of vegetable fat in chocolates. According to the earlier standards, the use of vegetable fats in the chocolates were prohibited except the use of cocoa butter. In accordance with the revised standards,

The FSSAI revisions pertain to the earlier standards set for the usage of vegetable fat in chocolates. The earlier standards did not allow the use of vegetable fats in chocolates with the only exception of cocoa butter. As per the revised standards, the agency has allowed the use of vegetable fats in chocolates conforming to the CODEX and other international practices. FSSAI has stipulated that the use of vegetable fat in the chocolates must not exceed more than 5 percent of the finished product. While using vegetable fat, the FBO must also adhere to other regulations regarding its source and use in the chocolates.

Labeling of Vegetable Fats

FSSAI license authority has specified the declaration of the labels pasted on the chocolate packaging. The label must mention the quantity of the vegetable fat that is used in the chocolate production. For all the chocolates containing vegetable fats other than cocoa butter then it must have a legal declaration in bold as – ” CONTAINS VEGETABLE FAT IN ADDITiON TO COCOA BUTTER”.

Standards for Vegetable Fats

The vegetable fats can either be used as a single or as multiple ingredients in the process of chocolate manufacturing but they must comply with the following standards:

  • The vegetable fat must be non-lauric, i.e., the fats should be rich in symmetrical monounsaturated triglycerides. They must belong to the following types:
    – POSt (Palmitic Acid -Oleic Acid Stearic Acid)
    – StOSt (Stearic Acid -Oleic Acid- Stearic Acid)
    – POP (Palmitic Acid -Oleic Acid- Palmitic Acid)
  •  The vegetable fat should be able to mix with the cocoa powder in any possible proportion and should be compatible with the crystallization temperature, melting rate, melting point, need for tempering phase and other physical properties.
  • The vegetable fat must be acquired by the process of fractionation and/or refining which must exclude triglyceride structure enzymatic modification in conformation with the above-mentioned standards.

List of Permitted Vegetable Fats

Following is the list of the vegetable fats to use in chocolates that have been permitted by FSSAI. These should be obtained from plants as an equivalent of cocoa butter. They are as follows:

  • Sal (Shorea Robusta)
  • Kokum Gurgi (Garcinia Indica)
  • Dhupa Fat (Vateria Indica)
  • Mango Kernel (Mangifera Indica)
  • Palm Oil (Elaeisguineensis or Elaeisolifera)
  • Dharambe Fat (Garcinia Cambogia)
  • Phulwara Fat (Madhucanutyracea)
  • Mahua Oil (Bassialatifolia or B.Longifolia)

Addition of New Standards for Covertures & Praline Chocolate Categories

Coverture

This is a popular variety of high in quality chocolates. These chocolates contain the maximum quantity of cocoa in comparison to rest of the varieties of the chocolate. In accordance with the FSSAI guidelines, the total measurement if cocoa solids or dry matter present on the coverture chocolate must not be less than 35% of the total cocoa solids. Out of these 355, the measurement of cocoa butter must not be less than 31% and that of fat-free cocoa solids shouldn’t be found below 2.5%. FSSAI has also permitted the addition of artificial sweeteners as specified in the regulation’s Appendix A in these chocolates. The labeling declarations must be in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling ) Regulations, 2011.

Praline

Made in a single mouthful size, praline is a very popular chocolate variety. The chocolate component and its amount shouldn’t be less than 25% of the total product’s weight. Furthermore, a clear notification has been specified in the standards that the chocolate should either contain a single chocolate/filled chocolate/blend of chocolates.

As a result of the addition of new standards for Proline and Coventure Chocolates, FSSAI has now standardized a complete set of 10 variations of chocolates. These are:

  • Milk Chocolates
  • Milk Covering Chocolates
  • Plain Chocolates
  • Plain Covering Chocolates
  • Composite Chocolates
  • White Chocolates
  • Blended Chocolates
  • Coventure Chocolates
  • Praline Chocolates

List of Optional Ingredients Permitted in Chocolates

FSSAI has permitted the below mentioned to be used in chocolates on an optional basis:

  • Edible Salts
  • Minerals and Vitamins
  • Permitted Buffering and Sequestering Agents
  • Permitted Stabilizing and Emulsifying Agents
  • Condiments and Spices along with their extracts