Must Read! What is the point in paraffin wax?

06/27/17 02:00:03PM
16 posts

Hey guys! 

I'm just curious as to what parafin wax does. Obviously being a wax, it helps the chocolate to set, well kinda 'forces' it to set around the wax molecules, giving it a higher melting point.

Is wax common in mass chocolate production? I can't find any manufacturer with an ingredient as 'wax' but there are so many claims, I just want to understand why. 

Any help is appreciated! 



updated by @garfoid: 06/29/17 06:21:57AM
06/28/17 07:55:34AM
288 posts

Paraffin was commonly used in home made chocolates when I was a kid to avoid tempering - it is not used in chocolate these days.

06/28/17 08:15:03AM
16 posts


Paraffin was commonly used in home made chocolates when I was a kid to avoid tempering - it is not used in chocolate these days.

Thanks for the reply Kerry, what would you say to people who claim that it is in cheaper chocolate bars, especially in hotter climates? 

Clay Gordon
06/28/17 01:26:45PM
1,680 posts

garfoid -

In order to get chocolate to set properly (snap and sheen) it needs to be tempered to promote the formation of the right crystal structure.

Hand tempering is a skill that needs to be learned - a process that takes time and practice and not necessarily something that someone who is just making a few of something once a year (or lifetime) wants to master.

One option is to use a compound - a "chocolate" where cocoa butter is replaced by another fat, called a cocoa butter equivalent (or CBE) or cocoa butter replacement (CBR). These fats have higher melting points and are solid at room temperature and they don't need tempering. They are often sold as candy melts. 

However, if you are using real chocolate and don't have the patience or skill to temper, then adding some wax to the chocolate will force it to harden in an acceptable way when it cools.

I took a look through CFR 21. to see if there were any applications where paraffin could be used on a label without disclosing it and I don't see one. There are persistent claims that paraffin is added to cheap chocolates on a regular basis, and don't need to be disclosed because they can be listed as "other flavors" and I don't see that in the regulations regarding paraffin as a food additive.

clay -
06/29/17 06:20:57AM
16 posts

- Clay

Thanks so much for that i've had a really hard look and read through it! I appreciate you keeping it simple for me too!

Thaanks alot!


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