Sugar Free Chocolate

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/15/12 12:22:13PM
143 posts

Hi All,

we receive a lot of request of "sugar free" chocolate, most of them they refer to "use Agave syrup/crystals", but this is not what we think as "sugar free"!

Unfortunately here, miscommunication or false information make people believe that Agave "sugar" (!!!) is diabetic friendly...

We know that a 85%dark bar with sugar is better than a 55% dark made with agave, but it takes time to explainthatto every one!

Now, going to the point:

i'm capable of doing some research of real sugar free (sucrose) -chocolate maybe using stevia or other ingredients (Honey won't work). but i not really sure where to start..

Anyone any idea or suggestion?

Thanks in advance!

Antonino


updated by @antonino-allegra: 04/17/15 09:45:18AM
antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/16/12 04:04:42AM
143 posts

Hi All again,

anyone have tried "SPLENDA" (sucralose) on making chocolate?

Rosie
@rosie
04/16/12 12:23:52PM
8 posts
Hi there, this is my first post :) I have also had many requests for sugar-free chocolate. My supplier carries Foley's dark calets that are sugar-free and made with Maltitol. Moltitol as a sweetener has similar effects as sugar but the effects vary so ilable what sweetener is used and let people decide for themselves whether or not it's ok for them! If there was a chocolate out there that used stevia I would be all over that!!
antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/16/12 01:33:43PM
143 posts

Hi just an update on research,

and i make a point sayng that i am not a food scientist but just a chocolate maker that i very very curios!

Stevia chocolate is recently available on the market, with percentage between 55% and 80% something.

Stevia is 300 time sweeter than sugar and has not the same effect to chocolate as saccarose (sugar).

To "make up" for the missing sugary part, dietar fibers like inulin,dextrin, oligofructose (??) is added to ,in my word, to bulk up the bar.

Also Stevia alone wont make the chocolate sweet enough (and also costs a lot!) so another form of sugar substitute (sugar alchool?) such as Erythritol is added.

then of course there is the knowledge of how much of what!!

Now, as artisan chocolate maker is a lot to digest... i think Biiig Company have scientists and experts but im not giving up, i can get all those ingredient and play around, inviting a couple of food scientist for a glass of wine and after the second bottle hey should start to talk. eheheh....

Still, anyone any idea on sucralose (splenda) usage?

Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
04/18/12 01:31:36PM
157 posts

We gave up at this point. It's cost prohibitive and taste prohibitive. Most alternate sugar chocolates taste like fake chocolate. Then you'll find that even though it's requested you're not going to sell a lot and you might have more of a waste cost than not. We try to preach to the sugar free requestors that moderation is the key. Just don't eat our food like junk food, test your insulin levels and behave. Young diabetics know this, older ones just want to over-indulge. Interesting behavioral stuff.

Wish you well on your search, at some point we'll have a diabetic artisanal chocolate maker that will solve this for all time.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/18/12 02:50:56PM
143 posts

Hi Andy,

thank you, what you say is what i actually think about the issue.... Still it is funny and interesting to do research!

i will keep posted!

Next try will be with Splenda.

Ernesto Bugarin Pantua Jr.
@ernesto-bugarin-pantua-jr
04/20/12 06:26:32AM
24 posts

Hi Antonino,

Have you tried coconut sugar? Its from granulated coconut nectare it is LOW GI about 35. I have tried using it in 70/30, 60/40 and 50/50 chocolates and they taste superb almost like cane sugar.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/20/12 06:30:59AM
143 posts

Hi Ernesto,

will have a look of what kind of coconut sugar i can get here in South Africa. In theory i shouldn't need to change much of a recipe if the coconut sugar has a similar structure.

thanks a lot!

Tom
@tom
04/20/12 07:51:49AM
205 posts
Coconut sugar is not as sweet as cane sugar so you may need to consider that in the formulation. i used some of Ernestos, it really complemented the Australian chocolate i made from it, it also has a quite distinctive flavour too, i really liked it. It ground in pretty much the same as normal sugar. Tempered no probs. i made a dark choc and the diabetic woman at work loved it, moderation is key though, it is not sugar free.
Omar Forastero
@omar-forastero
04/20/12 09:50:25AM
86 posts

Eventho we use maltitol here, I couldnt agree more with Andy. Moderation is the key.

Antonio, before doing tests with Splenda, did you know that the scientists who invented Splenda, were originally working on creating apesticide? Someone was mad enough to tasteit, andhere's the result...

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/20/12 04:00:49PM
143 posts

Hi Omar,

a pesticide? really?!? hmmm maybe a good marketing tool: Eat this chocolate, not only is sugar free but also kill all the bacteria inside out! aha ha ahah just kidding, but i'm now curious!

So far we have:

Agave sugar (hi fructose)

Stevia (no calories but needs bulking fibers)

Erythritol and Maltitol (alchool sugar)

Splenda (sucralose/pesticide...)

Coconut sugar

Add on if you have ideas!

Laura Rucker
@laura-rucker
04/21/12 12:11:39AM
2 posts

Whoa! Now THAT'S scary! I had no idea!

Laura Rucker
@laura-rucker
04/21/12 12:13:25AM
2 posts

As you said in your 3rd paragraph, real sugar is best... in moderation. I personally steer clear of "chemicals" for the very reason that Omar mentions.

Blech!

Omar Forastero
@omar-forastero
04/21/12 02:59:15AM
86 posts

scary indeed. I just don't understand how something like this can get FDA approved.Good luck antonio!i'd love to know what you will settle for eventually.

happy cooking

Kera Grace
@kera-grace
04/21/12 04:18:20AM
3 posts

Hi Antonino,

Another possibility is Lakanto. I tried a sample recently and it tastes a lot like cane sugar, bulk-wise is equal when replacing refined sugar in a recipe.

Is Lakanto the miracle low GI sweetener of the century?

(source)

Accordingto its creators, Lakanto is the closest sugar substitute and, unlike stevia, it is great for baked goods and coffee and has no aftertaste.Lakantohas several health benefits, among them:

  • Zero calories
  • Zero glycaemic indextherefore no influence on blood sugar and insulin release
  • Zero additives, colorants, preservatives;
  • Tastes like sugar, smells like sugar, looks like sugar;
  • 100% natural, vegan ingredients;
  • Safe for diabetics, hypoglycemics, kids and overweight people;
  • Does not feed harmful yeast (candida) and/or bacteria;
  • Will not cause cavities or contribute to tooth decay;
  • It does not promote aging and/or suppress the immune system;
  • Easy to measure and use because it has a one-to-one ratio with sugar;
  • Does not absorb moisture so wont harden with age.
Sebastian
@sebastian
04/21/12 05:58:10AM
754 posts

Try to frame it in terms of glycemic index - there should be plenty of charts on the internet that already exist - it's a way to assign , essentially, a number that measure 'how sugar like is xxx'. The lower the GI, the more diabetic friendly, generally speaking.

Thomas Forbes
@thomas-forbes
04/21/12 09:20:25AM
102 posts

I have found honey powder at Korean supermarkets in north New Jersey. I made a couple of batches of 75% and it turned out very nice. Can you get evaporated cane juice in powder or crystal form? I see this used on many vegan and other products sold at health food stores.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/21/12 02:39:38PM
143 posts

Hi Thomas,

i did some research not long time ago onhoney powder and it did look like that only 30% is actual honey and the rest is simply sugar (saccarose) so i gave up on using honey to make solid bars (although honey will be the best "sugar free" product! natural and depend on the flowers and area we could have an infinite number of combinations!).

Could you please check how is your honey powder made?

thanks!

Thomas Forbes
@thomas-forbes
04/21/12 04:02:35PM
102 posts

This has pure honey and maltodextrin listed has it's only ingredients. The company is Arizona Farm, cactus honey powder. I wish it was 100% honey.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/22/12 03:04:21AM
143 posts

HI Thomas,

apparently what they call cactus "honey" is nothing else that crystallized agave syrup! It look like there is no bees involved into making "honey"=disinformation and using the word "honey" as marketing tool... i have found a couple of website that explain this in details.

i think the use of maltodextrin is for keeping it "dry" ( i have used in the past tapioca maltodextrin to turn olive oil into powder...)

I notice that from the list i made, except for the "Lakanto" (where to fid it?), it all goes back to Agave/cactus plants.

South Africa (where i live) is a big producer of agave syrup and powder, and the farming area is just about 2 hours drive from Cape Town. I'm actually in touch with a producer and i should ask them if i could visit the plantation and maybe have a talk with their lab-test people to clarify the myth of agave...

Thomas Forbes
@thomas-forbes
04/22/12 09:30:07AM
102 posts

Thank you, after doing some searching on the web, I have learned something new. One company claims their cactus honey is made from bee's honey.


updated by @thomas-forbes: 09/08/15 01:58:39AM
Clay Gordon
@clay
04/22/12 10:25:25AM
1,680 posts

Thomas - there are a number of producers of evaporated organic cane juice in crystals. Paraguay and Brazil are big producers (and Brazil is cheaper). Wholesome Sweeteners can get it to you by the ton (nothing smaller) but you can call them and find a local distributor who can sell it to you by the 40-50lb bag. I last bought through Ace Naturals in Queens, though they don't deliver to where you are in N Jersey. Shouldn't be too hard to find through natural food distributor or bakery supply company.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
awriter
@awriter
04/22/12 11:18:04AM
5 posts

Hi, folks - just came across this discussion and hope to add some helpful information.

First, I've been in R&D for the last four years to create the first all-natural (no chemicals, preservatives, agave, maltitol or artificial sweeteners, including sucralose) sugar-free desserts in the country. The one rule that every dessert has to pass before being added to our line is that it be fine restaurant quality, and in look, taste and texture, be as good as or better than the 'real thing.' When we do taste testing with guests we do not tell them the item is sugar-free, and enjoy watching their jaws drop when we inform them after they give their detailed feedback. :)

We launch in a few months as Good For You Goodies. Desserts that are actually good for someone to eat. Why do I say good for you to eat? Because after the 60 Minutes expose on sugar (that would include ALL forms, including cane juice, raw, etc.) about how it, and not fat, is a cause of some types of heart disease and cancer, as well as the cause of obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes -- which the scientific community has known for years -- it should be clear to any thinking person that avoiding this toxin forever is imperative for long-term health. But back to sweeteners.

Why no agave? Because until high fructose corn syrup, which is 55% fructose and in sufficient quantities will not only give you NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, now a raging epidemic in this nation's children) -- agave syrup is 77% to 99% fructose! Sure, it doesn't raise blood sugars, but that's only because it's handled by the body differently than glucose, in that it goes straight to the liver for processing. If you want to get very, very sick, use lots of agave syrup. Maltitol is bad because unlike other sugar alcohols (xylitol and erythritol, which the body cannot 'see' and therefore excretes without effect on blood sugars), it will spike insulin and blood sugars: a double whammy. Upshot: Avoid. And Stevia? My medical and science research, as well as real-time work with Participants on my blog (see below), show that it interferes in metabolic processes involving fat accumulation (though I haven't yet pinned down the biological pathways) so that's out. Just as well, the stuff is bitter no matter what brand, or how it's used -- and I've tried every single brand and type on the market. Truvia is truly disgusting.

How do I know all this? I run a blog on the Science of Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes: Sugarfreegoodies

But back to chocolate. After years of experimenting, it became clear that creating chocolate bars or candy for mass production without agave or maltitol was impossible. Either it tasted bad, gave you the runs, or both. And it cost a fortune, making retail prices prohibitive.

Instead, I concentrated on chocolate desserts, where unsweetened chocolate could be melted and, with the alchemy of natural sweeteners I spent years, blood, sweat and tears to discover, come through the looking glass as fabulous ganache, brownies, etc. The sole exception is my sugar-free chocolate chip cookie, for which we use Callebaut 86% chocolate drops, so they will be labeled "No Sugar Added" instead of "Sugar-Free." Our initial line will consist of those brownies and cookies, plus sugar-free vanilla ice-box cheesecake, chocolate truffle cheesecake, chocolate ganache-covered peanut butter mousse bars (all three of which have a puffed rice chocolate crunch crust testers cannot get enough of) and various flavored scones.

In other words, better to use already existing high quality chocolate for desserts instead of trying to re-invent the wheel on bars, IMHO, at least for now. There are a few natural sweeteners coming on the market in the next few years that might make me rethink this.

SugarFree

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
04/22/12 11:41:21AM
143 posts

Hi awriter,

thank you for the good update on sugar free! this global research is going well!

I'm not a scientist but i have spent 20 years in pastry kitchen, that is where my knowledge for ingredient come from.

The point of the research was to find out options for "sugar-free" chocolate bar (as i have a bean to bar business). Making desserts sugar free, low carb, gluten free, egg free etc.. based on chocolate that taste even better than regular is actually (for me...) the easy thing! i did it for the past 10 years.

The difficult part is to create a chocolate bar that is completely sugar (sucrose) free and still being of good taste and at least not more harmful than the one made with real sugar.

I haven't started yet with the physical testing, at the moment we are talking just theoretically. We still believe that our 85% dark chocolate and our 95% "40 hour conche" is still the best bet for our diabetic clients.

Ps: i going to have a look at your blog!

Kera Grace
@kera-grace
04/22/12 09:19:18PM
3 posts

Hi Antonino,

(re: where to buy Lakanto) I haven't seen it in stores where I live but it can be bought online at places likeAmazonorSaraya. It's a bit pricey.

awriter
@awriter
04/22/12 09:26:56PM
5 posts

Kera, Lakanto is just a very overpriced mix of Lo Han and Erythritol. You can buy both and mix it yourself, which will also let you control proportions. I use both (and several other) natural sweeteners in my goods.

SugarFree.

Kera Grace
@kera-grace
04/23/12 05:20:11AM
3 posts

Thanks, awriter!

Al Garnsworthy
@al-garnsworthy
04/23/12 05:07:48PM
22 posts

Valrhona make a range of sugar free chocolates. They are sold under the name Xocoline.

awriter
@awriter
04/23/12 05:16:50PM
5 posts

Xocoline Ingredients (taken from German Valrhona site):

Cocoa beans, sweetener: maltitol, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soy lecithin, Natural vanilla extract. May contain traces of nuts, milk and egg proteins, gluten and peanuts. Excessive consumption may have laxative effects.


Think I'll pass, thanks. :)

SugarFree



Al Garnsworthy
@al-garnsworthy
04/23/12 05:30:37PM
22 posts

Sorry "AWriter" from the first post, the person was wanting to know of any sugar free chocolates - I was simply saying Valrhona make such a chocolate. Although your quest is interesting, the fact you are trying to make products with no sugar what-so-ever doesn't really help the original poster. Have you successfully manufactured a chocolate with no sugar in it, that is commercially available, that she can buy, and then use to make products for her diabetic customers??????

With regards to the warning of "excessive consumption" may cause laxative effects.. if someone who is diabetic who really wants to eat small amounts of chocolate, this might be a better option than eating normal chocolate. Anyway, it's widely reported that Coffee can have laxative effects if drunk in excessive volmes.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_coffee#Laxative.2Fdiuretic - I don't see the demand for coffee shrinking any time soon as a result..

Cheers

Al Garnsworthy
@al-garnsworthy
04/23/12 06:26:09PM
22 posts

"The sole exception is my sugar-free chocolate chip cookie, for which we use Callebaut 86% chocolate drops, so they will be labeled "No Sugar Added" instead of "Sugar-Free.""

Surely you don't have a sugar-free chocolate chip cookie then??

awriter
@awriter
04/23/12 06:33:46PM
5 posts

The cookie is 100% sugar-free. The chips are not, which is why we list the cookies as "No Sugar Added."

And, the chocolate we use is so dark and has so little sugar, that it passes the meter test. Every single one of our recipes must be tested by a glucose-impaired person with their own meter at the 60, 90 and 120 hour mark. The dessert must be eaten all by itself; no extra fat to slow glucose conversion allowed. The dessert must not raise blood sugars at the 1-hr mark any more than 10 points over fasting, and by the 2-hr mark blood sugars must be back down by at least that much.

The cookies pass.

The Valrhona chocolate with maltitol -- or any food with any maltitol -- would not. Maltitol acts in the bloodstream precisely like sugar, and any amount over an ounce will spike their insulin, spike their blood sugars, and send folks to the john for an hour or so. This is why we don't use it in anything, and why I do not allow my blog participants to ever eat any amount of it under any circumstances: it actually makes insulin resistance worse.

SugarFree

Al Garnsworthy
@al-garnsworthy
04/24/12 03:59:12AM
22 posts

You can't call your chocolate chip cookies sugar free then. If you were making plain cookies with no chocolate in, then these would be sugar free and surely can be called sugar free.. if you make your sugar free cookies, and then add chocolate chips into them...they aren't sugar free any longer, and should not be labelled as sugar free..

Simple really.



Andy Ciordia
@andy-ciordia
07/24/12 02:05:42PM
157 posts

Deanne, that's still a very very small market and only concentrated in a few areas so far. Compare that to another market I strive to hit and still miss to large degrees--the vegan/vegetarian communities (Alternate Trend) and Paleo doesn't even rank.

The quest is never over. Tatiana found a few brandsI need to check in while at the Fancy Food show. Not sure if they are low or alternate sugared chocolate but worth some further research.

For most of our search in this area is for people who have medical issues. Paleo, Vegan, Raw, etc, are usually* choices.

* caveats always

Karen Edwards
@karen-edwards
08/02/12 08:41:41PM
0 posts

I am responding to the recent comments about sugar-free chocolate bars. I learned about xylitol and stevia over 10 years ago while I was doing research for my doctoral dissertation in Holistic Nutrition. I developed numerous recipes using xylitol as the only sweetener and incorporated them into my cookbook, Sweeten Your Life the Xylitol Way, now in its second edition. This cookbook has been well received by individuals and companies who sell xylitol, such as Xlear, Xylitol USA (formerly Emerald Forest Sugar), Epic Dental, and Now Foods. A few years ago, I began also incorporating erythritol into my recipes to reduce the carb count and calories even further.

Within the past year I have focused on developing dark chocolate bars sweetened only with the natural sweeteners xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. My husband is a chocoholic and had been urging me for a long time to develop sugar-free dark chocolate so that he could enjoy it and not have to deal with the harmful side effects of sugar. I now have four variations of these chocolate bars in limited production. They are all dark chocolate, low glycemic, and dairy-free. The basic bar is 77% cacao and is sweetened only with xylitol and stevia; I have used this bar as a basis to develop two flavored versions, mint and raspberry. The low carb bar is 75% cacao and is sweetened only with xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. This low carb bar has been successfully tested by a Type 1 diabetic who verified by using a continuous monitor that there was little or no effect on her blood sugar levels.

I am not making the chocolate bean to bar. I start with unsweetened chocolate liqueur and add my own flavorings and sweeteners, then I mlange, temper, and mold. I am looking into purchasing additional equipment so that I can produce these chocolate bars in larger quantities. Im currently selling these bars, as well as my other sugar-free products such as fudge, hot cocoa mix, brownies, dark chocolate glazed peanut butter cookies, and granola at local farmers markets. I am planning to add the chocolate bars to my website after I have increased production and have the cold packaging developed for shipping in hot weather.

My goal has always been to create recipes and develop products that taste at least as good as, if not better than, the commercially available sugar-sweetened version of that recipe or product, and this has been verified by my customers. I welcome comments and other discussion about naturally sweetened sugar-free chocolate.

Daniela Vasquez
@daniela-vasquez
10/04/12 04:14:17PM
58 posts

and what about beet sugar? there are some sweeteners beet-based that say to be zero calories

Sebastian
@sebastian
10/04/12 04:57:22PM
754 posts
That would be a lie.
Sebastian
@sebastian
10/04/12 05:15:05PM
754 posts
Oh my what I've missed whilst traveling. Such misinformation. Some things to consider:- Splenda was never a pesticide, nor was that the original goal. Pls provide a credible reference to the contrary if you have it. There's a small, but very vocal, group of people who vehemently oppose any high intensity sweeteners (his), and routinely provide misinformation w/o evidence to back it up. Yes it contains chlorine; you eat chlorine every day in the form of salt, and that was never a pesticide either.- when a marketing group "discovers" a new magical sweetener that sounds too good to be true, it is. There is no perfect solution; everything had pros/cons.-not all sugar alcohols have a laxative effect; most do; and many aren't suitable for chocolate production. I think I've discussed it at length at the chocolate alchemy forum, if its not comprehensive enought there, let me know and I'll clarify further when time allows.
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
10/04/12 06:58:17PM
527 posts

I'd lay bets that it's fibre that's been infused with sucralose. If it's 99.9% "natural" as the website claims, the 0.1% is the chemical sweetening agent, and the rest is filler.

That's what I'm guessing.

Notice that it isn't being marketed in the US, where a product like that, if legit would take off like wildfire??? How come?

Interesting indeed.

Brad

Daniela Vasquez
@daniela-vasquez
10/04/12 07:49:23PM
58 posts

haha that's why I'm asking. I believe there's no substitute for sugar, but we made a batch with NutraSweet and people, that are used to consume sweeteners, liked it very much, personally I hated it, it left a horrible bitter aftertaste. But I wanted to know if there was any other beet-based sugar somewhere.


updated by @daniela-vasquez: 09/08/15 04:24:58AM
Sebastian
@sebastian
10/04/12 08:35:07PM
754 posts
Bingo bango bongo. The largest oligofructosd supplier in the world is in Belgium, and they use beet and chicory for their extraction. Corn is the source of the maltodextrin cost reducer. Oligofructose is both a prebiotic and fiber.

Note there is no ingredient declaration listed.

Again, beware claims made by marketing companies who say things too good to be true. Remember that everything you read on an Internet page isn't accurate. Question it and independantly verify it. Independantly verify what I write 8)Edit: huh for dome reason it's not posting this as a reply to brad, as it should be. Sorry for the odd placement

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