EU Chocolate Regulations
On August 3, 2003, the new chocolate regulations agreed by the European Parliament came into force across the whole of the EU. For the first time these permitted the use of vegetable fats at a level of up to 5% in chocolate in each country in the EU. Up until then these fats had only been permitted in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, Austria, Sweden and Finland.
In allowing the use of vegetable fats in the chocolate, the EU did, however, impose some constraints which had not been previously present in the national regulations of those countries that already permitted these fats.
Notably, the fats were only allowed to be produced from any of six specified base oils. The processes permitted for use in producing these cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs) were also restricted - to fractionation and refining. Enzyme-catalysed interestification was specifically prohibited. Finally, the fats have to exhibit specific defined physico-chemical properties, especially with regard to their compatibility and miscibility with cocoa butter.
For the best advice on which fats can and cannot be used under the new regulations and for expert assistance in defining the optimal CBE for your chocolate application contact Geoff Talbot, the Fat Consultant.