|Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, rye, triticale and malts. It is common food additive which acts as a form of stabilizing, flavoring, or thickening agent, often as “dextrin”. A gluten free chocolate is a chocolate that excludes chocolate containing gluten. Ingesting gluten in a daily diet often leads to permanent damage of the inner lining of the small intestine. It results in the weakening of the immune system since essential nutrients and vitamins are not absorbed.|
So the main question is “Is Chocolate Gluten Free”?
To answer this question we need to know some basic knowledge of chocolate.
Pure chocolate that is obtained by liquefying roasted cacao beans is completely gluten free. And nobody likes pure chocolate which is still not sweetened as it doesn’t taste very good. A fully manufactured chocolate is made by the mixture of chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter and milk (in some cases) and some other ingredients that different manufacturers add to make their chocolate taste unique and sensational. And it is here in these other ingredients where gluten-related problems occur.
Sometimes it is even possible for a 100% pure and the unmodified chocolate to have some amount of gluten. This can happen if the chocolate’s been subjected to gluten cross-contamination in process of harvesting or processing of chocolate e.g., if the cacao beans are being processed on the same equipment that was also used to processes wheat. To add to the further bad news for the chocolate lovers, even after the harvesting and processing of chocolate the chance of having your chocolate to contain gluten just goes up from here.
Even if the chocolate contain no gluten ingredients, but they still can be subjected to gluten cross-contamination as they can be utilizing the same manufacturing equipment or even be made in the same facilities as those gluten containing items. This is one of the biggest reasons why many chocolates aren’t considered gluten-free.
But chocolate lovers shouldn’t feel sad because of this, as there are many gluten free chocolates on the market.
Many chocolate products that you see in stores are not considered to be gluten free. Here is a list of some of the major chocolate manufacturers that produce gluten free chocolate.
Nestlé produces a variety of products that are considered gluten-free, but if you are considering chocolate bars, only the Nestlé Milk Chocolate bar can be said gluten free chocolate. Nestlé will label any gluten ingredients and any risk of gluten cross-contamination.
2. Scharffen Berger Chocolate
Scharffen Berger also owned by Hershey’s, labels its chocolate bars gluten-free, they contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Scharffen Berger specializes in dark chocolate.
3. Endangered Species Chocolate
Which makes all-natural and organic chocolate bars with illustrations of endangered animal species on them, is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. You can choose a variety of dark chocolates that are gluten free.
4. Hershey’s Chocolate
Hershey’s manufactures many different varieties of chocolate bars, but only two of them are considered to be gluten-free: its plain milk chocolate bar and its milk chocolate with almonds bar. Some Hershey’s Kisses are also considered gluten-free. Even Hershey’s premium Extra Dark chocolate bars, have a risk of gluten cross-contamination. Hershey’s will include any gluten ingredients on the label so it’s easy to determine which specific products include those ingredients.