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CHOCOLATE FAQ

What is milk chocolate?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Standard of Identity, milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor, 12% milk solids and 3.39% milk fat. The standard for all chocolates specify that only nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners can be used and that optional flavors cannot imitate the flavor of milk, cream or butter. The milk solids used in Peter’s® milk chocolate are derived from crumb. The Peter's milk crumb process (equipment, formula, and precise controls) produce a unique milk chocolate crumb with a rich, creamy and caramelized flavor.

What is the difference between bittersweet and semisweet?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is no technical difference because both chocolates must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor and less than 12% milk solids. After these requirements are met, it is up to the individual manufacturer to adjust the amount and type of chocolate liquor and the amount of sugar, cocoa butter and milk solids. Also, flavorings such as vanilla can be added. Traditionally, bittersweet chocolate contains 50% or more chocolate liquor. However, both semisweet and bittersweet chocolate are still referred to as "dark chocolate”. Peter’s Chocolate has a variety of the highest quality dark chocolates (both semisweet and bittersweet).

What is white chocolate?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, white chocolate is the combination of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin and optional flavor. White chocolate is basically milk chocolate without any chocolate liquor. The standard for white chocolate is a minimum of 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk solids with a maximum of 55% sucrose. Peter’s Chocolate offers Peter’s Original™ white chocolate.

What is a compound?
A compound is a blend of sugar, vegetable oil and other products, which may or may not include cocoa powder and/or chocolate liquor. Since they do not contain cocoa butter, compounds do not require tempering. Compounds are not defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Standards of Identity; therefore any number of compound coatings can be developed with a variety of flavors, colors and performance based on the fat system used. Peter’s Chocolate offers Westchester® (milk chocolate flavored), Eastchester® (semisweet chocolate flavored) and White Icecap® coatings. Peter’s Chocolate also offers Darley™ and Melbourne™ coatings; these are compound “bottomers” that are compatible with real chocolate.

What is tempering?
Tempering is a conditioning process that involves the controlled cooling and heating of melted chocolate to promote the formation of small stable cocoa butter crystals. Correctly tempered chocolate with small stable crystals will produce finished products with excellent gloss, snap, texture and bloom resistance.

Is chocolate healthy?
Chocolate has been in the news for its potential health benefits. At this time scientific evidence does suggest that some chocolates may have the potential to contribute to health benefits when consumed in moderation. Some chocolates are rich in a group of antioxidants known as flavonoids. The flavonoids present in chocolate may enhance cardiovascular health by reducing damage to blood vessels caused by oxidation.

What is the difference between Peter’s caps and blocks?
Caps are approximately 1” in diameter at a count per pound of approximately 200. Caps are packaged in 25 lb. poly lined cartons. Blocks are a moulded cake at a net weight of 10 lbs. and measure approximately 18.25” length x 10” wide x 1.5” thick. Blocks are packaged in 50 lb. cartons.

What is chocolate bloom?
There are two forms of bloom – fat bloom and sugar bloom – common to chocolate. Fat bloom results from inadequate tempering or temperature abuse of well-tempered chocolate, producing a visible dull white film surface to severe whitening of the surface, with soft or crumbling textures on the interior. Sugar bloom is a hard white surface film resulting from exposure to moisture. It is formed by the dissolution and subsequent crystallization of sugar on the chocolate’s surface. While fat bloom and sugar bloom have a negative effect on appearance, the product remains perfectly safe to eat.