Percentage Cacao

Feedsee Food : Percentage Cacao : Guide to choosing chocolate

CacaoThe term percentage cacao refers to the ingredients by weight that come from the cacao bean such as chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. American cacao standards require a milk chocolate to contain at least ten percent chocolate liquor. Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate must contain at least thirty-five percent chocolate liquor, resulting in a higher percentage cacao and a more intense chocolate flavor. White chocolate has a different flavor profile because its entire percent cacao comes from only cocoa butter. A higher percent cacao means less added sugar. Cacao refers to the bean, which is the source of the cacao components of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. Chocolate liquor is produced by grinding the cacao bean center to a smooth, liquid state. Cocoa butter is the fat naturally present in cacao beans that melts at body temperature and gives chocolate its unique mouth feel. Cocoa powder is the product made by removing part of the fat from the cocoa bean and grinding the remaining material to a powder.

The cacao content percentage on a chocolate bar indicates the total percentage of ingredients by weight that come from the cacao bean. This includes cocoa solids (which provide most of the flavor) and cocoa butter (which contributes to the texture and 'melt-in-your-mouth' quality of the chocolate).

Chocolate Bar Labels and Cacao Percentage

The percentage of cacao is often seen as an indicator of quality and flavor intensity, but other factors like the quality of the cacao beans, the specific production process, and the presence of any additional flavorings or ingredients can also significantly impact the taste and quality of the chocolate. Therefore, choosing chocolate based on cacao percentage is largely a matter of personal preference.