I’ve been making some enquiries about why we have Palm Oil in our chocolate in the UK.
I haven’t written directly to Cadbury’s yet, so I’m not ready to ask them to change. Instead I spoke to someone who used to be senior in the chocolate industry as I want to improve my understanding first.
It seems that the preference in the industry is to use Palm Oil. It contributes to the experience, or the ‘mouth feel’ of the chocolate. It stabilises the chocolate so that it melts just when it should and plays a role in the prevention of bloom (the white powdery look that chocolate gets when it’s been warmed and cooled).
It is also often hydrogenated, which is not so good, as these fats are not exactly healthy.
Now, obviously, I’m no nutritionist and I’m not a chocolate production expert, but what I’m starting to think is that to switch Palm Oil out of the product will simply mean switching something else in.
Our problem is that we want the chocolate to taste good, smell good, not give us a heart attack too easily (we seem to accept a level of eventuality though…) but also to look good so it’s shiny, bloom free and the right shade of chocolate brown, and to feel just right in our mouth.
Oh, and we want it to cost the right amount too. We seem to stomach the reduction in pack size but give us the wrong texture, appearance, flavour or scent and we set aside our British reservedness and start writing stern letters.
I’m going to do some more research on this over the coming weeks, so when I do approach Cadbury’s I know what it is I want to say as there are so many questions in the melting pot that is my brain. See what I did there?
Watch this space as I start to put things together.