Loading Chocablock Chocolates Website Loading... Please wait...

The Chocablock Blog

Posted by

Which Brands Are Safe, and Which Are Not?

Pure, unsweetened chocolate, made by liquefying roasted cacao beans and containing nothing but those roasted beans, should be completely gluten-free. But pure, unsweetened chocolate also doesn't taste very good—a friend of mine says it tastes a little like, well, dirt.

To make the purest version of the sweetened, smooth candy we know as "chocolate," manufacturers take what's called "chocolate liquor" (which isn't alcoholic at all—it's just those liquefied cacao beans, sometimes also called "cocoa mass") and blend it with cocoa butter (fat from the cacao beans), plus sugar.

Some of the highest-quality chocolates available include only these three ingredients, and it's this combination that makes "chocolate" such a taste sensation. High-quality milk chocolates contain just one additional ingredient: powdered milk.

So How Can Gluten Get into Chocolate?

It's possible even for pure, unsweetened chocolate to contain a bit of gluten if it's been subjected to gluten cross-contamination in harvesting or processing (for example, if the cacao beans are processed on equipment that also processes wheat).

Sadly, the chances of having your chocolate contain gluten just go up from there—the more ingredients used in your chocolate (or in the facility that makes your chocolate), the higher the risk.

Obviously, some chocolate candy products feature gluten ingredients—either in the form of wheat (most frequently in chocolate-cookie confections) or in the form of barley malt (a popular sweetener frequently used in candy).

Lindt Chocolates, one of my favorite chocolate brands pre-diagnosis, uses barley malt in many of its products, making the company's entire line of chocolates (sadly) unsafe.

Other chocolate candies contain no gluten ingredients, but they are subject to gluten cross-contamination because they're made on the same manufacturing equipment or in the same facilities as those gluten-containing items.

In my surveys of candy manufacturers, this seems to be the biggest reason many chocolates aren't considered gluten-free.

Yes, There Are Some Safe Chocolates

But chocoholics shouldn't despair—there are some gluten-free chocolate candies on the market.

If you're looking for a plain or flavored chocolate bar, my article on premium and gourmet gluten-free chocolate bars will help you figure out what's safe and what's not (there are several brands I can recommend). If you want chocolates in a gift box, my article on gluten-free gift candy boxes should point you in a safe direction.

For more mainstream candy, check out my master gluten-free candy list, which I update monthly. That list also includes links to information on holiday-themed candies, updated every year (at least).

Although many chocolate products you see in stores won't be considered gluten-free, it's still possible to get your chocolate fix even if you're following the gluten-free diet by choosing a gluten-free chocolate from one of those lists.

View Comments

The world's two largest cocoa producers want you to buy their chocolate, not just their beans

When Mamey Kamara attended the opening of Ivorian chocolatier Instant Chocolat, she instantly fell in love. Born and raised in Abidjan, Kamara grew up exposed to European chocolate brands Cote d’Or and Milka. But through the Ivorian-made treats, she satisfied both her sweet tooth and patriotism. “To see young, ambitious Ivoirians makes me dream. There’s a [...]

Read More »

Music can change the way your chocolate tastes, new study finds

The taste of your favourite chocolate bar could alter - depending on the music you are listening to.According to new research, different musical notes can change the way your favourite treat from Bournville-based chocolate company Cadbury can taste.Food scientists at the University of Oxford discovered the jaw-dropping findings.They say it is possible to alter the [...]

Read More »

What to Do With "Bloomed" Chocolate

If you’ve ever left a chocolate bar sitting around, you may have noticed a white film form on the surface. This film is called a “bloom” and it occurs when chocolate is improperly stored.According to Cook’s Illustrated, chocolate blooms when it gets too warm, or if water condenses on the chocolate:Cocoa butter bloom occurs when [...]

Read More »

Video: Tribute To Gene Wilder - "Pure Imagination" - Willy Wonka

Here's to one of the greats, one of our favourite childhood memories. May the spirit of Gene Wilder be passed onto generations for years to come. Today, we will donate $2.00 from every sale to Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation (AADRF)

Read More »

Remembering Gene Wilder, The Star Of “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory”

Gene Wilder, a beloved and twice Oscar-nominated comic actor and writer who had nonetheless stayed away from the big screen for two decades, has died aged 83.Best remembered for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as collaborations with Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles , The Producers) and Richard Pryor (Stir Crazy, See [...]

Read More »

The Bachelor tried to make chocolate baths sexy and it was disgusting

Australia's take on The Bachelor is in full swing, complete with the least hygienic shared bath experience in the history of both bathing and chocolate consumption.Ne'er before has the ritual of a soak in the tub been paired with the deliciousness of melted chocolate. There's a reason for that. Turns out it looks suspiciously like [...]

Read More »

What on Earth are they doing to our chocolate bars?

Chocolate lovers are restless. Many much-loved chocolate bars are changing shape, getting smaller, or contain a lower cocoa content, so they just don’t taste as good. When it comes to choosing a sweet treat, there seems to be a greater range than ever – but, for many people, the bar they’ve enjoyed all their lives [...]

Read More »

Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs

Dogs love chocolate as much as we do, based on the number of stories I’ve heard about canines who crave the sweet stuff. Just about every week, I see or hear from clients whose dogs have gotten into a box of designer chocolates or a bag of Snickers bars. One Christmas my brother Bobby’s Yorkie, [...]

Read More »

The science of chocolate: What makes us like it so much?

For many of us, chocolate is a guilty pleasure, a tool we turn to during times of sadness or simply a random craving. But why exactly does chocolate taste so good and make us feel so good? Has science found a way to make chocolate better for us? Science to the rescue: New manufacturing process [...]

Read More »