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You Ask, I Answer: Chocolate Processed With Alkali

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:11am
Sometimes I see "chocolate (processed with alkali)" as an ingredient on food labels.

What is that all about?

-- (Name Withheld)
Brooklyn, NY

Processing chocolate with alkali is known as the "Dutch method."

Take note, dear readers: any chocolate product labeled "Dutch chocolate" is not making reference to the cocoa beans' origin, but rather to this very processing technique!

The purpose of treating cocoa with an alkalizing agent? To remove its bitter taste and infuse it with a darker and more uniform color.

The trade-off?

Cocoa beans processed with alkali loses the flavonoids and antioxidants found in raw cocoa nibs or very dark chocolate (think 85% cocoa).
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