Chocolate in its purest form (cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and sugar) is entirely plant-based. So is chocolate vegan? Yes!
But it depends on what else is included in the chocolate that matters. In this post, we’ll explain what vegan chocolate is and what to look out for.
What is Vegan Chocolate?
Vegan chocolate is chocolate that’s suitable for the vegan diet. This means it doesn’t contain any animal products.
A good bar of dark chocolate should only contain a few ingredients. This includes cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes a plant-based emulsifier.
Chocolate that isn’t suitable for vegans is milk or white chocolate that uses cow or other animal milk powder. However, there is a growing trend of alternative milk chocolate bars on the market. Alternative milk chocolate is made with plant-based powders, such as coconut or oat milk.
If you’re unsure about what’s in your chocolate, then your safest bet is to check the ingredients list. The ingredients list will reveal what’s in your bar.
A Quick Overview:
Here’s a quick overview to help you decide whether your chocolate is vegan or not:
|Dark chocolate||✅||Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content and shouldn’t contain any animal-based products.|
|Dark-milk chocolate||✅||If the milk is alternative milk (like coconut or oat), then the chocolate is fine for vegans.|
|Milk chocolate||✅||Same as the above. Check the ingredients to determine if the milk is plant-based.|
|White chocolate||✅||Vegan white chocolate exists. Similar to milk chocolate, check whether the white chocolate is made with plant-based milk.|
|Ruby chocolate||❌||Ruby chocolate is made with milk powder and is not suitable for vegans.|
What About Bone Char Sugar?
Unfortunately, not all sugar is vegan! Some refined sugar contains bone char. Bone char is made from cattle and other animal bones and is often used in the sugar industry to achieve a certain colour. It can be found in both brown sugar and confectioners white sugar.
This of course will determine whether your chocolate bar is vegan or not as well! Chocolate that is specifically labelled vegan chocolate uses certified bone char free sugar.
If there’s no mention of the type of sugar on the bar, then research the chocolate company’s website to determine whether their sugar is vegan or not. Look out for beet sugar, as this is considered to be vegan friendly, as it’s never processed with bone char.
Is Cacao Butter Vegan?
Yes, cacao butter is vegan. Although the name may seem misleading, cacao butter or cocoa butter is 100% dairy-free. Cacao butter is naturally present in cocoa beans. In fact, over half of a cocoa bean is made up of cacao butter.
Cacao butter is extracted from cocoa beans using a hydraulic press. It’s commonly used in cosmetics or by chocolatiers looking to make filled chocolates.
Where to Buy Vegan Chocolate?
More and more companies are producing vegan-friendly chocolate. Chances are your local supermarket will be offering vegan chocolate. Remember to check the ingredients list to ensure there are no animal-based products in the chocolate.
Some notable companies offering vegan chocolate bars include:
We hope this post has clarified whether chocolate is vegan or not! Remember, when in doubt, check the ingredients list and research the brand.