London-based kAAKAO Chocolate has a problem. The company has developed what they consider a new form of chocolate that is certified organic, made with less sugar, and can be eaten by diabetics and vegans. Their problem is that European Union regulators are telling the company they can't describe their product as chocolate or use the term on their packaging, and it all comes back to one ingredient - sugar.
kAAKAO sweetens their products with dates. According to the company, this results in one of their 1.4-ounce bars (the typical American candy bar averages 1.6 ounces) containing about the same amount of naturally occurring sugar as one medium-sized green apple. However, the EU defines chocolate as a combination of cocoa and sugar. Dates - containing naturally occurring fructose and glucose - are not classified as sugar, and therefore kAAKAO, is not legally chocolate even though it contains cocoa and cocoa butter.
kAAKAO’s founder, Stephanie Seege, was driven to create the product after seeing the poor selection of sweet snacks available for those with restricted diets. Years were spent developing the recipe and sourcing different ingredients. Finally, a partner from Switzerland was able to create the same chocolaty taste and texture that people were used to, but without using any traditional sugar.
Seege feels it’s vital to raise awareness around food labeling and to teach consumers how to decipher what they’re about to eat or buy. "An organic chocolate bar made with four premium ingredients that can’t be called ‘chocolate’ is a great example of how confusing current food labeling laws are. We want to change that," she states.
For more information, go to www.kaakaochocolate.com