Dark chocolate is not commonly vegan. With pure dark chocolate ingredients, it could be expected that this should make a vegan chocolate, but both the ingredients and the final chocolate are often produced in factories and on lines that process milk chocolate. Due to the unique processing of chocolate lines are not ‘washed clean’ between products, so milk products can be present in dark chocolate. Tests in 2021 indicate that milk contamination can be up to 7% content in chocolate labelled as ‘suitable for vegans.’
For any individual ‘being vegan’ is a journey in avoiding all animal exploitation to which those that have just started their journey describe themselves as vegan, as do others that have been on the vegan journey for many years.
To be described as a vegan chocolate, it should, as in the terms of the Vegan Society definition of vegan, be ‘animal free’.
Often vegan chocolate, mostly those that would commonly be called ‘milky’ are described slightly differently, as there are specific food and additional chocolate labelling regulations, with very tight definitions of what can be called ‘chocolate’ and ‘milk chocolate’.
Tests in 2021 have shown dairy milk content in some brands of ‘vegan chocolate’, have significant dairy milk content. We consider these are plant-based chocolates- better than dairy milk chocolate- but not vegan chocolate.
All Vegan Chocolat products are produced by Plamil, the country’s oldest vegan company in a factory that is dedicated to dairy free production.
White chocolate is not vegan as it contains dairy milk.
Vegan white chocolate is often named slightly differently as the labelling regulations are very specific (and not logical for vegans).
At Plamil we describe ours as Vegan White.
Pure plant based ingredients should make a vegan product, but both the ingredients and the final chocolate are often produced in factories and on lines that process milk based chocolate. Due to the unique processing of chocolate lines that are not ‘washed clean’ between products, dairy milk products can be present in Vegan white chocolate if it is made on the same production lines.
As a dedicated vegan company all Plamil products are dairy free.
To make a vegan chocolate milky a variety of plant based ingredients can be used to replace the powdered dairy milk content used to make dairy milk chocolate
However, as vegan is ‘animal free’ to make real vegan chocolate it’s important to know the purity of the ingredients and process. Often incorrect assumptions can be made about ingredients, for example milk contamination can even occur in processing cocoa beans into one ingredient called cocoa liquor or sometimes known as cocoa mass or some sugars can be processed using animal bone meal. Even more significantly it is important to ensure that the chocolate is not made where it can be mixed with milk based chocolates in the processing equipment. Due to the unique processes of chocolate ‘wash downs’ do not occur within chocolate machinery from batch to batch, so significant amounts of milk based chocolate can mix with vegan chocolate. All Plamil chocolates are vegan.
When individuals choose to follow a Keto diet, they avoid the use of sugar and follow a low carb program. The sweetener used in Plamil no added sugar chocolate has a low glycemic index, (it is not maltitol) which is what keto followers are aiming for to keep their bodies in ketosis.
Options on the total quantity of carb and net carbs are considered and each individual will conclude that they can enjoy a different quantity of this type of chocolate.
Many companies producing products for keto diets choose Plamil no added sugar chocolate.
Usually, the term sugar free chocolate is the common term used for no added sugar chocolate, as there are naturally occurring sugars within the cocoa.
As diabetes is a medical condition which needs to be controlled by a variety of nutrients and energy values, it is very rare to find nowadays a chocolate that claims ‘suitable for diabetics.’
It is therefore the individual, perhaps with medical advice, that needs to assess if a no added sugar chocolate is suitable for their own condition. No added sugar chocolate will not spike the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes but being chocolate, it does have a calorific value and could be eaten in moderation.
If the dark chocolate is made in a factory that uses milk, or no checks are made to ensure their ingredients do not contain milk, it is very likely that it will contain milk. That is why they have statements like “made in a factory that handles milk” or “not suitable to anyone with a milk allergy”, or “may contain milk”.
Each company must assess for themselves, and if they consider there is a presence, they have to communicate this to the customer. These statements are not just for allergy sufferers as some contamination can be significant (in the %’s) and always present.
As all Plamil products are made in a dedicated dairy free vegan factory Plamil dark chocolate (just like all other Plamil products) are dairy free.
Chocolate is not ‘naturally’ gluten free. Whilst the ingredients should be, traditionally wheat based ingredients containing gluten is used in many factories that process chocolate. Therefore it is considered that to make and make the claim gluten free chocolate extra controls and precautions and /or even a gluten free chocolate factory is required. The Plamil factory is gluten free.
All the chocolate on this Vegan Chocolat site can be melted and used and re-tempered with different levels of expertise. See our Simple guide to tempering page
Chocolate melts at different rates, so for instance the Bake stable chocolate will melt, but is more resistant to heat than many other chocolates, so ideal for baking cakes or cookies.
Vegan Oat m!lk and Rice m!lk chocolates will melt at different rates to the dark chocolates. As with all chocolates these should be melted gently, particularly those that are rice based as overheating initially can lead to one way thickening process