Useful tips on how to choose high-quality chocolate in the store

How to test chocolate for naturalness Products

Today, when the food industry is closely connected with the chemical industry, almost any natural product can be replaced by its artificial counterpart. This is used by unscrupulous chocolate manufacturers, selling under its guise confectionery bars with a dubious composition. When buying such a product, a person does not realize that he is using a fake that can harm his health. The only way to avoid buying a fake is to figure out how to test chocolate for naturalness and use your knowledge when choosing your favorite treat.

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Check chocolate
Chocolate may have questionable composition.

The main features of the natural composition of chocolate

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Chocolate is a confectionery product containing cocoa butter.

Thanks to this component, and not cocoa powder, as most people believe, the product acquires a characteristic taste and aroma. Butter is used in the production of all types of chocolate. Its absence in the composition is a sure indication that the product is not natural.

Other features that indicate the high quality of a confectionery product include:

  1. Compliance with GOST 31721-2012. According to him, the main components of bitter and dark types of chocolate should be cocoa butter, grated beans and powdered sugar. In the production of dairy and white varieties, vanillin and powdered milk (cream) are additionally used. As part of the tiles, the presence of emulsifiers and natural flavors is allowed.
  2. No palm oil, synthetic substitutes, preservatives and a large number of food additives.
  3. Limited shelf life. Chocolate without filling, which has not been used in the production of preservatives, can be stored for a maximum of 8 months. The shelf life of tiles with filler is a maximum of 120 days.

You can also determine the naturalness of chocolate by the percentage of the total dry residue of cocoa products in it.

The manufacturer indicates this data on the wrapper:

Chocolate variety Black (bitter) Dark Lactic White
Cocoa products (%) from 55 from 40 from 25 from 20

Fake methods

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It is far from always possible to determine the quality of a confectionery product by examining the information on its packaging. Manufacturers often replace expensive natural ingredients with cheap synthetic counterparts without informing the consumer.

Fake methods
Natural ingredients are being replaced by cheap counterparts.

There are many ways to fake chocolate.

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The most common of these include:

  1. Using hydrogenated fats (most commonly palm and coconut oils) instead of cocoa butter. A fake product does not melt, but gets stuck in the mouth and crumbles heavily, it has a specific taste. Fake tiles cannot be stored for a long time, so preservatives are added to increase their shelf life. Regular consumption of such sweets threatens the development of serious diseases.
  2. Replacing grated beans with cocoa powder. It is obtained by synthetic processing of cake, which remains after squeezing the oil from the fruit of the chocolate tree. The powder does not have the beneficial properties characteristic of grated cocoa, and is not used in the manufacture of high-quality sweets. It is used when they want to reduce the cost of production.
  3. Adding soy and protein products. Their presence is indicated by several signs: a matte, as if polished, surface, sticking of chocolate to the teeth, and a dull sound when breaking the tile.
  4. Water use. It allows you to increase the chocolate mass by reducing the content of cocoa products. It is possible to create a dessert with this method of production only with the help of preservatives.

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Basic methods of quality control at home

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You can determine the quality of a treat without studying the inscriptions on its wrapper. It is enough to open the package and inspect its contents. This can be done in different ways.


Natural black or dark chocolate has a glossy surface. Haze indicates that instead of cocoa butter, the manufacturer used substitutes.

Light chocolate varieties (milk and white) have a slightly dull surface. The underside of the tile is less shiny and may contain spots and bubbles.

Real white chocolate is creamy.

A gray coating or cracks on the surface indicate the storage of the dessert at the wrong temperature. The presence of mold is a sign of an expired product.

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Each type of product has its own shade:

  • white chocolate is painted in a delicate cream color;
  • milky - in light brown;
  • dark and bitter - in dark brown tones of varying degrees of intensity.

The color of any variety of treat should be uniform. If the middle of the tile is lighter than the edges, it means that violations were made during its production.


To assess the quality of a sweet tile, experts advise rubbing its surface with dry fingers, and then bringing them to your nose. They should have a pronounced chocolate flavor.

If the fingers smell of vanilla or other flavors, then the content of cocoa products in the delicacy is low.

Taste and texture

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The product produced in accordance with GOST has a sweet rich taste with a long aftertaste and a pleasant bitterness, the intensity of which is the higher, the greater the content of cocoa products.

Trustworthy chocolate has a firm texture. If you put it on your tongue, it immediately starts to melt.

The consistency of the chocolate should be firm.

Refrain from eating treats if:

  • has an unpleasant foreign taste;
  • sticks to teeth
  • melts slowly;
  • contains hard grains.

Fault check

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When there is doubt about the quality of a confection, the best way to test it is to try to break it open. A natural product does this with difficulty, making a sharp and resonant click. The fracture is dull and dull.

If the tile breaks silently or with a dull sound, it means that there are a lot of extraneous additives in it.

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Does the product sink in milk

Chocolate can be tested with a simple test. You need to break off a small piece from the tile and lower it into a glass of milk. A natural product will immediately go to the bottom, and containing additives will float on the surface.

in milk
Natural chocolate sinks in milk.

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Reaction to heat

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You can understand whether there are cocoa substitutes in your favorite bar by holding a piece of it in your palm for 20 seconds. This should be enough time for it to melt slightly.

If the sweetness has melted completely, it means that the manufacturer did not regret palm oil in its manufacture. The lack of reaction to heat indicates that instead of cocoa butter, the dessert contains a synthetic substitute based on lauric acid.

Combustion definition

Fire will help to check the confectionery product for naturalness. You need to break off a piece of tile and, placing it in the center of a heat-resistant dish, set it on fire. High-quality chocolate will light up, and fake chocolate will start to melt.

Rules for choosing quality chocolate in the store

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In order not to buy a confectionery bar instead of natural chocolate, consisting of vegetable fats and preservatives, you should learn to distinguish a quality product from a fake in a store.

This is easy to do if you follow these tips:

  1. On the packaging of a chocolate bar, it is customary to indicate the ingredients in descending order, that is, first list those that make up its basis. After reading their list, the consumer, even without finding out the percentage of components, will be able to understand what is more in the dessert he has chosen: cocoa products or their substitutes.
  2. A treat containing more than 4% of cocoa powder belongs to the category of confectionery bars (some manufacturers, in order not to indicate that their products include powder, write “cocoa wella” on the packaging). Such products have the right to life, but their cost should be lower than that of natural desserts.
  3. Most often, fake chocolate is used in the production of sweets and bars with various fillings: nuts, raisins, fruit fillings, etc. If you do not want to enjoy sweets of dubious quality, it is better not to buy the listed types of products.
  4. All inscriptions on the wrapper must be made without errors. Their presence is a clear sign of a fake.

When choosing a tile in a store, you must remember that the highest quality chocolate is bitter. Its cocoa bean content ranges from 55% to 99%, making it a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids. Eating a few pieces of this delicacy a day, you can not only improve your mood, but also increase your efficiency, strengthen your heart, blood vessels and nervous system.

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Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Dmitry

    Now there are many options for cheap chocolate of their brands from stores, so it’s hard enough to choose something worthwhile without trying

  2. Victor

    Thanks for the helpful article. When I buy chocolate, first of all I pay attention to the price, and only then to the brand. But to know where is good and where is a fake is definitely necessary, easy ways to determine are indicated in the article - for example, using milk or fire

  3. Svetlana

    I love chocolate very much, but the problem is a large selection, you don’t know what to choose.
    After reading the article, now I know how to distinguish a fake. Checking chocolate with milk is especially useful. There is an expression that real chocolate melts not in the hands but in the mouth.

  4. Gin

    Well, the fact that there are a lot of low-quality goods is yes, and here you need to be especially careful, because children also eat chocolate!

  5. Basil

    Great article. I am a big chocolate lover myself. It's really hard to find something worthwhile in stores. Either some soy nonsense, or something not at all clear. Many are cloyingly sweet or too bitter. Of all this diversity, there is very little that is really worthwhile.

  6. Nicholas

    My wife cannot live without chocolate, so we always have such a product at home. After reading this article, at least I will know how to choose a quality product in the store, otherwise you buy chocolate, but it turns out that some kind of substitute.

  7. Masha

    moi lybimie vkusnyashki, ya satisfied