May 2009

Free Chocolate!

Mars is giving away free chocolate. The point of the exercise is that Mars wants to be sure consumers know that Mars chocolate uses only 100% cocoa butter in its products. Federal law stipulates that chocolate must contain only cocoa butter (and in the case of milk chocolate, milk solids), that is, producers are not supposed to adulterate the chocolate with corn oil or other fats—like beef lard. Such adulteration means that the producer can not call the resulting substance "chocolate." There are similar laws all over the world, in most chocolate producing countries. The FDA is considering a "citizen's petition" to allow manufacturers to substitute vegetable oils and fats for cocoa butter, the natural substance of the cocoa bean, that, with the ground up roasted bean in the form of cocoa creates chocolate.