Nutritional balance of no-added-sugar chocolates
The nutritional balance of sugar-free chocolates was studied by Pérezgonzález in 20111. He found that a sample of chocolate bars, chocolate blocks and bonbons currently available in New Zealand shared a similar nutritional profile characterized as being low in protein, high in fat, high in saturated fat, low in fiber and low in sodium (Pérezgonzález, 2011b2). Sugar-free chocolates, however, differed from other chocolates in also being adequate (or low) in sugar and, consequently, low in carbohydrate4 (see profile in Illustration 2).
On average, no-added-sugar chocolates have a nutritional balance of BNI 82.73f, being particularly unbalanced towards excess of fat.
No-added-sugar chocolates show small changes in their indexing across different international Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs) (see illustration 3). Overall, however, all nutritional indexes are high and relatively similar to each other, which indicates that the nutritional composition of no-added-sugar chocolates would be deemed highly unbalanced in different countries. Notwithstanding this, such nutritional unbalance is sensibly smaller than that of typical chocolates and sugary chocolates.
|Illustration 3: Nutritional balance across different RDIs (no-added-sugar chocolates)|
|Guylian No Sugar Added milk||Guylian||79.46||79.46||74.86||74.86||72.86|
|Guylian No Sugar Added dark||Guylian||85.68||85.68||80.21||80.21||78.21|
|Richfields No Added Sugar classic dark||Richfields||89.25||89.25||89.25||89.25||87.25|
Correlations between indexes are also very high (although, given that there are only 3 chocolates in this subsample, only perfect correlations were statistically significant). Nonetheless, the pattern of correlations suggests that the nutritional balance reported by the BNI™ index matches that of other nutritional standards. (Said otherwise, that no-sugar-added chocolates tend to form a similar hierarchy when indexed using different international standards).
|Illustration 4: Correlations between RDIs|
- The initial sample comprised 50 chocolate bars, chocolate blocks and bonbons normally sold around New Zealand (yet most chocolates were manufactured in Australia and, thus, can be assumed they were equally available there, while some were imported from other international locations). The sample almost represented the entire population of chocolates sold at supermarkets in 2011. Yet, for practical reasons, it should be considered as a convenient sample in its collation.
- 3 chocolates shared a particular nutritional profile and, thus, conformed the 'No-added-sugar subsample' whose results are described here.
Materials & analysis
- Nutrition information for each chocolate was retrieved from the nutritional information panel on each item and was analyzed using the Balanced Nutrition Index™ (BNI™) technology (see Pérezgonzález, 2011c3).
- SPSS-v16 was used for statistical analysis, which included descriptives and correlations.
Want to know more?
- BNI™ database
- The database offers individual nutrition analysis for foods, including the chocolates in this sample as well as the average 'chocolate bars & bonbons' described in above article.
- BNI™ journal - 2011, issue 2
- This issue of the Balanced Nutrition Index™ journal collates all BNI™ nutrition information for the overall the sample as well as average information in a single book.
- Wiki of Science - Balance Nutrition Index™ (BNI™)
- This Wiki of Science page offers more information about the BNI™ technology.
- Wiki of Science - Nutritional balance of chocolates
- These Wiki of Science pages offer more information about other categories of chocolate: Typical chocolates, and Sugary chocolates.
Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalez).
|Other interesting sites|
Wiki of Science
The Balanced Nutrition Index