Nutritional balance of typical chocolates
The nutritional balance of typical chocolates was studied by Pérezgonzález in 20111. A sample of chocolate bars, chocolate blocks and bonbons currently available in New Zealand shared a similar nutritional profile yet differed enough as to being able to be separated into particular categories. The most populated categories3 shared a nutritional profile characterized as being low in protein, high in fat, high in saturated fat, low in fiber4 and low in sodium. Typical chocolates, the most frequent category, differed from the others in also being high in sugar but low in total carbohydrate (see profile in illustration 2).
On average, the typical chocolate has a nutritional balance of BNI 126.94-fb, being particularly unbalanced towards deficiency in fiber4.
Typical chocolates show small changes in their indexing across different international Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs), with US/CAN index showing the largest discrepancies, namely because US/CAN standards allow for more sugars to be consumed (see illustration 3). Overall, however, all nutritional indexes are high and relatively similar to each other, indicating that the nutritional composition of typical chocolates would be deemed highly unbalanced by several countries.
|Illustration 3: Nutritional balance across different RDIs (typical chocolates)|
|The Original Peanut Slab||Whittaker's||116.68||116.68||76.68||106.68||104.68|
|Picnic fruit & nut||Cadbury||119.52||119.52||81.32||111.32||107.52|
|Dark cooking chocolate||Home Brand||121.93||121.93||81.93||111.93||109.93|
|Guylian Dark 72%||Guylian||122.51||122.51||94.73||112.51||110.51|
|Scarborough Fair decadence||Scarborough Fair||123.60||123.60||88.96||113.60||111.60|
|Scarborough Fair enigma||Scarborough Fair||123.60||123.60||88.96||113.60||111.60|
|Scarborough Fair sinless||Scarborough Fair||123.60||123.60||88.96||113.60||111.60|
|Scarborough Fair sublime||Scarborough Fair||123.60||123.60||88.96||113.60||111.60|
|Old Gold 70% cocoa||Cadbury||123.68||123.68||92.83||113.68||111.68|
|Dairy Milk caramello||Cadbury||130.04||130.04||100.04||130.04||126.04|
|Dairy Milk fruit & nut||Cadbury||130.13||130.13||93.51||123.51||119.51|
|Dairy Milk roast almond||Cadbury||130.54||130.54||90.54||120.54||118.54|
|Ferrero Rocher||Ferrero Rocher||131.91||131.91||91.91||121.91||119.91|
|Guylian milk with hazelnuts||Guylian||131.93||131.93||91.93||121.93||119.93|
|Excellence blueberry intense||Lindt & Sprungli||132.43||132.43||92.43||122.43||120.43|
|Excellence chilli||Lindt & Sprungli||132.62||132.62||99.90||129.90||125.90|
|Dairy Milk duo||Cadbury||134.58||134.58||104.58||134.58||130.58|
|Excellence ginger||Lindt & Sprungli||135.95||135.95||99.89||129.89||125.89|
|Excellence sea salt||Lindt & Sprungli||135.95||135.95||99.89||129.89||125.89|
|Lindt pistache||Lindt & Sprungli||137.95||137.95||97.95||127.95||125.95|
|Guylian white with hazelnuts||Guylian||138.64||138.64||98.64||128.64||126.64|
Correlations between indexes are also very high and significantly so. This suggests that the nutritional balance reported by the BNI™ index matches that of other nutritional standards. (Said otherwise, that typical chocolates and bonbons 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.
- 38 chocolates shared a particular nutritional profile and, thus, conformed the 'Typical chocolates 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, 2011b2).
- 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: No-added-sugar 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