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EU court: No such thing as ‘pure chocolate’
Question of the Day
The court said if a product is made from 100 percent cocoa butter, that fact must be listed on the ingredients table only. It also said the EU’s 1999 chocolate labeling rules make no room for a “pure chocolate” reference like the one Italy enacted in a 2003 law.
Once vegetable fats are included in the production of chocolate — a popular practice in some EU nations, notably Britain — then the label must say, “contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter,” the court said.
The EU labeling rules took effect in 1999 after a lively debate pitting countries like Britain — where chocolate usually contains a substitute vegetable fat — against purists like Belgium, Italy and others, where traditionalist chocolate makers use only cocoa butter.
“There is the culture of chocolate made purely from cocoa butter and there is the culture in a number of EU member states — including the United Kingdom — where there are other vegetable fats used,” he said.
He said it was agreed to stick to the name chocolate but to let the ingredients indicate the quality of the chocolate.
“This is where the Italian rules are not in conformity,” he added.
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