This post was originally published on February 16, 2021 and updated on October 28, 2021.
While the U.S. lags far behind Europe in our chocolate consumption, it’s estimated that the average American eats about 12 pounds of chocolate a year! Global demand for this sweet treat is expected to grow and with it the need for palm-based alternatives to cocoa butter, which sometimes is in short supply.
Many advantages are drawing more major chocolate makers — including favorites such as Kinder, Ferrero, Mars and Nestlé — to certified sustainable palm oil. Its availability and affordability are attractive, along with producers’ commitment to the planet.
Malaysian palm oil is certified by globally recognized standards that include the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) program and the German ISCC. Producers must follow guidelines that address three pillars of sustainability: economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound.
These are some of the other reasons consumers and chocolate makers love palm oil in chocolate:
- It provides the smooth and creamy texture people have loved for hundreds of years.
- It prevents other ingredients such as fruit, nuts and milk from making chocolate squishy.
- It gives chocolate its smooth and glossy appearance and gives it the snap you’re used to when breaking off a piece.
- It is semi-solid at room temperature.
- It’s non-GMO, cholesterol neutral and a natural replacement for partially hydrogenated oils.
- Oil palm crops are the highest yielding of edible oils. It takes 10 times more land to produce the same amount of canola oil or soybean oil.
It’s hard to imagine a world without chocolate. Choosing brands that insist on using only certified sustainable palm oil will help ensure that we can enjoy a steady chocolate supply indefinitely while also being good stewards for our planet.
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