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Chocolate check - LGC introduces new reference material for chocolate

Date:04 April 2012

LGC has developed a new chocolate reference material to help manufacturers ensure the quality of their chocolate production processes.

The accurate quality control of food production processes presents a major challenge to manufacturers, due to the variety of nutritional components that need to be determined in a wide range of foodstuffs. Reference materials play a pivotal role in the validation and control of analytical methods and in establishing measurement traceability. It is important that methods are validated using matrix reference materials which closely match the real test sample. LGC's chocolate reference material has been characterised for lactose, sucrose, total fat, butyric acid in fat and nitrogen.

Interestingly, the most expensive chocolate in the world is called 'Madeleine'. It contains a creamy ganache made from French Valrhona chocolate, blended with cream, vanilla and pure Italian truffle oil, surrounding a rare truffle. Selling at over £150 per individual chocolate, it is certainly a decadent treat!

Weight for weight, LGC's chocolate reference material would in fact be the most expensive chocolate in the world. It has been characterised through an inter-laboratory study, with a number of laboratories using analytical techniques such as gas chromatography, acid hydrolysis and solvent extraction to provide assessed values for its constituents. It has also been through rigorous stability testing to ensure it retains its stated composition over time. Whilst it certainly won't win any food awards, reference materials such as this are important for helping manufacturers declare reliable nutritional information and for helping companies demonstrate that their food products comply with legislation, thereby providing consumers with the confidence that food products are of the quality stated on the label.

This reference material, 'LGC7016 - Chocolate confectionery' is available from LGC Standards. More information can be found on the LGC Standards webshop (www.lgcstandards.com)



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