Chocolate is one of the most liked items of food across the whole world. Chocolate is eaten and gifted widely all across the world. Cocoa has been cultivated for quite a while now. The main ingredient is the cocoa bean which is harvested from cocoa trees. After harvesting them and going through a long process of de-shelling them and roasting them cocoa beans are divided into two components cocoa butter and cocoa solids which is then made into chocolate by adding different ingredients such as milk and butter. Chocolate is available in white and brown colors. There are many other ingredients and chemicals used in the manufacturing and production of chocolate for the enhancement of flavor in the product. One such ingredient is PGPR or Polyglycerol polyricinoleate. It is an emulsifier usually made from castor oil. It is a gelatinous, yellowish colored liquid that is made up of glycerol molecules connected by ether bonds.
PGPR or Polyglycerol polyricinoleate is used by chocolate manufacturers to reduce the cost of raw material. It is basically used as a substitute ingredient for the highly expensive cocoa butter. It was initially used by companies like Hershey’s and Nestle and gradually made the whole industry switch to using PGPR as an ingredient to reduce cost. The addition of this certain ingredient helps the manufacturer in making double profits as he can save his cocoa butter now and sell that at higher profits. A company like Hershey’s that is considered to be one of the largest chocolate manufacturers also uses Polyglycerol polyricinoleate in their candy bars.
Cocoa butter is an expensive ingredient for chocolate making companies thus they use PGPR as a substitute not only does this lower the cost of the chocolate but also reduces the fat content of the product. PGPR is an emulsifier and is used in chocolates not only as a substitute as I mentioned before. It plays the role of cocoa butter which means it enhances the texture to a smooth, velvety paste that would melt in your mouth more. Although, only a minute quantity of PGPR is used in chocolate (less then 1%) it is still there. The use of PGPR has also opened up a new door for the chocolate manufacturers. Sugar-free items for the weight conscious people are easily and readily available in the market nowadays. Such chocolates are also available in the market. When producing normal chocolate they replace PGPR with cocoa butter due to cocoa butter being at a higher cost then sugar. While producing sugar free items they under go the problem again as sugar alternatives are usually more expensive then sugar. That’s when they can use PGPR to change the taste and texture of the chocolate again.
Tips and comments
PGPR is used as an emulsifier in not only chocolate but many other things such as salad dressings. Although, there is no specific harm in using PGPR the only concern is the reduction of the original raw material in this case chocolate and replacing it thus, producing an inferior product. With increasing inflation, the authorities running businesses would do anything to cut down prices even if the quality of their product drops. PGPR is one smart way to keep the quality of their product and their customers satisfied.