When is chocolate vegan? Everything you need to know about vegan chocolate!

Wann ist Schokolade vegan? Alles, was ihr über vegane Schokolade wissen müsst!
The food industry has made it abundantly clear in recent years that vegan alternatives can now keep up with conventional, non-vegan products: there are vegan "sausage" cold cuts, vegan nuggets, cheese alternatives and so much more. The cliché that vegans only eat lettuce and seeds is long gone! A vegan lifestyle no longer stands in the way of enjoying chocolate. Because of course there is also chocolate that does not contain any animal products. The range of vegan chocolate is not limited to dark chocolate varieties. In this text we want to give you a brief overview of when chocolate is vegan, what exciting vegan chocolate options are available and where you can buy them!

When is chocolate vegan?

To bring us all up to speed: Vegan products do not contain any animal products, so they do not contain ingredients such as milk, butter and eggs. However, many conventional chocolates from the supermarket contain milk, milk powder or butterfat, so they are not vegan. Another non-vegan ingredient found in many sweets is shellac. Shellac is made from lice excrement and is what gives red chocolate lentils their color, for example.
Basically, dark chocolate is almost always vegan. The "actually" is important in this context. Even though all you need to make good dark chocolate is cocoa mass and sugar, some manufacturers add butterfat to their dark chocolate, for example, to make it creamier and more economical to produce. Because butterfat is significantly cheaper than cocoa butter.
In the case of fine dark chocolate, manufacturers use cocoa butter instead of butterfat in the manufacture of chocolate to make it extra creamy. Don't let the "butter" component unsettle you: Cocoa butter, to put it simply, is the fat content of the cocoa bean and is therefore vegan!
Depending on how strictly you interpret veganism, it is also exciting to look at the sugar component in chocolate. The two main sources of sugar production, sugar cane and sugar beet, are plants. Sugar is basically vegan. However, some manufacturers clean the sugar with animal bone components. So whether sugar is construed as vegan depends on how it's made and how strict the individual is. Incidentally, many manufacturers of fine chocolate use unrefined cane sugar for their chocolates.

The origin of chocolate is the cocoa fruit and is therefore vegan

How do I know if my chocolate is vegan?

Of course, there are now many manufacturers who specifically label their chocolate so that the "VEGAN" sign literally catches your eye. However, labels are expensive and many smaller manufacturers in particular rely on the ability of their consumers to judge and save themselves the costly process of labelling. So when do I know if my chocolate is vegan?
The top rule, which is certainly nothing new for vegans: check the list of ingredients! As already mentioned, many dark chocolates are vegan by nature and not labeled extra vegan. If there is no animal product on the list of ingredients, you are on the safe side!
By the way, the addition "May contain traces of milk/eggs" should not unsettle you. Manufacturers who process products with allergens in their factories are obliged to print this notice. These products are mostly not even made in the same machines. The advice only refers to microparticles that can be floating through the air and is only aimed at people with severe allergies.
An ingredient that you also often find on the ingredient list of industrial chocolate is lecithin. Soy lecithin is the most used, sunflower lecithin is a rather rare one. Both are basically vegan. If you are interested in the topic of lecithin in chocolate, we have already written a detailed article on it.

There are now many chocolate options that do not use animals

Why vegan chocolate isn't just dark

Even though dark chocolate is often vegan, that doesn't mean that vegans have to do without other types of chocolate. There are now numerous alternatives to replace milk components such as whey powder or butter in chocolate. From almond flour to coconut milk or oats , just about any vegan milk alternative can also be packed in chocolate, making beloved "milk" chocolate vegan the easy way!
We can also reassure vegan lovers of white chocolate: Of course, white chocolate is now also available in vegan form. Classic white chocolate consists of cocoa butter, sugar and milk powder. In the vegan version, the manufacturers also simply replace the milk powder with a vegan option.
And of course there are now numerous exciting vegan chocolate creations. From vegan pistachio chocolate to cruelty-free pralines and unusual creations such as beetroot chocolate .
As you can see, finding vegan chocolate is no longer a problem these days. In addition to the question of whether the chocolate is vegan, is it also important to you to find fine and fairly produced chocolate? Feel free to read our blog post with the 4 most important tips on what to look out for when buying chocolate !

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