When you become a vegan, it can be very tricky as you are suddenly adjusting to a life of constantly checking ingredients to see if they are suitable for you to eat.
One of the questions that vegans get met with a lot is if they can still eat chocolate, but can they?
Dark chocolate is often mistaken as 100% vegan chocolate as it isn’t as creamy as milk or white chocolate. It isn’t as simple as saying that dark chocolate is vegan, but how can you tell?
This article will explain whether or not dark chocolate is vegan so that vegans can see their options when it comes to snacking on sweet treats.
You can find out more below to discover how you can tell if dark chocolate is suitable for vegans and when it isn’t!
Is Dark Chocolate Vegan?
There is not a specific answer for this question as it can vary. When you are looking for dark chocolate, you will notice that there is a percentage on the front of the wrapper.
This refers to the percentage of cacao. The higher the percentage, the more cacao there is in the chocolate.
It is very common to assume that the higher the percentage of cacao, the more likely it is that the chocolate is vegan.
However, there are lots of brands that still add milk to their dark chocolate, despite it having a high percentage of cacao. This is why it is always important to look at the ingredients list.
What Ingredients In Dark Chocolate Are Vegan?
In vegan dark chocolates, the ingredients contain cacao, sugar, and cacao butter. All of these ingredients are vegan-friendly, so they can be consumed by vegans.
Cacao butter can often confuse vegans, but it is suitable for them to eat and does not contain dairy.
As dark chocolate ingredients are vegan, this is how lots of people automatically assume that they do not contain dairy.
Milk is added to the chocolate to give it a smoother texture, but some brands only use vegan ingredients in their dark chocolate, which are the ones to look out for!
What Is Cacao?
Cacao is what raw beans are called that are used to make chocolate. After the beans have been roasted, they are referred to as cocoa beans.
Once the cacao beans have been roasted, they can be made into chocolate. Cacao can be grown in Tanzania, Dominican Republic, and Madagascar.
What To Search For On The Ingredients List
The most common non-vegan ingredient to search for on dark chocolate wrappers is milk.
Lots of brands use milk in their dark chocolate to make it creamier, so you need to make sure that you are not consuming it as it is not suitable for vegans.
Although milk is the most well-known non-vegan ingredient in dark chocolate, gelatin can sometimes be included in the ingredients list.
This is due to the process that dark chocolate goes through during preparation. This is not as common as milk, but you still need to ensure that your chocolate does not contain this.
Look For A Vegan Symbol
If a product is vegan, there will be a symbol on the back to show that it is suitable for vegans to eat.
However, lots of packaging doesn’t include the vegan symbol, despite the product still being suitable for vegans.
If you find dark chocolate that you like the look of, check the packaging for the vegan symbol or check the ingredients.
This is the safest way to ensure that you are comfortable with eating dark chocolate and that you are aware of all of the ingredients that it contains.
Is Flavored Dark Chocolate Vegan?
When you are looking for flavored dark chocolate, you need to see what type of filling you are looking at.
If the filling of the dark chocolate is creamy, check to see if there is no milk or cream used to achieve the texture.
If the creamy filling is made from soya or oat and the rest of the chocolate doesn’t contain any dairy, the chocolate should be suitable for vegans.
Look Out For Milk Powder
Milk powder has become a slippery ingredient that is often missed by vegans when they are shopping.
Suspecting that something is vegan is very dangerous as it can contain milk powder, so you need to be vigilant when you are shopping and scanning the ingredients list.
It is common for dark chocolate to contain milk powder, so make sure that you avoid any products that contain it as it can be easy to miss.
Is Honey Vegan?
Honey can be found in dark chocolate as it can be used to sweeten the taste, but it is not suitable for vegans. As honey comes from bees, it is an animal product.
Therefore, it is not vegan-friendly. As a vegan, you should avoid any dark chocolate that contains honey as this means that it is unsuitable for your dietary requirements.
Does Dark Chocolate Contain Nuts?
Some dark chocolate can contain nuts and some vegan brands can use almond milk to provide the chocolate with a sweeter taste.
If you are allergic to nuts, you will need to avoid these ingredients, but for vegans, almond milk is suitable to consume.
It is a good substitute for milk for vegans but needs to be avoided if it can cause you harm.
To conclude, it is not a simple answer to whether or not dark chocolate is vegan. Some dark chocolate brands only use vegan ingredients.
However, other dark chocolate products contain milk or milk powder. Vegans need to avoid these ingredients as they are not vegan-friendly.
Flavored dark chocolate that is suitable for vegans can be difficult to find as some creamy fillings contain cream or milk.
You need to read the ingredients list very carefully to make sure that you can consume the chocolate.
You can also look for a vegan symbol on the packaging to show you what bars are vegan and what ones are not suitable.