In the first part of this blog, Dr Neil Robson, founder of Rebel Chocolate, explained how he has improved the nutritional profile of chocolate. This was by removing the excess sugar and using lots of really high-quality cocoa. Neil goes on to explain how he has further improved the nutritional profile by using protein.
“The first objective of Rebel Chocolate was to make chocolate that tastes amazing, no compromises! Equally important, great taste had to go hand in hand with significantly improved nutritional values. With some innovative thinking and lots of experimentation, I believe I have found the perfect balance – great taste and improved nutrition. Rebel Chocolate’s high protein content chocolate truly is a “healthier” chocolate choice.
As well as using a high percentage of cocoa, the nutritional profile is further improved by enriching the chocolate with lactose-free whey protein.”
Chocolate with high protein content – why?
“More and more food producers are making a “high protein” version of one or more of their products. Now there is high protein cereal, yoghurt …….. the list goes on and on. But my question is – why is protein being added to products that are already pretty much nutritiously balanced? Are they trying to make already healthy products healthier?
While protein is essential for building and powering every cell in the body, it is not necessary for everything you eat to have additional protein. You might think I am contradicting myself here because we have of course added protein to our chocolate. But Rebel Chocolate’s logic goes something like this – naturally nutritious foods, as the description implies, are nutritious, so leave them alone! Our thinking at Rebel Chocolate is a bit different……. and I like a challenge. So let’s target the truly unhealthy foods we like to eat, such as chocolate, and improve their nutritional profile.
Rebels Chocolate’s approach is BALANCE. So the reason we add protein to our milk chocolate is to make it more nutritionally BALANCED. By providing sugars, proteins and fats in the proportions that we do, our milk chocolate is a far more nutritionally BALANCED energy source than any other milk chocolate that we know of.”
Lactose-free milk chocolate
“Another unique aspect of Rebel Chocolate is that it does not contain any lactose, a sugar found in milk. I am not aware of another milk chocolate (and we are talking about proper milk, the stuff that comes from cows) that is also lactose free. We use lactose-free whole milk powder and pure whey protein, so our milk chocolate retains that smooth, rich, and creamy real milk chocolate taste.”
Why remove lactose?
“Good question and I am going to be 100% honest here. I didn’t think we were going to end up making lactose-free milk chocolate at the start of this project. I chose to use lactose-free milk powder because it is inherently sweeter than standard milk powder. Lactose is a disaccharide sugar, the “di” means two. This means lactose is actually a sugar made up of one glucose molecule and one galactose molecule. Now lactose isn’t very sweet, but glucose and galactose are sweeter. So I wanted to use this chemistry to our advantage. Lactose-free milk is made by adding an enzyme called lactase to the milk. This enzyme splits the lactose into one molecule of glucose and one molecule of galactose. So, by using lactose-free milk powder, which contains glucose and galactose (but no lactose) I have been able to exploit the natural sweetness of these two sugars without actually having to add additional sugar.
The added bonus to our approach is that all those people out there who are lactose intolerant (up to 15% of people in the UK) can now enjoy bona fide milk chocolate without the resulting stomach cramps.
In summary, by using lots of cocoa, removing plenty of the sugar, and replacing the sugar with protein, I have made milk chocolate with a much improved and balanced nutritional profile. But most importantly, it tastes great! If you don’t believe me, try it!”
All varieties of Rebel Chocolate are available to buy HERE.
More information on protein and nutrition is available from the Britsih Nutrition Foundation.