Dubious manufacturers of chocolates of low distinction like to pull a fast one on chocolate lovers that has many of us nonplussed, to say the least, but a great many more, those that have never had any other kind, content to ingest chemicals instead of cocoa. The nefarious choco-mongers swap Polyglycerol polyricinoleate for cocoa butter (so they can sell you cheaper-to-make chocolate that tastes like cardboard and has been stripped of some of it’s most beneficial antioxidants it and then turn around and sell you the cocoa butter they removed as skin cream).
Ever wonder what that awful aftertaste is as you’re spitting out a bite of substandard chocolate? It’s PGPR, the chocolate industrial complex’s latest evil answer to if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Gone is the awesome taste of unsullied chocolate. Behold the gnarly taste of chocolate made from the fatty acids of castor oil.
For years, sub-quality chocolate manufacturers (Hershey’s, Nestle, Mars, et al) have been trying to get the FDA to allow them to replace the naturally-occurring cocoa butter with vegetable oil. Failing that, they succeeded in getting the cocoa butter – PGPR swap approved, ostensibly in the name of cost savings, but of course there’s a profit to made from that freed-up cocoa butter and hungry consumers with unhappy faces.
Not only does PGPR taste like yuck, it also replaces a healthful component of chocolate. A 1996 UC Davis study on the health benefits of chocolate revealed that the powerful antioxidants in chocolate actually derived from cocoa butter and the stearic acid it produces.
So that’s the hand you’ve been dealt by the big money chocolateers: a substandard(er) bar of chocolate with an unsavory aftertaste and the healthful ingredients removed. And in return, we are able to give those chocalateers bigger profits.