Application of Authentication and Traceability in Chocolate
The chocolate products need to be labeled for their authenticity. Fermentation improves the flavor of chocolate by reducing astringency and bitterness. Due to the high demand of cocoa beans, there are chances of adulterations by traders. The practice of combining chocolate with foreign ingredients or of replacing one or more natural or synthetic ingredients to give the desired properties is known as chocolate adulteration. For regulatory compliance, monitoring of chocolate quality at various stages of production, processing, and distribution is very important. High-quality cocoa beans are essential for chocolate production with adequate nutritional values and desired taste. Quality controls are done with various laboratory tests, which represent the mandatory starting point for a proper traceability system. Authentication is important for both—the official bodies in charge of labeling and the industries where incoming batches of raw materials and finished products are tested for compliance with specifications. Absorption measurements can be done at a single wavelength or over an extended spectral range.