To the ordinary eye, all kinds ofcocoa powder are the same, butto the informed eyes, you can’t go wrong. I have put together a few tips to help you make the best selection the next time you decide to buy cocoa powder for yourself.
Below are a few things you need to look out for before exchanging your cash for that cocoa powder.
- Nutritional label
For an authentic brew of cocoa powder, fat content is usually between 10%-22%. As significant as this information may sound to most people, the brewing process is a key factor to determine the taste and flavour and of course the contents. A high-qualitycocoa powder will show the fat content as 1 gram per serving of 5-6 grams of cocoa powder (amongst other things) on the nutritional label. The nutritional label also show the kind of sweetener that is used. A high-qualitycocoa powder should not contain anything short of organic sweetener. The presence of additives and preservatives would also be mentionedin the nutritional label. It’s hard to lie about the nutritionalvalue these days with all the standard organisations around. The nutritional label always says it all about the product.
- Solubility in cold
Although this will require you to break the seal or ask for a sample test, it is a confirmative test of quality and authenticity. Unlike low-qualitycocoa powder, the high-qualitycocoa powder does not easily dissolve in cold water because of the fat content in it. A low-qualitycocoa powder containing fillers and additives will dissolve easily.
High-qualitycocoa powder isusually darker in appearance than the low quality. The more the presence of cocoa in the product, the darker it appears to be. Low-qualitycocoa powder usually containsadditives that tend to change itscolour from the original rich brown cocoa. Dustybrown cocoa powder doesn’t always indicate quality. The texture and feel of a low-qualitycocoa powder arequite coarse compared the finetexture of a high-qualitycocoa powder.
- The aroma
A quality cocoa powder delivers a strong scent of cocoa. The aroma of cocoa is retainedin the cocoa powder even after several stages of processing. The strong aroma and acidic flavour of the cocoa powder tell the quality of the product. Low-qualitycocoa powder delivers the flavour of the preservatives or additives used as it clouds the cocoa flavour.
- The price
More often than not, the priceis usually a great indicator of quality. High-qualitycocoa powder does not come cheap. The price of high-qualitycocoa powder ishigher than those of the low quality because of the cost incurred in the process of producing it. Some of the low cost cocoa powder even mix with cocoa shell.
- Track record of the manufacturer
When you buy cocoa powder, buy from the most trusted manufacturer. Thisis because a trusted manufacturer has a product to promote and dignityto protect. The trust of the buyer can be earnedwhen the manufacturer seal of trust is imprintedon the product.
- Complete documentation
High-qualitycocoa powders are often highly certified and approved for sales and distribution. The proof of quality sets the product apart from the compromised equally. High-qualitycocoa powders are FDA approved, andHACCP certified. The also carry certification like UTZ and fair trade certification.
- Distributors after sales service
When you buy quality, you are guaranteedof after-salesservice that compels you to buy more. The same cannot be saidabout a low-qualitycocoa powder. The confidence of the distributor goes a long way to spell it out that quality has many friends. A high-qualitycocoa powder should also come through a trusted distributor. The seal of trust of the distributor is a strong indicator of quality. We have full confidence in what we sell.
Most low-qualitycocoa powder isusually mixed with other substances to fill up. High quality cocoa powder contains pure cocoa powder with the strong cocoa aroma.
- Consistent supply throughoutthe year.
Another evidence that the cocoa powder is of high quality is the consistency in supply by the manufacturer. The availability of the product in the market, all year round, shows that the product of goodquality. Check your supplier should maintain optimised inventory with them.
- Authenticity of material
Just before you spend your money on that cocoa powder be sure, itis madeof the right blend of cocoa powder. It often difficult to tell the authenticity of the material until you have opened it, for this reason, you can request for a sample or find out the public opinion about the product brand. Low-qualitycocoa powder isusually mixed with clay or chalk. The few tasty low-qualitycocoa powdersmake use of additives as filler. You should always buy cocoa powder from the authorised distributors only.
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-Akshit Gupta (Asha Ram & Sons Pvt. Ltd.)