Five shocking ingredients you may find in brand-name chocolates

Mixing chocolate

At Delysia Chocolatier, we are true believers in chocolate – as long as it is sustainably grown, ethically sourced and artisanally made, without the addition of any artificial substances. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many industrially manufactured, brand-name chocolates.

We wouldn’t want to scare any chocoholics away from their favorite supermarket or corner store chocolate bars. However, as good chocolate citizens who care, we think it’s part of our duty to share a list of…

5 Shocking Ingredients You May Find in Brand-Name Chocolates:


1. Rat hair

In truth, it’s not so easy to keep a large food plant rodent-free as it is your kitchen. For this reason the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits 1 rodent hair per every 100 grams of chocolate. The FDA refers to the possibility of a rat hair in your chocolate as an “unavoidable defect.”

2. Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate

Quite a tongue twister… which is why this alliterative ingredient is often referred to as PGPR. PGPR is a favorite flavor shortcut taken by some large corporations who would rather avoid the cost and labor of adding actual cocoa butter to their chocolate products. Deemed safe in small doses, severe chocaholics can suffer from liver problems if they ingest large amounts of PGPR.

3. Powder Cellulose

Also known as wood pulp, this ingredient is used to keep the chocolate in chocolate milk from forming clumps. It’s also what gives chocolate milk a rich, brown color that most people think is due to the chocolate itself.

4. Heavy Metals

A recent study carried out by an independent state-certified lab discovered that many brands of commercial chocolate contain lead in quantities that surpass levels set out by the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. To date, it’s unknown if these traces are natural or due to manufacturing and shipping practices, however, we think lead is for pencils, not for chocolate!

5. Cockroach limbs

You might be shocked to know that 60 insect pieces per every 100 grams of chocolate is considered safe for consumption by none other than the FDA. The reason the FDA is even going there is because research shows that the average commercial chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts (a genteel way of referring to ground-up cockroach bodies). Scientists claim that contamination by roaches is nearly unavoidable… at least without the use of far more toxic pesticides…

If reading all of the above bugs you, know that you can seriously diminish the chocolate shock factor by purchasing sustainably sourced, preservative-free, handcrafted quality chocolate made with care and love by chocolatiers such as Delysia.

Unlike some commercial brands, our chocolates aren’t shocking but soothing. Furthermore, the only insects that you’ll find among the ingredients – such as crickets in our chocolate bark – are not only nutritious and delicious, but there on purpose!


Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.

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