Whats App university is again enlightening their pupils with a new theory (in fact spreading tumour of rumour) that Chocolates have 4% cockroaches and it is approved by FDA, the global authority which controls food standards.
So, as a responsible food technologist, its my moral duty to stop the spreading this tumour of rumour and thus prevent society from the garbage of false information.
First let us hear what our Whats App University professor says about the relationship between Chocolates and Cockroaches.
- FDA is global authority which controls the food standards
- FDA permits 4% of cockroaches in chocolates
- 100g of chocolates have 4g of cockroaches which is equivalent to 16 cockroaches
Truth & Facts
FDA is NOT global authority which controls the food standards. It is only US authority. Similarly, every country has their own authorities. E.g. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India , Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) , Food Standards Agency, UK etc
FDA DOES NOT permit 4% cockroaches in chocolate. In fact no authority can allow this. We should have faith on our government and policy makers.
Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110.110 allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard. These “Food Defect Action Levels” listed in this booklet are set on this premise–that they pose no inherent hazard to health.FDA
Let us understand more practically and scientifically the partial knowledge which Whats App professor wants to share.
Cocoa beans, like any other agricultural produces such as wheat, corn, rice, fruits & vegetables are prone to insect and rodent attack.
You can find rodents in a wheat godown, so you will find rodent excreta there. You will find insects inside the cut apple or cabbage.
But, it doesn’t mean that they are inherent part of the products and government or food authority will allow them to be present in your food products.
Understand this way, Cocoa beans are like other grains/crops produced by small farmers. These crops are attacked by insects and pest and it is natural and biological phenomena.
These small farmers are not equipped with sufficient manpower of machines to segregate these unwanted/undesired beans/seeds. But such sorting and gradings can be done by the big processors. They have x-ray sorters, colour sorters, money to put manpower to segregate them.
Imagine if Govt doesn’t allow a single infested seeds to be present, then these poor farmers will never be able to sell any of their agriculture produce. After they sell it to processors, it goes through a series of processes to make them safe and sound before reaches to consumers’ plate.
In case of cocoa beans, after fermentation, it goes through series of processes like cleaning, drying, winnowing (removal of all shells) and roasting (at 130°C and 150°C).
We also buy leafy vegetables, with soiled roots. But before we cook, it is cut and washed. It is not different but only the scale is bigger.
What does Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI) say about standards of cocoa bean?
As per 2.3.54 of FSSAI, COCOA BEANS have following specifications –
(a) “Cocoa bean” means the properly fermented and dried whole seeds of tree Theobroma cacao Linnaeus.
(b) The product shall be free from any abnormal or foreign odour or flavor and admixture of any other seeds.
(c) It shall be reasonably free from broken beans, fragments and pieces of shell and the product shall be free from living insects.
(d) The product shall conform to the following requirements, namely:-
|Moisture content||Max 8%|
|“Moldy Beans” include beans on internal parts of which mould is visible to the naked eyes.||Max 2%|
|**“Insect damaged beans” include beans, the internal parts of which contain insects at any stage of development or which have been damaged beans, attacked by insects causing damage visible to the naked eyes.||Max 2%|
FSSAI : Clarification on Standards for Chocolate, allowing Insects:FSSAI Myth Buster
According to FSSAI’s standards, any chocolate should be free from insects and other contaminants. Any rumor stating that FSSAI has permitted insects in chocolate manufacturing process, are false.
Regulation 2.7.4 of FSS(Food Product Standards and Food Additives)
Regulations 2011 specifies quality standards for Chocolate and its types.
Further, sub-regulation 3 of this 2.7.4: chocolate standard clearly specifies that the material shall be free from rancidity or off odour, insect and fungus
infestation, filth, adulterants and any harmful or injurious matter.
100g of chocolates DO NOT have 4g of cockroaches which is equivalent to 16 cockroaches
As no authority allows cockroaches to be allowed in chocolates, 100g chocolate DO NOT have any of them.
Chocolate have about 30-70% cocoa solids (cocoa components) depending on whether it is milk chocolate or dark chocolate. As the professor mentioned, cockroaches are coming through cocoa beans, then how can be a single standard of 4% of permissible cockroach?
Logically, there should be a range of 4-10% depending on the type of chocolate. It clearly shows that the professor is throwing some random data.
Educate yourself with more information about interesting cocoa fermentation and chocolate making process
Know the health benefits of chocolates and cocoa products
If chocolates are consumed with controlled portion size, cocoa is one of the health friendly foods.
To know more CLICK HERE
Educate yourself with scientific facts related to few more rumours related to processed food
- Rumour Ka Tumour -1 : Coke is Not Recommended for Children
- Rumour Ka Tumour – 2: Pesticide Percentage (%) in cold drinks released from IMA
- Rumour ka Tumour 3 – E Numbers
About Rumor ka Tumor
Nowadays social media has become a “pseudo-main stream media”. Every citizen having access to the internet has become either a journalist OR news reader (spreading news).
So, we should also be little responsible while spreading a news/msg because “rumours” spread like “tumours” and sometimes becomes incurable.
Being a responsible food technologist, I thought to start a blog to suppress the spread of rumors related to food industry / processed food and spread awareness.
THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE READ AS ONLY A COUNTER ARTICLE TO “RUMOR” BEING SPREAD IN SOCIAL MEDIA. IT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS AN ENDORSEMENT TO ANY BRAND / COMPANY / PRODUCT.