New chocolate emulsifier offers lecithin-beating functionality

Dreaming of chocolate

It’s a chocolate manufacturer’s dream: cost-effective and stable control over the viscosity of any type of chocolate – regular or low fat – without the taste or odour downsides of lecithin. Now there’s a finely tuned production “tool” that can make all of this possible.

A recently released product from Danish-based Palsgaard A/S, the food ingredients company widely recognised as the inventor of the modern emulsifier, Palsgaard® AMP 4455 is a state-of-the-art ammonium phosphatide chocolate emulsifier (also known as AMP, Emulsifier YN or E442.) What’s particularly attractive about Palsgaard’s version of ammonium phosphatide for chocolate production, however, is neither its origins nor what the product is called. Instead, it’s the remarkable ability of this product to out-perform lecithin without the usual downsides of lecithin and at far lower dosages. For chocolate manufacturers eager to achieve the dream, Palsgaard has come up with a compelling “more for less” solution that checks all the boxes.

Lecithin problems

Lecithin, the much-used cornerstone of chocolates around the world, has been included in chocolate recipes for more than 60 years, acting as a functional and reasonably efficient ingredient when it comes to adjusting flow properties and reducing fat content in chocolate.

But it’s not without its drawbacks. For example, the soy-based variety used in the confectionery industry is at the mercy of natural variations in the harvests from year to year and region to region. On the one hand, this means fluctuations in supply and prices – adding to the difficulties for manufacturers already dealing with the ups and downs of the cocoa butter market. On the other, the performance of lecithin is highly dependent upon the purity of its raw materials.

Palsgaard® AMP 4455 (E442) doesn’t suffer from such difficulties. The newly developed chocolate emulsifier produces properties in chocolate never seen before. It’s based on highly consistent and obtainable, non-GMO raw materials, so its quality isn’t at the mercy of Mother Nature. And perhaps best of all, Palsgaard® AMP 4455 has been documented to outperform normal types of lecithin used by the chocolate industry at all dosage levels – both when producing chocolate and compound chocolate.

Picking a winner
AMP has been used by the confectionery industry as a chocolate emulsifier since the late 1950’s where it was developed, and is well known as a strong alternative to lecithin types such as GMO and non-GMO soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin and rapeseed lecithin.
Palsgaard identified AMP many years ago as potentially the best and most functional viscosity-reducing chocolate emulsifier. And the company has been unrelenting in its efforts to realise this potential, working closely with customers with very different chocolate systems and in different parts of the world to constantly re-approach and refine every aspect of an AMP-based solution to manufacturers’ challenges.

Practically unlimited supply

Palsgaard’s new AMP-based product is primarily manufactured using a combination of refined and deodorised sunflower oil and glycerine, making it a 100%-vegetable based product. Sunflower oil is one of the major vegetable oils on the world commodities market, which ensures a stable supply and minimises price variations. At the same time, all the raw materials used by Palsgaard are Kosher and Halal-certified.

More for less

Using fewer raw materials to obtain the same result is a key aim for any manufacturer. And this is precisely where Palsgaard® AMP 4455 has its most striking advantage. In fact, it’s possible to use as little as 40 percent of the dosage required with any of the lecithin types mentioned above. Clearly, any dosage reduction approaching such levels will dramatically decrease the manufacturer’s total consumption of emulsifiers.

Of course, the actual required dosage depends on a number of factors, including the chocolate system (milk, dark, white or crumb chocolate, for example) and the current total fat content of the chocolate produced. For many manufacturers, a level approaching half the current dosage levels will be more realistic. But even the most extreme reductions claimed by Palsgaard have been consistently demonstrated in trials with chocolates using 0.4% and 0.5% lecithin dosages.

No thickening effect

For many chocolate manufacturers, the main barrier to using lecithin is the so-called ‘thickening effect’ – an increase in yield value that usually happens at lecithin dosages in the range from 0.4 to 0.5 percent.

Increasing the dosage of Palsgaard® AMP 4455 doesn’t increase yield value. Instead, manufacturers can dose up to one percent AMP to achieve the desired viscosity reduction. And it’s this unique ability that opens the door to new, low-fat, low-calorie and low-cost recipes. See figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1: Using Palsgaard® AMP 4455 means no undesired increase in yield value (thickening effect) at higher dosage levels. This enables efficient production of very low fat chocolates.
Figure 2: Palsgaard® AMP 4455 is just as easy to use as lecithin, but outperforms it in reducing the chocolate’s plastic viscosity — using as little as 40 percent of the normally applied dosage.

Controlled functional stability

Ideally, any ingredient used to control the viscosity of chocolate should achieve the same effect with every batch. The remarkably stable functionality of Palsgaard® AMP 4455 is achieved by making sure that each new batch meets the specified viscosity reduction in chocolate via a pre-testing programme called the Viscosity Reducing Power (VPR) method. VPR, which is specially designed for AMP, tests each batch in a test chocolate before it can be released for the manufacturer to use. As a result, no recipe adjustments will be needed – and Palsgaard® AMP 4455’s promise of superior functional stability is never in doubt.

Non-GMO and non-allergenic

An increasing number of chocolate manufacturers choose non-GMO ingredients for their chocolate recipes. Even when the manufacturer is located in a region or country that doesn’t require non-GMO solutions, some production quantities may be exported to countries demanding non-GMO products. Palsgaard® AMP 4455, which is based on raw materials of a non-GMO origin and can be classified as both non-GMO and non-allergenic, neatly and cost-effectively solves these concerns.

Neutral taste and microbiologically safe

Lecithin is well known for imparting off-flavours. To make things more difficult, this unwelcome effect varies from batch to batch and from supplier to supplier. Palsgaard® AMP 4455, however, is designed to be a taste-neutral product that gives the consumer the best possible chocolate experience, removing any disturbing flavours that make it difficult to consistently achieve the desired chocolate taste.

Another thing that can concern chocolate manufacturers is the challenge of keeping production equipment clean and the chocolate free of microbiological organisms such as E-Coli and salmonella. Here too, the Palsgaard product is far superior to lecithin. In fact, Palsgaard® AMP 4455 has been specifically developed to provide a high degree of safety against such pathogens, and all batches of Palsgaard® AMP 4455 are produced in hygienic, sealed machinery at temperatures where it’s impossible for microorganisms to survive. In the event of contamination further along the supply chain, inoculation tests confirm that all microorganism activity would cease in less than a week inside AMP.

Easy reformulation

It might be imagined that, for a manufacturer with a long list of chocolate recipes, switching to an AMP-based emulsifier is a time-consuming and difficult task. In fact, the reverse is true. A good way to begin is to simply set the Palsgaard® AMP 4455 dosage to half of the current lecithin dosage, and see if this produces the same rheological properties of the chocolate. Only a few rheological tests and dosage adjustments should be needed to reach the target rheology.

Palsgaard is making its chocolate pilot plant available to support the company’s customers with trials of the new product for their recipes. With process equipment similar to that used in many chocolate factories, the plant enables Palsgaard’s application team to demonstrate how to reformulate from lecithin to AMP, and to help fine-tune each recipe for success.

Delivery details

Palsgaard® AMP 4455 can be supplied in 200 kg steel drums, 900 kg IBC containers or as bulk deliveries. The most cost-effective solution – bulk deliveries of up to 24 tons – only requires a storage tank to be ready when off-loading the product.