Chocolate examples

Flowhey in chocolate products

What is the role of whey in chocolate and chocolate products?

Chocolate is one of the most consumed products in the world. Those who don’t like it are not telling the truth!

Strict regulations surround the definition of the different types of chocolate : dark, milk and white. In milk chocolate, white chocolate, icing pastes or chocolate candies, the main dairy ingredient is milk powder but other dairy derivatives such as lactose or whey can be used These derivatives are also excellent products to provide different functionalities and substantial savings compared to milk powder.

Depending on the type of chocolate required, whey can play a role in the color of the chocolate through the Maillard reaction. Whey can also have an impact on the chocolate’s taste, viscosity and flow characteristics. Whey is often used to replace milk powder as bulking agent thanks to its high lactose content. Lactose is a sugar with a very low sweetening power which contributes to bring dry matter. Its structural and physical characteristics can also directly influence the quality of the chocolate (texture, stability…). Many chocolate properties (including its evolution over time) are linked to the amorphous or crystallized character of lactose and are focus points for manufacturers.

Whey is a lean product composed mainly of lactose (>75%) and some protein (10% to 12% at least) andwith a mineral content close to milk powder one. Chocolate products do not specifically need a high level of protein like milk. Then, it makes whey an ideal ingredient for adding dry matter of dairy origin in chocolate products.

Chocolate products using whey do not need a prior dissolution phase (except for certain aqueous fillings), unlike finished products which require solubilisation of whey or lactose. Moreover the most important characteristics for the industrial application concern the powder itself: fluidity, density, granulometry, shape and hardness of the gain, fat absorption capacity, etc. Granulometry is an essential point for unmilled products because it implies generally the use of more or less cocoa butter or vegetable fat. A too fine powder will require a lot of coating fat, while a powder that is too coarse can generate a sandy effect in fatty fillings for example.

 How to choose the most appropriate whey when formulating a chocolate product?

Flowhey is a sweet whey with a high crystallised lactose content and very good flow and shelf life characteristics.

Not all whey on the market are suitable for the use in chocolate products, like Flowhey is. The right formulation and manufacturing process can avoid many process problems. Whey contains a lot of lactose which can be in amorphous and crystallised form. Flowhey is a sweet whey with a high crystallised lactose content and very good flow and shelf life characteristics. There is very little amorphous lactose in Flowhey, so it strongly limits the increase of viscosity during the crystallisation of lactose in the finished products.

Another possibility is the use of partially demineralized whey. This ingredient comes from membrane technologies that physically remove monovalent ions such as chlorides, sodium, potassium, etc., making it less salty and slightly sweeter (due to lactose). Demlac 8000 is 40% demineralized and made by the same technologies as Flowhey. Formulas which require a higher quantity of whey and a less salty taste can use Demlac 8000. This product meet all Flowhey characteristics but it has a slightly sweeter taste. Much more demineralised ingredients are available but it remain more expensive and hardly/rarely used in chocolate making.

Why choose Flowhey to formulate a chocolate product?

These advantages make Flowhey a quality ingredient in the formulation of chocolate products.

Flowhey has been used worldwide by several chocolate manufacturers for many years in their chocolate products.

Flowhey is a sweet whey powder with a high rate of crystallized lactose. This characteristic brings many advantages: fluidity of the powder for optimum flow, very few fine particles and therefore low dusting, very good conservation over time, no or little Maillard-type browning reaction even under high temperature conditions (during transport or storage), good heat stability, etc. These advantages make Flowhey a quality ingredient in the formulation of chocolate products.

The Flowhey range is manufactured in our French factories which are FSSC 22 000 certified and successfully audited by the most demanding customers. Some of our references are Kosher certified and Vegetarian.

LACTALIS Ingredients has developed a long-standing expertise in the manufacturing process of Flowhey sweet whey powder thanks to the control of the upstream (high quality liquid whey resource: cheese origin, mineral composition, protein denaturation and pH). This expertise enables us to meet all the requirements of the manufacturing process of various finished products including chocolate products.

Flowhey has been tested in multiple applications and under various technical conditions during many pilot trials in collaboration with clients. The aim was to meet their expectations by solving potential problems encountered during various uses.

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Author : Pascal DESBOIS

Dr Pascal DESBOIS leads the Lactalis ingredients Dairy Food Applications Team. Since graduating with a degree in Food Science, Pascal has built over 20 years of experience in the Dairy industry in both Quality, R&D and commercial roles, having worked within Food industries before joining Lactalis Ingredients. He covers all dairy ingredients portfolio including the whole dairy proteins category (whey protein, casein), milk, whey, lactose, butter and is passionate about food innovation and providing expertise to worldwide BtoB customers.