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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

from the Chocolate Blog--if you have had cancer or are on levothyroxine-no soy!

Chocolate bars with no soy lecithin are not easy to find....but they are out there.

Updated January 24, 2013

Let’s face it: most chocolate bars contain soy lecithin, a by-product of soybean oil. It is the key ingredient in chocolate that keeps the cocoa butter and cocoa from separating. Although some food specialists believe that soy lecithin can be good for brain development and heart disease prevention (, there are many people who cannot consume soy products because of an allergy to soy or a history of cancer. For those people, it is difficult to eat any chocolate because of a lack of readily available chocolate bars containing no soy lecithin. 

I bought a Ritter Sport 71% dark bar the other day and it reminded me that I have a list of all the chocolate bars that I have tried with no soy lecithin, so today I thought I would share that list.  Ideally, I would like to help people who cannot have soy products to find chocolate bars that they can eat.  After all, I’d like to think that my life is all about spreading happiness through chocolate.  And hopefully I can do that today.

I became interested in chocolate containing no soy lecithin when a salesman at a chocolate exhibition told me that his company was the only one to make soy-free chocolate bars. So I went on a mission to find other chocolate bar manufacturers that have also kept soy derivatives out of their chocolate.

Here is the list that I have put together of chocolate bars that are free of soy lecithin, listed by country/region:

American Soy Lecithin-Free Chocolate:

q Amano Madagascar 70% and other flavours of Amano Chocolate( Although they have a warning on the package regarding the possibility of traces of soy lecithin, they tell me that they have never run lecithin on their equipment, but because they are restored antiques they can not be sure what was run on the equipment in the past. See this post and the comments below it for more information:

q Patric American Handcrafted Chocolate - I have tasted their Signature Blend bar and their In-NIB-itable BAR. Very smooth chocolate with a lot of flavour. Both bars do not contain soy lecithin. See the following article for more details on Patric Chocolate:

q Madre Chocolate This is fantastic and flavourful chocolate made in Hawaii and made from Hawaiian cacao beans. Their chocolate is soy-free and they make several amazing flavours, including their popular Passionfruit bar. I have tasted this chocolate and blogged about it a few times - here are my articles: and Their website is:

q Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate "Los Rios" (Single Region Fine Chocolate) bar with 72% cacao (50 g/1.76 oz) Made with sunfflower lecithin and specifies "dairy and soy-free" on the package. Lot's of good flavour in this chocolate.

Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate "Raw Chocolate" with 70% cacao (50 g/1.76 oz) - again specifies "dairy and soy-free" on the package and is made with sunflower lecithin. This raw chocolate is not really smooth, but I like it. It is also great because it has had minimal processing so the antioxidants, flavanols and bean flavour are maintained.

q  Potomac Chocolate (Woodbridge, VA) their Upala 70% chocolate bars are made using cacao from the Upala district of Costa Rica and the only two ingredients are cacao beans and sugar. They also sell one chocolate bar made from cacao from Peru. I have tried this chocolate and loved it.  Read my review here:
q  Rogue Chocolatier (Three Rivers, Massachusetts) This is a small, craft, bean-to-bar chocolate maker who sources the finest beans from single-origin sources like Peru, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras. They work directly with the farmers to ensure quality and fair trade. Unfortunately, I have not yet tasted their chocolate as they do not ship to Canada. But their accolades can speak for their chocolate: Rogue Chocolatier has won several awards, including the Good Food Awards for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

q  Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips are made on dedicated equipment that is soy-free, as well as peanut-free, tree nut-free and free of several other known food allergens. Read on for more information about Enjoy Life's Mega Chunks and Mini Chips.

q Askinosie Chocolate (Springfield, MO)  Askinosie Chocolate does not add any soy lecithin in their chocolate making process. The only ingredients in their Single Origin Dark Chocolate bars are cocoa beans and organic sugar. They are also doing some really interesting things with chocolate education at

q Dandelion Chocolate (Mission District, San Francisco)  This new San Francisco bean-to-bar chocolate maker only uses two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar.

q Ritual Chocolate (Denver, Colorado) a small-batch, craft chocolate making company They were recently honoured at the Good Food Awards Ceremony in San Francisco for their Costa Rica and Madagascar (70% cacao) chocolate bars. They also make a bar from beans of Trinidad and of Balao, Ecuador. All of their chocolate bars can be ordered online, including from Canada. Their chocolate also only has two ingredients: cacao and sugar.

Canadian Soy Lecithin-Free Chocolate:
q Camino (formerly called Cocoa Camino) chocolate by La Siembra Co-Operative ( has no soy lecithin in its chocolate, which is also organic and fair trade. For instance, their 71% Bittersweet 100 gram bar has only cocoa mass, golden cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole cane sugar and ground vanilla beans in its ingredients list. 

q Just Us Coffee Roasters 70% Dark Chocolate Bar (100 grams). This bar had a very strong organic and fire roasted bean flavour – I ate the whole thing in one day so it must’ve been good! There is also no soy lecithin and it has just organic cocoa paste, organic muscobado whole cane sugar, organic cocoa butter and organic cocoa powder. I purchased this bar in OttawaOntario at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, but you can purchase it directly at Just Us coffee houses in Halifax as well. Check their web site to learn where it is sold in your area:

q President’s Choice Fair Trade Dark Chocolate (Peru, 70% cocoa solids) has a great taste that tastes a bit like “Chipits” brand of chocolate chip, only darker. It seems sweeter than most 70% chocolate bars, but a nice sweetness (not sickeningly sweet like some North American-branded dark chocolate can be). The ingredients on the package are listed as: unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, low fat cocoa powder. See for more information.

q Cuisine Camino fair trade "Baking Chocolate" is La Siembra Co-Operative's baking line of chocolate ( Their chocolate comes in 200 gram boxes, which is a larger, more helpful size for baking than a standard 100 gram chocolate bar (sometimes you just need more!). Their 56% cacao Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate bar, for instance, is made with three simple ingredients: organic cane sugar, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter and no lecithin or vanilla in sight. The chocolate is made in Peru and is both organic and fair trade. If you are doing a lot more baking or chocolate making than your average home baker, look to Camino's Professional and Industrial lines for more 10 kilo boxes of their organic and fair trade courverture in white, milk, semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolate. It is also soy-lecithin free.

q Hummingbird Chocolate Maker - This is a new bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Ottawa, Canada. They have a flavourful range of chocolates made from single origin beans (Hispaniola, Venezuela and Talamanca) which show immense differences in flavours - I highly recommend trying their entire range for a chocolate tasting

q Camino Milk Chocolate Chips - there is a "May contain peanuts and soy" warning on the package, but there is no actual soy lecithin in the ingredients list. If you are just avoiding soy (not allergic), this may be a great brand for you to try as milk chocolate chips without soy is not easy to find.

q    President’s Choice's 300 gram chocolate bars have canola lecithin instead of soy lecithin.Their 70% range chocolate uses artificial flavouring though, but otherwise is good for baking. Their hazelnut and milk chocolate bars do have natural vanilla flavouring. These are available in Ontario at Loblaws, Loblaws Superstore and Valu-Mart. Check find out where they are sold near you.

q Terra Nostra™ Organic, Intense Dark™, 100 gram bar with 73% cacao is also organic and has only three ingredients: cocoa mass, organic sugar, cocoa butter. Although it’s been a while since I tried it, this bar had a wonderful smell and great taste.

Soy Lecithin-Free Chocolate from Outside North America:

q     The Ritter SPORT Amargo Extrafino 71% Cocoa, 100 gram bar has no soy lecithin (just cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla). This bar is smooth, chunky and great for those moments when you are craving very dark chocolate.  It does not have any strong flavours in it like the organic chocolate bars listed below, so would be suitable to those who are not used to tasting the specific nuances of single origin cocoa beans, and those who are not used to the strong flavour of organic chocolate. It has a happy feel to it – eat this on a day that needs brightening.

q     Ambriel (73% cocoa) chocolate bar with cocoa nibs has a very organic and earthy flavour and smell and, in fact, is certified organic and fair trade. sells this product. The cocoa comes from Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

q     Vivani (Edel Bitter EQUADOR) organic “superior” dark chocolate (70% cacao) with olive oil.  This is a nice smooth chocolate, likely due to the olive oil. Its ingredients are all organic and include: cocoa mass, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter, olive oil (2%). Check for more information.
q    Green & Blacks Organic Dark 85%, 100 gram bar.  This bar is made with Trinitario cocoa beans and when I purchased it in 2008, it offered a quality promise on the package that it lived up to. Its ingredients are organic and include: chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, fat-reduced cocoa powder, raw cane sugar, vanilla extract.  Be wary though, if you do not want soy lecithin, just stick to the 85% bar, Green & Black’s 70% chocolate does have soy lecithin in it.

q    Michel Cluizel Plantation "Los Ancones", 67% Dark Chocolate, 100 g (3.5 oz) - of the highest quality and there is no lecithin used at all in this chocolate. Plus it's made with Bourbon vanilla pod and is made in France, one of the greatest countries for chocolate making!