EU Ruling on Pure Chocolate Labeling

November 26/London/Hindustan Times -- There is no such thing as "pure chocolate," according to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The ruling voided an Italian law that recognizes some delicacies as "pure chocolate," reports the Telegraph.

The court said that if a product was made from 100% cocoa butter, that must be listed on the ingredients label only.

It also said the EU's 1999 chocolate labelling regulations make no room for a "pure chocolate" reference like the Italian law enacted in 2003.

If vegetable fats are included in the production of chocolate -- a popular practice in some EU nations, notably Britain -- the label must say "contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter," the court said.

The EU labelling rules took effect in 1999 after a debate pitting countries like Britain -- where chocolate usually contains a substitute vegetable fats -- against purists like Belgium, Italy and others, where traditionalist chocolate makers use only cocoa butter.

The EU welcomed the ruling, saying the rules pursue a fair balance between Europe's two different chocolate cultures.

The European Commission had sued Italy, saying the EU law aims to inform consumers in a neutral way about the quality of chocolate on the basis of its ingredients.

From the December 6, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition