Godiva chocolate…is it worth the price?

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM

All rights reserved

The irascible and debonair Travelling Gourmet researches into Godiva chocolate to discover that…

MANY have found out that Godiva despite its high end carefully crafted expensive chocolate image…ACTUALLY uses artificial vanilla, artificial colouring and additives and many other ingredients you do not expect to find in an expensive and supposedly top quality chocolate!

Take this candid comment for example, that I found on the internet…

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Posted 01 March 2008 – 12:10 PM

Hi All,
As the next wave of candy-filled holidays approach I want to send off a warning about vanillin. Do not be fooled by this imitation impostor!


One would think that an expensive chocolate would use only the best
ingredients – especially when they say so themselves. Don’t, however, be
taken in by price. One of our members wrote to the prestigious Godiva
Chocolatiers to ask about their Easter Eggs. The company answered that
among other ingredients, their Easter Egg chocolates contain vanillin – an
extremely cheap artificial vanilla flavoring.

While real vanilla extract is made from the vanilla bean, Vanillin is a mixture of
several hundred different compounds in addition to vanillin, the artificial
flavoring is methyl vanillin or ethyl vanillin. It is made from Guaiacol,
which is an aromatic chemical made from wood creosote (present in smoke from
burning wood), from petroleum, or from lignin-containing waste products of
the paper pulp industry. Thus, the artificial flavoring has a much higher
percentage of a single chemical compound, as well as unknown contaminants
resulting from its source.

Whether the reactions seen by our members to the artificial vanillin is due
to the concentration of a single chemical in the flavoring, to the
contaminants, or to something else entirely, is unknown. Artificial
vanillin has also been shown in research to suppress certain liver enzymes
(Bamforth 1993), and according to Aoshima, 1997, it inhibits the GABA
receptor response, suggesting that it could modulate the neural transmission
in the brain.

Scary isn’t it??

This is from Foodbabe.com. She does not seem to like Godiva very much…


She says:

Godiva chocolate has been tricking many of us for years into believing that paying a premium for chocolate means you are getting higher quality treats, but this can’t be further from the truth! Take a look at the ingredients in one of their chocolates and you’ll quickly realize what they’re selling are fancy-looking cheap ingredients wrapped up in a pretty gold box. How are they getting away with this? 

When you read the ingredients’ list on each Godiva chocolate box, you will find that these are used in the product:

Preservatives (tocopherols, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate)
fake vanilla (vanillin)
soya lecithin
partially hydrogenated palm kernal oil
Yello 5, FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 1)
The chocolate was also processed with alkali…

Here is the low-down on partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil…used in Godiva chocolate…

Palm Kernel Oil – Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil comes from the seed of the oil palm. It is primarily used in tropical regions like southeast Asia and central Africa. The color of palm kernel oil is deep red and it is high in saturated fat, thus giving it its semisolid structure. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is commonly used in frying, baking, or in some cases coffee whitening. Usually fats like margarine, shortening, or other baked or fried foods contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil Partial hydrogenation of the vegetable oil allows the oil to take on a stiffer texture because of the hydrogen gas being pumped into the oil to weaken the hydrogen bonds in the structure. Partially hydrogenation of oil is therefore unhealthier to the consumer because of its unnatural use of hydrogenation which forms trans-fats that the body cannot breakdown. Trans-fats are solid fats produced from oil by unnatural methods and interfere with metabolic processes such as increasing LDL or �bad cholesterol.� Partially hydrogenated oils have a tendency to be used by food companies because of its cheapness, stability, improved texture, and ability to oxidize to provide a longer shelf life. Partially hydrogenating the oil increases bad trans and saturated fats and lowers the amount of good fats. Many of the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and other positive components of the oil are lost through this process. “ADM: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils.” ADM: Home. Archer Daniels Midland Company, 2011. Web. 17 May 2011. . Robinson, Allen. �Palm Kernel Oil Nutrition.

In a nutshell, it is not good for you!

More about “Partially Hydrogenated” Oils: It is now known that the process of hydrogenation creates “trans fatty acids” (TFAs), which are toxic entities that enter cell membranes, block utilization of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and impede cell functionality. TFAs also cause a rise in blood cholesterol. These substances are not present in natural oils. These Trans fat compounds are also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fat is found in margarine, shortening and foods — such as cookies, crackers & other commercially baked goods — made with these ingredients. Trans fat raises LDL cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol. What is a Hydrolyzed protein? It is a protein obtained from various foods (like soybeans, corn or wheat), then broken down into amino acids by a chemical process called acid hydrolysis. Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein is used as a flavor enhancer in numerous processed foods like soups, chilis, sauces, stews and some meat products like frankfurters.

Another Chocolate connoisseur had this comment:

Godiva chocolate makes me grumpy. They proclaim to use only the “finest ingredients,” but then they use cheap, hydrogenated oils in their truffle filling. And THEN, they charge an arm and a leg for them.To the question: Is Godiva woth the price?

The answer is NO!

If you are smart you’ll avoid Godiva…Godiva sucks! I prefer Lindt, Ritter Sport, Valrhona, Amadei…

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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