I'm noticing that there is a huge difference of the amount of carbs in dark chocolate.

For example, Lindt Excellence Cocoa 90% says: 100g chocolate: 592 kcal 55g fat 10g protein 19g carbs of which 14g is sugar in 100g chocolate.

Amedei Toscano Black 90% says per 100g chocolate: 741 kcal 53g fat 11g protein 55g carbs of which 32g sugar per 100g chocolate.

Both are 90%, similar protein and fat amounts but the carbs differs a lot. Why is that, what's going on here?

  • 1
    Amedei's has a bit more than twice the sugar. Different recipe and different companies. – NothingToSeeHere Oct 7 '19 at 18:00
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    "90%" on a chocolate product doesn't mean "90% of what is in this package is cocoa" any more than 100% whole wheat on a loaf of bread means it's just whole grains. So the two bars can easily have different amounts of sugar. – Kate Gregory Oct 7 '19 at 18:55
  • It sounds like you have uncovered a major scam. – user50726 Oct 8 '19 at 2:19

Nominally, high-quality dark chocolate is made of just two things, cocoa beans and sugar. In reality, nobody just chucks beans and sugar into a machine together. The cocoa beans get processed to different intermediate cocoa-derived products, and these get mixed with sugar to make a chocolate bar.

The cocoa-derived products can be very different. There is a range from cocoa butter (100% fat) to low-fat cocoa powder (about 5% fat, the rest is basically all carbohydrates), with other products with a fat content between these two extremes. The difference in fat comes from simple mechanical separation - once the cocoa butter has been "churned" from the cocoa liquor, what is left can be milled into cocoa powder.

The 90% number printed on the package means the total amount of cocoa-bean derived products. But their combination does not have to resemble the nutrient composition of a raw cocoa bean, it can be chosen by the producer any way they wish. So, apparently, Lindt Excellence uses a higher percentage of cocoa butter (or other fat-rich cocoa products) than Amedei Toscano Black.

If you are wondering about the sugar content being different, note that the ingredient "sugar" (the 10% added to the 90% cocoa) is not the same thing that gets counted in the nutrition label, where any sugars (including those already present in the cocoa bean) are included in the calculation. See this recent question for a longer explanation.


per 100g chocolate: 741 kcal 53g fat 11g protein 55g carbs

53 + 11 + 55 = 119. So either you misread or they miswrote.

  • After seeing your answer, out of curiosity, I looked at the nutrition labels for many different products. Most did not add up the way you're indicating they should - serving grams vs fat, protein, carb grams The thing is, the calorie counts did, just as in the example you state. So, I'm wondering if salt/sodium and other additives may add to the equation. Perhaps some may be added (and add bulk) without being required to be added to the nutrition label. I think this may well be a new question. – Cindy Oct 7 '19 at 19:48
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    Rules on rounding affect things, and there are things in food that are neither fats, nor protein, nor carbohydrates, but those three things should not add up to significantly more than 100 g for a 100 g sample. – Sneftel Oct 7 '19 at 20:44
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    It will not add up to 100% of your mass due to the fact that the figures for nutrition are based on chemical analysis results - there is no direct measure of the components, the sample is processed, treated and analyzed - and then calculated back to estimate the content on the original product. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 8 '19 at 9:10
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    The original numbers from the analysis will add up to about 100, though. There's a variety of assays they do, and a bit of error in each one, but the basic idea is to come up with percentages for each category of chemical. In fact, IIRC the measurement of total carbohydrates is indirect: they measure the amount of protein, fat, water, and inorganic "ash", and deduce the remainder to be carbohydrates. (There's a lot more error later from how companies are allowed/required to round the quantities, but I don't think that would be enough to get the numbers the OP reported.) – Sneftel Oct 8 '19 at 12:07
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    @Sneftel yes, my point being that you have a cascade of errors happening there, not only rounding. The label values are calculated back based on the general formula and the numbers are added from the data of the individual components, so there is a LOT of room for error there. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 8 '19 at 16:05

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