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Health considerations

Many nutritional studies have indicated that some cocoa products contain ingredients such as polyphenols, producing effects that are suggested to be beneficial to one’s health.

Regarding the scientific substantiation of health claims for cocoa and/or its constituents, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded however, that a cause and effect relationship has not been sufficiently established between the consumption of the said foods and the claimed effects. This applies particularly to antioxidant properties.

Therefore, the general claim that some chocolate products can produce positive health benefits is not allowed on packaging or in advertising.

Excessive consumption may, however, have a negative impact on people’s health. Besides the quantity consumed, the quality is also of relevance for the consumer’s health. Nowadays the consumer’s preference tends towards quality rather than quantity.


Polyphenols

Cocoa and chocolate contain some of the same compounds that are found in vegetables, fruits and red wine. These compounds are known as polyphenols and have antioxidant properties. The types of antioxidant polyphenols found in cocoa are flavonoids, specifically flavanols. Within the class of flavanols, cocoa contains catechins, epicatechins and procyandins. The highest levels of these substances are, of course, found in raw cocoa beans and during the different stages of processing the raw cocoa beans into chocolate, the concentration of polyphenols drops.

Antioxidants in the blood stream essentially neutralise substances called ‘free radicals’ that can potentially damage cells in the body, as suggested in many different nutritional studies and published in the scientific literature.. Hence, antioxidants may actually help maintain healthy cells and tissues and contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.

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Obesity

Specific foods do not cause obesity. Overeating in general, along with a sedentary lifestyle, are the main culprits. If a person regularly eats more food than their body needs, the excess energy is stored as fat. Chocolate is energy rich, which means it contains relatively high levels of kilojoules (KJ) per unit. A person with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle can safely eat chocolate in moderation without fear of gaining weight.

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Fats

Lindt & Sprüngli exclusively uses cocoa butter in the production of its chocolate. Fillings may contain other vegetable fats such as palm- or coconut oil. Milk fat is used in milk chocolate recipes or selected filling masses.

Read more about the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

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Trans Fatty Acids (TFA)

Vegetable fats used for some of the praline fillings are fractionated and not hydrogenated. Hence, they do not contain TFA. 

TFAs belong to the group of unsaturated fatty acids and are naturally present in the milk fat of ruminants. Minor amounts of TFA therefore may be detected in white and milk chocolate whereas no traces are found in dark chocolate. According to nutritional studies the natural TFAs from milk fat do not have any negative impact on health.

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Nutritional values

Nutritional values of all Lindt & Sprüngli products are labelled on the packaging in accordance to national and international laws.

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Allergies

Food allergies are adverse reactions triggered by the immune system to even the smallest amounts of specific food proteins. An increasing number of consumers seem to suffer from allergies. For these consumers a detailed list of all the ingredients used in food products is vital.

Lindt & Sprüngli is aware of its responsibility to ensure that all ingredients, including minor concentrations of potential allergens such as hazelnuts and almonds, are clearly communicated to the consumer via the ingredient list or the so-called allergen information. In general, there are no dedicated production lines for the many different chocolate specialities produced. Even after careful cleaning between the different production cycles, there remains some risk that traces of allergens may be found in the sequential production lot. Because of this, Lindt & Sprüngli notifies its consumers by printing a warning on the label that, depending on the type of chocolate, the product may contain traces of nuts or milk.

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Volcanic soils residues

Cocoa beans from South America often grow in areas with volcanic soil which contain higher concentrations of cadmium. Therefore, cocoa trees growing in these areas may produce fruits with higher cadmium traces than others. As a precautionary measure, Lindt & Sprüngli sets stringent maximum levels of residues in cocoa beans and tests all batches before they are used in production. Cocoa beans exceeding specified internal company limits are rejected. In order to provide further security, finished products are regularly tested again.

Lindt & Sprüngli conforms to all relevant rules, requirements and recommendations that are available, such as those of the Codex Alimentarius.

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Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

Lindt & Sprüngli is not involved in any research or development of genetically modified food or food ingredients and does not use any raw materials that have been genetically modified or derived from genetically modified organisms, as long as non-modified materials are available. Up to now it has been possible to follow this policy for all LINDT products, complying at the same time with the strictest food regulations concerning use and labelling of GMO.

Lindt & Sprüngli will continue to adhere to all regulatory requirements regarding the use and the labelling of genetically modified organisms and any raw materials which may have in any way been connected to genetic modification are tested prior to usage. Tests are done according to the officially recognised Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methods at different levels of processing. By these measures, origin and status concerning GMOs in critical raw materials can be traced.

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Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology makes new products and processes possible as nanoscaled materials frequently exhibit new characteristics. It involves structures and particles which are typically manufactured between 1 and 100 nm in size (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter).

Lindt & Sprüngli does not use nanotechnology in the development or in the production of their products.

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Pesticides and agricultural raw materials for chocolate production

Although the use of pesticides in the production of raw materials for chocolate is generally low, Lindt & Sprüngli monitors its chocolates on a stringent ongoing basis for 200 different pesticides. Cocoa trees are susceptible to specific diseases which are fought using pesticides in some areas. Through the Lindt & Sprüngli-supported farmer trainings and the support of theAfrican Cocoa Initiative, the company and its project partners are able to promote – among other things – improved agricultural techniques that can reduce the use of pesticides.

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Natural ingredients

Consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to, and about, the food they eat. As a result, the demand for so-called natural ingredients is increasing. The majority of the company’s raw materials e.g. cocoa, cocoa butter, milk powder and sugar are of pure natural origin. As far as the remaining ingredients are concerned Lindt & Sprüngli strives to reduce or replace the use of non-natural additives.

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