Sep 09 2009

Difference between Australian and British Chocolate

For many years we British have complained that Australian Cadburys chocolate is not as good as good old British Cadburys chocolate.

But today, I came across what appears to be the truth.

Very recently Cadbury in Australia changed its package sizes, changed its packaging and changed one of the ingredients….  and it now appears to taste the same as the British version.

But… the average Australian consumer dislikes it, and wants it to go back to what it was.

What did they add ?

What does British Chocolate have, that Australian chocolate didn’t ?

The answer is….  Vegetable fat…

Two links for more reading on the matter:

The above stories reveal that:

  • “May 2009 – Australian Chocolate lovers are outraged at Cadbury’s decision to add vegetable fat to its Australian chocolate range


  • In 1973 a European Union directive defined CHOCOLATE for the member states as a product that contain no fats, other than cocoa butter.
  • England however, chose to still  include up to five percent vegetable fats in their formulations, with the EU dubbing British chocolate with added Vegetable Fat, as “vegelate”.

An embarrassing moment, when we realise that we prefer our chocolate with added vegetable fat, instead of pure Cocoa butter.

Maybe this explains why I like the German made chocolate that I buy at ALDI, and I have no problem with Australian Chocolate.

More stories

21 May 2004 – United Kingdom
Cadbury’s Shareholders Find Palm Oil Leaves a Bitter Taste.
Palm oil is a cheap source of vegetable fat which is used to extend the shelf-life of UK Cadbury’s chocolate.
Friends of the Earth

August 20, 2009 – Australia
“We are removing palm oil and returning to a cocoa butter only recipe for Cadbury’s entire moulded block chocolate range, including our flagship Cadbury Dairy Milk brand and product lines such as Old Gold and Dream,” Cadbury Australia managing director Mark Callaghan said yesterday.
“We will soon commence the production of a cocoa butter only recipe at Claremont in the coming weeks.”

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  1. Anne H

    Australian Cadbury chocolate tastes noticeably different to Australian Cadbury. Not in a good way either, it all stems down to where you are from as obviously the English are going to like theirs better and the Aussies will like theirs better. But honestly it kicks ass down under, way nicer!!

    1. ABCDiamond

      It actually stems down to the taste difference from the added vegetable fat in British chocolate 😉
      It caused an uproar in Australia when this was added to Australian Cadbury chocolate some years ago, to cut costs.
      Cadbury Australia had to revert back to the Cocoa version.

      It’s the same with British Chocolate v Europe chocolate.

      This BBC page had an interesting story on the 27 year Chocolate war 🙂 The result being that British Chocolate was allowed to be sold in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany, Greece and Holland as long as the UK-style milk chocolate with 20% milk content is labelled ‘family milk chocolate’ in continental Europe, even though called ‘milk chocolate’ in the UK.

      Belgium and France ban their own chocolate from containing vegetable fats, maintaining the 1973 EU law saying only cocoa butter could be used in chocolate.

      To confound the situation even more, from the BBC:

      In a test conducted by BBC Newsround, British and American children tasted the two types of Cadbury chocolate. Surprisingly, most of the American children preferred the British-made Cadbury chocolate, while most of the British children liked the US-made version better.

  2. Alan

    While this is true (about hydrogenated veg fat) Cadbury never used it in their actual chocolate (im from the UK) but it was widely used by universal maufacturers from biscuits cakes etc etc. However this practice has largely stopped thanks to the supposed health risks associated with it. So any veg fat used in food now will not be hydrogenated (unless it says so which is highly unlikely now).

    As for the nonsense teh EU spouts no one takes any notice whatsoever. Our chocolate is chocolate no matter what they like to think! Id rather have an original recipe dating back over a 100 years with a small amount of veg oil in it than a poorer new formulation without it in. UK cadburys is by far the best 🙂

    1. ABCDiamond

      13th Feb 2007 from TFX.org.uk

      Cadbury Trebor Bassett have been working to remove hydrogenated vegetable oil from all our products.
      We have almost completed this removal for all chocolate products with the exception of :
      Double Decker, Boost, Time Out, Heroes (Time Out units)

      Some questions put to Cadbury UK by the BBC, with their answers:

      7. Do your products that contain palm oil state that on the label? If not, why not?
      We use a number of different vegetable oils in our products, for example, coconut oil, shea oil, sunflower oil and palm oil and we describe these collectively as vegetable oils, which is line with UK labelling requirements.

      8. Which of your products contain palm oil or palm kernel oil?
      Cadbury uses a variety of vegetable fats in small amounts in some of our products. For example in the UK we have used vegetable fats, including palm oil, in most of our products for more than 50 years. The texture and flavour created by this use of vegetable fat is generally preferred by UK consumers.

      I feel that most countries would tend to prefer what they have grown up with, as taste is an individual thing. One thing that I am sure we (British and Australians) would agree on though is that either of our Cadburys would easily beat the Malaysian or Indian Cadbury versions 🙂

      About a 100 years ago: Cadbury Milk Chocolate in 1897 was a very coarse, dry eating chocolate, made by blending milk powder with cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar. By today’s standards the chocolate wasn’t particularly good – it was very coarse and dry and neither sweet nor milky enough.http://www.cadbury.co.uk

      I cannot find the date that Cadbury UK began to add Palm Oil, but Cadbury Australia added it from 2006 to 2009.

      According to http://www.cadbury.co.uk up to 5% vegetable fat is added – this stabilises the chocolate and gives the ideal texture to ensure that the melting properties of the chocolate are precise and preserve the taste and ideal texture of the chocolate.

  3. ABCDiamond

    An interesting article on this subject:

    Cocoa butter naturally melts at the temperature in your mouth, ~37 °C, and this gives it a very unique property.

    When substitute oils, such as palm and coconut oils, became more commonly used in place of cocoa butter, a special process was necessary to give it this appealing characteristic.
    The process is hydrogenation, and this is when hydrogen is inserted into the oil atoms to lower the oil’s melting point.


    And if. like me, you are puzzled by the term hydrogenation, then this link gives a good explanation: http://www.chemguide.co.uk/organicprops/alkenes/hydrogenation.html

  4. ABCDiamond

    As at Dec 2010 the following Cadbury blocks still contain a quantity of Vegetable fat:
    • Cadbury Dairy Milk Desserts range
    • Cadbury Dairy Milk Rocky Road
    • Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramello
    • Cadbury Dairy Milk Black Forest
    • Cadbury Dairy Milk Snack
    • Cadbury Old Gold Peppermint

    The stated reason is: “we are currently unable to make these products without the inclusion of a small quantity of palm oil.”
    This was sourced from http://www.cadbury.com.au/About-Cadbury/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx

  5. ABCDiamond

    A quote on the Cadbury website now says:

    Real chocolate is made from cocoa and its ingredients include cocoa butter (an expensive part of the cocoa bean) and, in some cases, up to 5% vegetable fat. Compound chocolate will have less cocoa and/or more than 5% vegetable fat than real chocolate and therefore doesn’t have the same fine qualities.

    The original complaint was: “They say it has reduced the famous brand’s product to little more than compound chocolate.”

    Cadbury said that vegetable fat was introduced, in 2009, to improve the chocolate and make it softer to bite

    Not much about it in the news now though, maybe people are getting used to it.

  6. ABCDiamond

    It appears then that they didn’t revert back to the non-vegetable fat version, for all the chocolate blocks after all.

    Looking at the original Cadbury reply in 2009, they did mention blocks such as Old Gold and Dream. I just checked the ingredients in those, and they seem to have removed the vegetable fat from them.

    Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Raisins, Milk Solids, Cocoa Butter, Rum, Emulsifiers (Soya Lecithin, 476), Flavours. May contain traces of Nuts. Dark Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 37%.

    But there are a number of normal blocks that do now state vegetable fat in them. Maybe only Claremont produces the non-vegetable fat versions ?

    However, it is good for those who prefer the English style chocolate.

  7. Stuart Fanning

    The Cadbury’s Dairy Milk range in Australia still has Vegetable Fat in it.

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