The terms “cocoa” and “cacao” are often used interchangeably, with only a few subtle differences between them. While both cacao and cocoa powders come from the same source, the processing methods and resulting flavours can vary. Cacao is often associated with a more natural and minimally processed product, while cocoa may undergo roasting and other processes that can influence its taste and nutrient profile. We only lightly alkalise our organic cocoa powder to ensure it retains most of its nutrients. Which you choose to use is really a matter of preference.
Food Thoughts Roasted Cacao Nibs and Cacao Melts are 100% cocoa mass. In other words, they are completely natural. All cocoa beans used to produce our products experience a natural fementation process whilst drying in the sun. The nibs are then gently roasted to bring out the chocolate flavour.
Food Thoughts takes pride in the natural essence of our products. Our organic cacao powder undergoes no “dutching” or alkalisation process, resulting in its lighter colour and maintaining its natural state.
When it comes to our Roasted Cacao Nibs, they are gently roasted to enhance the chocolate flavour and eliminate bacteria from the fermentation process. While not technically raw, they also avoid alkalisation, preserving the health-giving nutrients.
For our organic cocoa powder, a lighter alkalisation process occurs during the “washing” of the nibs, using potassium carbonate. It’s important to note that this is part of the process, not an added ingredient. This method ensures consistency in flavour and imparts a richer, darker colour to the final product.
Meet our fantastic partners in creating goodness: Luker Chocolate and YACAO. We’ve carefully chosen these suppliers because they harmonise efforts to ensure top-notch quality, consistency in raw materials, and a genuine commitment to fair trade standards that uplift the lives of farmers and their communities.
Our collaboration with YACAO spans over 25 wonderful years. The organic and fair trade cocoa and cacao powders you love are sourced from the heart of the Dominican Republic.
Luker Chocolate, a cherished family-owned business and a proud B Corp, is also a member of the World Cocoa Foundation. With a dedication to sustainable practices, they support over 2,500 farming families. Their visionary sustainability and well-being plan, aptly named the Chocolate Dream, goes beyond just making delicious treats. It actively contributes to local schools, tree planting, infrastructure development, and the overall enhancement of living conditions.
For a deeper dive into the incredible stories behind our growers, visit our blog. It’s a treasure trove of tales about the passionate individuals who make our delightful treats possible.
Food Thoughts are not directly registered with the Fairtrade Foundation. However, our supplier of cocoa and cacao powders is Fairtrade registered. Furthermore, our chocolates and nibs are are ethically sourced from Luker Chocolate, a B Corp family enterprise and a member of the World Cocoa Foundation. They are committed to long term sustainable growing practices and ethically principled development for cocoa farmers.
Our cocoa and cacao powders are Organic and certified by the Soil Association. Our nibs and chips are ethically sourced from Luker Chocolate, a B Corp family enterprise and a member of the World Cocoa Foundation. Although not registered with the Soil Association, they are committed to long term sustainable growing practices and principled development for cocoa farmers.
According to the Food Standards Agency, use-by dates are about safety and best-before dates are about quality. In other words, if something is past its use-by date, it’s not safe to eat (unless it has been cooked or frozen before the date).
If something is past its best-before date, it can usually be eaten safely. Cocoa and chocolate have ‘best-before’, ‘best-by’ or ‘best-until’ dates, so they’re safe to eat after the expiration date. You can read more about it on our blog.
You can find a variety of our products in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and H&B stores across the UK, as well as their online shops. You can also find us at Ocado UK, Amazon UK and our own online store.
Unlike many mainstream chocolate brands that may include palm oil (often listed as ‘vegetable oil’ in the UK), we want to assure you that at Food Thoughts, we do not use palm oil in any of our products. We firmly believe that the genuine chocolate flavour is rooted in natural cocoa butter, and we’re committed to preserving the authenticity of our delicious chocolate baking ingredients without compromising on taste.
No. Food Thoughts do not test any of our products on animals.
All our products are naturally nut-free and are packed in a nut free environment.
With the exception of Food Thoughts White Chocolate Chips, all our products are dairy-free and soy-free. Please note that they are packed in a factory that handles some milk and/or SOY products. Our packers have a full Allergen based HACCP processes which ensure all steps are taken to avoid cross contamination.
Neither our cocoa nor cacao powders contain added sugar or sweeteners. Both our Organic Cocoa and Cacao Powders are purely delightful, 100% natural, and completely free from sugar – just like our Cacao Melts and Roasted Nibs. This gives you the freedom to tailor the sweetness to your liking, whether it’s for your hot chocolate, baking, or other delightful treats.
All Food Thoughts products are naturally 100% gluten free.
With the exception of Food Thoughts White Chocolate Chips, all our products are vegan-friendly. Please note they are packed in a factory that handles products that may contain milk and soy, though our packers have a full Allergen based HACCP processes which ensure all steps are taken to avoid cross contamination.
At Food Thoughts, we’re dedicated to crafting delicious treats with care and quality. We want you to feel good about indulging in our high quality, ethically sourced chocolate baking ingredients.
We’ve made it a priority to meet and exceed EU cadmium regulations, since their inception in 2019. Rest assured, every batch of Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa and Cacao Powder, as well as our tempting Dark Chocolate Chips undergoes meticulous testing, ensuring full traceability and consistently staying below the EU Cadmium level guidance of 0.5mg/kg. Even before these regulations, we were already on the path of sourcing low cadmium powders, because your well-being matters to us.
To guarantee the highest standards, each production is tested by an independent provider, and we proudly provide a certificate of analysis.
While there isn’t specific legislation regarding lead, we want you to know that we’re committed to staying informed. If regulations change in the future, just like with cadmium, we’ll ensure our practices align with the latest standards at the time of inception. Your trust is our priority, and we’re here to keep your Food Thoughts experience as delightful as ever.
We’ve dedicated significant effort to secure eco-friendly packaging for our UK products. In fact, we proudly took the lead in our category by committing to 100% recyclable tubs. What sets us apart is our thoughtful design – not only are the tubs recyclable, but the liner inside them is manufactured for easy separation into different parts during recycling. This includes the aluminium liner, which, once separated, proceeds to be recycled within its designated waste stream. As active members of the OPRL, we stay abreast of the latest information on recyclability to uphold our commitment to sustainability.
We’ve put considerable effort into finding larger packaging that prioritises environmental friendliness. Our bags are crafted from LDPE material, which is recyclable at the majority of local supermarkets. Additionally, we’re proud members of the OPRL, staying informed about the latest recyclability updates.
Our nibs undergo minimal processing, and you may notice occasional whitening, commonly known as ‘bloom.’ This occurs because roughly 50% of a nib is composed of cocoa butter. The color change is simply the cocoa butter naturally migrating from the inside to the surface, often influenced by temperature fluctuations beyond our control. Importantly, this shift in appearance doesn’t diminish the delightful chocolatey flavour and satisfying crunch of the nibs. For further details, check out our blog.
This is absolutely normal. Occasionally, these products might undergo a whitening effect as a result of the natural crystallisation process of the sugar they contain. Rest assured, this has no effect on their rich chocolate flavour. They remain perfectly suitable for consumption. Learn more about the shelf life of chocolate.