Soya is a widely used ingredient and is present in our Kinnerton chocolate in the form of soya lecithin. Lecithin is a fatty substance found and extracted from a number of plant materials, most widely from soya beans.
Soya Lecithin is used as an emulsifier in chocolate to prevent cocoa butter from separating from the other cocoa ingredients. It also has a major effect on determining how thick or thin a chocolate is and how it flows. This in turn is important in determining how well different chocolate products can be made.
The use of emulsifiers such as soya lecithin within chocolate manufacture is well established. Kinnerton chocolate contains approximately 0.6% soya lecithin. It is generally recognised that the level of protein within soya lecithin is around 0.3%. It is therefore estimated that the amount of soya protein present in chocolate is around 0.002% (20mg per Kg or 20 ppm).
Some scientific studies have shown that many people with soy allergy can tolerate small to moderate amounts of soya protein (up to around 400mg). As a result not all soya allergy sufferers need to avoid eating chocolate containing soya lecithin. However, there is currently no official threshold level of soya protein below which is safe. Individual tolerance to soya protein will vary and only an allergy sufferer and their doctor can decide if it is safe to consume soya lecithin.
There is increased pressure on the chocolate industry to seek alternatives to Soya Lecithin. One alternative is sunflower lecithin but this is not commercially available in sufficient quantities for the chocolate industry.