Is Nutella Chocolate? No, But It’s Worth Knowing!

Everyone loves Nutella. But do you ever wonder if Nutella is made up of real chocolate? The simple answer is, “It is not 100% chocolate.”

Yet, still, this answer is complicated. 

But don’t fret! We’re here to explain. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Nutella.  So, sit back. Grab a spoonful of Nutella, and let’s get started!

What is Nutella, In Fact?

Nutella has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1940s. This delicious hazelnut spread was created to stretch limited chocolate supplies during World War II. 

Soon, it revolutionized the world of chocolate. But can we call it chocolate? 

The truth is that Nutella is not chocolate, nor does it contain chocolate as an ingredient. However, it does have cocoa powder as a base ingredient that gives it a chocolate-like flavor. 

Though the recipe is secret, the manufacturers list ingredients such as hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa powder, skimmed milk, and palm oil. The hazelnut flavor is what makes Nutella genuinely unique. It gives the spread its rich and delicious flavor.  

Nutella Vs. Chocolate, What Ingredients Do They Have?

These are the ingredients that make Nutella different than chocolate. Here is an overview of chocolate and Nutella’s ingredients to help you know that your beloved Nutella isn’t real chocolate.

IngredientChocolateNutella
Sugar40% – 60%56.3%
Cocoa10% – 50% Cocoa solids and cocoa mass/cocoa liquor from the ground-up, roasted cocoa beans.10% – 50% Dutch-processed, alkalized cocoa powder with a more consistent darker color.
(Skim) Milk powder0% – 30%8.7%
Vegetable oilN/A (Cocoa butter)32.2% (Palm oil)
HazelnutsN/A13% to give the spread its characteristic nutty flavor
EmulsifierVaries (e.g., lecithin)Lecithin (soy)
FlavoringVaries. (Vanilla.) Depending on the brand and type, some dark chocolate may include additional ingredients, such as nuts, fruit, or spices.Vanillin (artificial)
SaltVaries0.1075%. (Whey powder to improve its texture.)

How Much Cocoa Powder is Used in Nutella?

Are you wondering just how much cocoa powder is in Nutella? 

Well, it varies depending on where the Nutella is produced. For example, in the United States, Nutella contains 8.7% cocoa powder. In Italy, however, it contains 10.1% cocoa powder. You might think it’s a small difference. However, it can affect the overall flavor and texture of the spread.

Additionally, the cocoa powder used in Nutella is not the same as that used in hot chocolate or baking. It uses a special type of cocoa powder. It’s treated with alkali, a process known as Dutch processing. 

This results in a darker color and a milder flavor than regular cocoa powder. So, we can say that it is not a pure chocolate product like a chocolate bar or chocolate chip. 

Another factor is that Nutella mainly comprises sugar and palm oil. This means that it can’t be classified as real chocolate according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Its high sugar and fat content makes it an unhealthy snack option.  

It also includes other processed ingredients that can be harmful to your health. Unfortunately, Nutella is more of a guilty pleasure than a source of protein. Yikes!

Why Isn’t Nutella Considered Real Chocolate? 

While Nutella may have a chocolate-like taste, it’s missing a key ingredient. Nutella doesn’t contain cocoa butter. It’s an essential ingredient in real chocolate. Cocoa butter is what sets real chocolate apart from other chocolate. 

Instead, it contains vegetable oil and other ingredients to give it a spreadable texture. That’s why it isn’t real chocolate. 

Then, Why Does Nutella Taste Like Real Chocolate?

The reason Nutella tastes like chocolate is that one of the main ingredients in Nutella is cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is made from roasted and ground cacao beans, which are naturally rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that gives chocolate its characteristic taste.

In addition to cocoa powder, Nutella also has hazelnuts to give it a rich, nutty flavor that complements the chocolate flavor of the cocoa powder.

The combination of cocoa powder and hazelnuts gives Nutella a chocolatey taste that so many people love.

Why do they use Dutch Processed cocoa powder in Nutella?

Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa powder is often used in chocolate products, including Nutella, for a few reasons:

  • Dutch-processed cocoa beans have neutralized acidity, which makes Nutella less acidic and sweeter.
  • The alkalized cocoa powder dissolves more readily in liquids, producing a smooth texture.
  • Dutch processing results in a darker color that gives more uniform color to Nutella than natural cocoa powder. 

Hence, using Dutch-processed cocoa powder in Nutella helps create a smooth and consistent chocolate flavor.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, despite not being chocolate, Nutella has a one-of-a-kind taste. Its smooth and creamy texture, combined with the distinct flavors of hazelnut and cocoa, make it an irresistible treat!

So, whether you enjoy it on toast, as a dip for fruit, or straight out of the jar, Nutella is there for you. It’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!  

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Saba Akbar
Saba Akbar

Hello, I'm a culinary explorer and food writer with 25 years of home kitchen expertise. This blog is a treasure trove of my insights on global cuisine, cooking tips, and expert knowledge of kitchen tools.
Besides this, as a GERD survivor, I've transformed my passion for food into a quest for food's GERD-friendliness and healthiness. I believe what you eat shapes your internal environment—join me on this lifelong journey of taste and healthiness!

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