Hard Candy Ingredients
We use only natural or nature-identical ingredients, which means No artificial sweeteners, No artificial flavourants, No artificial colourants, and No preservatives. Instead of sugar we use a natural sugar substitute called Isomalt, which is derived from beets and is very similar to the better-known Xylitol.
One of the many benefits of using Isomalt is that it is not as sweet as Xylitol, which means that when we flavour our candies, they all taste different to one another instead of being overpoweringly sweet.
Another massive benefit of using Isomalt is that it has ZERO GLYCEMIC CARBS, which makes it ideal for Diabetics or those following the LCHF / Banting lifestyle. Isomalt is also tooth-friendly, which is why we have many Dentists recommending them to their patients - we even have a range of lollipops called Doc's Pops, specifically for handing out at the end of a consultation.
Our natural colourants are derived from plants, herbs, and spices! After finally sourcing a plant-based natural blue colour, we came up with the ingenious idea of simply mixing our natural red colouring (beetroot juice) with it and voila - a natural purple was born, making all our hard candy products completely Vegan friendly.
All of our hard candies, no matter what their shape, contain: Isomalt, Water, Natural Colourant, and Natural Flavourant. Some flavours contain Citric Acid and/or Malic Acid. Liquorice contains Aniseed.
Hard Candy Allergens
Our chocolates are made from real cocoa beans and not soya. We use only natural ingredients, which means No artificial sweeteners, No artificial flavourants, No artificial colourants, and No preservatives.
Instead of sugar we use a natural sugar substitute called Maltitol*, which is very similar to the better-known Xylitol. One of the many benefits of using Maltitol is that it gives our chocolate a lovely mouth-feel.
Another massive benefit of using Maltitol is that it is LOW IN GLYCAEMIC CARBS, which makes it ideal for Diabetics or those following the LCHF / Banting lifestyle.
Our Milk chocolates contain Cow's Milk. Our 70% Dark chocolates contain NO ALLERGENS. Please note, however, that some of the ingredients have been obtained from a supplier where there is a possibility of cross-contamination with Sugar, Hazelnuts, Macadamia & Soya Lecithin.
An ACP (Allergen Control Program) is, however, in place.
Why are some chocolates labelled SUCROSE-FREE and some labelled SUGAR-FREE?
Our milk chocolates are labelled SUCROSE-FREE because they contain dairy, which naturally contains a type of milk sugar called "Lactose". For this reason, by law, one cannot say they are SUGAR-FREE, but rather they are SUCROSE-FREE, which is our way of letting you know that NO SUGARS HAVE BEEN ADDED. Diabetics and those following a low-carb eating plan are permitted to have dairy (milk), so these are perfectly fine for Diabetics and Low-Carbers to enjoy!
Our 70% Dark chocolate variants (70% Dark with Mint Crunch and our 70% Dark with Sour Cherry Crunch) are SUGAR-FREE as they contain no Dairy and no sugars have been added.
Help! My chocolate looks old and grey!
Does your chocolate have a greyish-white appearance? If so, don't worry, it's still perfectly safe to eat and is not "old" nor "expired". All that has happened is that the cocoa butter has separated and come to the surface. This happens when the chocolate has accidentally become warm (in a car or in the shop, etc.). Here is a little video explaining "chocolate bloom" which I found on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2hO7_vvcn4&feature=youtu.be
Why do some people get a runny tummy from sugar-free products?
Natural Sugar substitutes work in the body like dietary fibre – in the same way that prunes, apricots, beans, and onions do. We therefore recommend you try and limit yourself to around 25g of sugar-free candy a day to avoid a possible laxative effect in the beginning. But don't worry - most people do get used to the extra fiber and eventually they build up a tolerance to it ;)
What is the difference between Total Carbohydrates, Glycaemic Carbohydrates, Available Carbohydrates, or Net Carbohydrates?
Total Carbohydrates consist of multiple nutrients, including dietary fibre, sugars, polyols, and starches. Some of these nutrients are not absorbed, digested, or metabolized in the body to yield Glucose.
Glycaemic Carbohydrates (also referred to as "available" or "net" carbohydrates) are those nutrients that ARE absorbed, digested or metabolized in the body to yield Glucose. In other words, a product like Xylitol, can have 99g of Total Carbohydrates per 100g, BUT, only 0.04g of those Total Carbohydrates are able to be absorbed, digested or metabolized, which would mean they would have 0 Glycaemic Carbohydrates.
Think of it like this: Imagine drinking a glass of water with some sand in it. The glass with the water and sand represents the Total Carbohydrate. The water represents the Glycaemic Carbohydrate – these can be absorbed / digested / metabolized in the body; however, the sand will basically go in and then go out of your body as extra fibre – no absorption, no digestion, and no being metabolized into Glucose.
In SA the Department of Health changed the Labelling Legislation in 2012 to reflect Glycaemic Carbohydrates instead of Total Carbohydrates for this very reason. To get a better indication of the Glycaemic Carbs instead of the Total Carbs of a product (if the label still lists Total Carbs) you would need to subtract the Fibre, Polyols, Sugar Alcohols, and Starches.
Why did our Nutrition Panel’s Energy value change in 2018?
In short, the laboratory tests performed by a SANAS-Accredited Laboratory in 2012, 2015, and 2016 did not include testing specifically for Polyols (Isomalt, Xylitol, Erythritol, Maltitol, etc.). They happily produced their laboratory reports, which included an Energy value, which is what naturally went on all our packaging and labeling. In 2015 they announced that they were now one of only a handful of laboratories who were now accredited to test specifically for Polyols - they even contacted us to supply them with Isomalt so that they could do their "Controls" - so when we redid our tests with them in 2015 and 2016, we naturally assumed they were including the Polyol testing. Wroooonnnggggg!!!!
We discovered this in December 2017 by chance when a customer telephonically queried the energy value declared on the labeling and we referred them to the laboratory report and contacted the laboratory for their comment.
To this day, we still have not received an acceptable explanation as to HOW they could KNOWINGLY produce a report with an Energy Value, which could not possibly be correct as it did not include the polyol energy values?!?
This all happened to coincide with some changes in suppliers for some of our raw ingredients (You will also notice that our new packaging reflects that we have now achieved Halaal Certification), so we insisted they retest for free as soon as we found out.
The results naturally showed an increase in Energy. We cannot determine how much of the energy value can be attributed to some of the ingredients obtained from the new suppliers, and how much can be attributed to the polyol testing.
There is no need to panic though, as the calorific value from Polyols (Isomalt, Xylitol, Maltitol, etc.), which are listed on food labels are lower than the calorie values from sugars because of the way they are digested.
Not all Food Calories are equal and here's why...
Most polyols are primarily fermented in the large intestine, rather than absorbed in the small intestine, which has important consequences for their energy value.
If a carbohydrate (like sugar) is absorbed in the small intestine and not excreted via urine, it becomes fully available to the body as energy, whereas if a carbohydrate (like a Polyol) is fermented in the colon, only about half of it (50%) will be available as energy. When a polyol is ingested, a significant part of it (varying from 10% to 99% depending on the individual polyol) is not absorbed in the small intestine and therefore enters the large intestine.
The "real" energy value of a polyol is therefore dependent on the following three factors, which must all be considered when calculating a polyol’s energy value:
- the percentage of polyol that is absorbed in the small intestine as opposed to the percentage that is fermented in the large intestine
- the extent to which the body can use any energy from the polyol absorbed in the small intestine
- the part that ends up in the large intestine.
Something else that we learnt throughout this process, is that kcal values differ between countries !!!
Food energy is the amount of energy in a food that is released through digestion. Food energy is derived from carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as from organic acids, polyols, and ethanol.
The result is expressed as a value in kilocalories (kcal) and/or kilojoules (kJ). There are 4.2kJ in 1kcal. The energy value for sugar is 17kJ/gram (4kcal/gram).
What is interesting to note is that in Europe Isomalt is counted with an energy value of 2.4kcal/g, while in many other countries, such as America, its scientific energy value of 2kcal/g is used. In South Africa, Isomalt is counted with an energy value of 2.6kcal/g.
So, in other words, our understanding is that had we had our tests done in America, the energy value for Isomalt would be reflected as 2kcal/g and not 2.6kcal/g. Maltitol is 2.4kcal/g in Europe, 2.1kcal in America, however, it is reflected as 3.12kcal/g in South Africa!
Here is a comparison table:
Using the SA table as prescribed in the SA Labelling Regulation, R146, and according to the latest laboratory tests, our hard candies have a calorie value of 1.9kcal/g (190kcal/100g).
We have also been advised that the NEW SA Labelling Regulation, which is currently in draft form, has different values to the one currently in existence (R146) #crazystuff
Hope this makes sense!
Where can I view the Caring Candies Nutrition Facts Tables?
Simply click on the Product Pic and it will take you to a product details page, where you can view the Nutrition Facts Tables.