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Chocolate is well known for its particular attributes in human society. The manufacture of chocolate starts with a cacao pod, which is, harvested from a cacao tree a tropical tree that only grows within 20 degrees latitude of the equator.  Big corporate chocolate manufacturers like Hershey’s do not sell true chocolate products.  It is too expensive for them to provide you with real chocolate, so they use an ingredient call Palsgaard4150 (PGPR) in all of their products.  PGPR is a substitute for coca butter.  Without coca butter, which is derived from the cacao, pod the FDA does not allow any manufacturer to claim that it is a 100 percent chocolate product.  You’ll see things like made with chocolate or chocolaty on their labels.  The FDA deemed PGPR safe for humans as long as you restrict your intake to 7.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.  Otherwise you’d be open to reversible liver enlargement at higher intakes.  Hershey’s even touts this ingredient as being a non-GMO.  In the ever-lasting quest to find low cost ingredients in order to maintain profitability, Hershey’s has even used palm oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in their products instead of cocoa butter.  All of these ingredients will not allow Hershey to claim their products as being true chocolate ones.  The moral of the story is to stay away from large chocolate manufactures that need a long shelf life at the corner gas station.  We all love chocolate, and the best ones to buy in the marketplace use words like organic, and contain cocoa butter.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Hershey’s kisses list cocoa butter in the ingredients… no PGPR. However their candy bars do list PGPR. I wonder if they have begun disguising PGPR in some of their products… ?

  2. Guess again Karen…I had to list the ingredients of the Hershey Kisses on a label for the peanut blossom cookies I was making and guess what??? PGPR is one of the ingredients! M&M’s do not have it, nor does Dove, Godiva, Ghiradelli or Lindt. FYI.. ironically I checked the label of Palmer, one of the cheapest chocolate candies and even THEY DO NOT USE PGPR!

  3. I have stopped eating Hershey’s because of PGPR. Many Americans have become trusting fast food slaves to the fast/processed food corporations. If enough people would write and complain to Hershey’s, perhaps someone would listen. However, as long as we let huge corporations put synthetic crap in their products, the slavery will continue. Just don’t buy it or eat it. If enough people decide to free themselves, then things will change.
    We need to love our children enough to feed them real foods. Thanks to articles like the one above, and writers like you, John, there may still be hope.

  4. Now look at the Reese’s (peanut butter) Reester Bunny –
    Milk Chocolate Covered Putter Bunny….
    INGREDIENTS: MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR; COCOA BUTTER;
    CHOCOLATE; NONFAT MILK; MILK FAT; LACTOSE;
    SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, EMULSIFIER; PEANUTS; SUGAR; DEXTROSE;
    SALT; TBHQ (PRESERVATIVE).

    Dist. by The Hershey Companmy

    TBHQ, = butane as in Lighter fluid…
    It is in a lot of Crackers & now in Candy.
    They say that a little won’t hurt you but if a kid eats some candy and some crackers etc. how do we know how much is in the person now? I heard them say a Little Arsenic would Not hurt you also… How much is to much?

  5. In 1940 there were only 300 chemicals in our food Chane.
    Used to grow food, color it, flavor it, preserve it, etc.
    In 2000 there were over 80,000 chemicals and over 20,000 are
    directly in our food Chane. This does not count the 80% of the food grown today that is GMO altered now man made (food).
    The well water is not even safe anymore. In NC some water plants are using Chlorine & Ammonia to kill the bad things in the water before sending it to the homes. If you are Not reading the Ingredients of the food and drinking clean filtered water your body can not keep you at optimal Health.

  6. Lee, ammonia and chlorine releases toxic gas, they would not be adding both to the water.
    Every municipal water supply has things added to it to limit bacterial growth in the system. Typically it’s chlorine or chlorine gas, many are also adding chloramine. Chloramine is not as effective as chlorine, but it does not off gas like the chlorine will, so they suppliment chlorine treatment with chloramine. There are newer methods being developed. The handling of the chlorine gas systems is extermly hazardous and costly when it comes to maintenance and safety training. They are trying to develop safer methods. One of the newer systems are using miox which is a process of electrolysis of a salt solution to disinfect the water supply.

    I think you other numbers may be a bit off as well. Not trying to be rude, propagated misinformation is a dangerous thing.

    I do whole heartedly agree with you about reading labels and drinking clean water. I’m fortunate enough to have clean well water where I am at right now.
    Just make sure that clea

  7. Several years ago I first noticed a slimey aftertaste in Hershey’s milk chocolate -I usually choose the chocolate with almonds bar. Rather than the crisp taste of Hershey’s that I grew up with, and which I believe to be more natural, wholesome, and healthy, I found that slimey, oily aftertaste. (Hershey’s used un-dutched cocoa, which naturally has a sharper taste.) I then learned about PGPR -it’s in all Hershey’s classic products. PGPRP, an acronym, actually stands for an artificial oil “polyglycerol polyricinoleate” -why has the FDA permitted this change and further permitted the company to hide their change in the ingredients list by using an acronym in the middle of the list????? Government can be so disappointing!

    But here is what I can do: I can SPREAD THE WORD. And I can PREVENT MY CHILDREN FROM EATING HERSHEY PRODUCTS, and not buy it or permit it to any chldren, especially at HALLOWEEN or the other HOLIDAYS. And kids PASS THIS INFORMATION back to their parents. Someday,this may cause another company to take up the slack (Palmer? -See Linda, above).

  8. I just purchased a bag or Hersey Kisses that does NOT list PGPR on the ingredients. Could this be a typo??? Wondering if Hersey’s is producing some with and some without?

  9. I am sensitive to carageenan and MSG. I’m not going to call it an allergy because I don’t think you can be allergic to poison. I don’t eat a lot of candy, and really never have, but I had a hankering for “chocolate” after my hubby brought home some Rolos Minis and Reece’s Minis. I usually get really good chocolate if I’m going to have some. The first time, after the Rolos, I thought it was because I ate too much of it. But today, after the Reece’s… I had the same reaction as I do to MSG. Painful gas, bloating, belching, HORRIBLE taste in my mouth, and then being unable to stay awake so sleeping for hours. Carageenan has eliminated dairy for me, now this will eliminate this type of chocolate forever. If I’m close to activated charcoal it will take it away within a couple of hours, but if you’re out and about you usually don’t have any of that. I have a really healthy diet day to day, and I wonder if that makes it worse when you occasionally eat all these chemicals. Thank you for your article :)

  10. We all need to get this information out to all the people of the world. This issue is not only about chocolates, but about all of our food resources. These man made or otherwise chemicals are giving us body issues and concerns added on to other chemicals given to us for medical reasons. It seems like a big circle of damage against our bodies which were not made to add these chemicals into.

  11. There is small inaccuracy: PGPR is an emulsifier, it does not replace cocoa butter, but soy lecithin. It is there to help mass produced chocolate flow into the molds. I also avoid it, and wish there were some real chocolate producers left in the traditional candy bar market.

  12. Wilbur chocolate company in Lititz Pennsylvania uses pure chocolate and makes candy bars! Excellent chocolate!

  13. I am educating everyone I know about PGPR. It’s time we tell food companies like Hershey that small amounts of poison are not acceptable in our food supply!

  14. TBHQ is NOT butane. It contains a butyl group… So does butter… Butanoic acid. Don’t mistake me I’m not OK with tbhq it makes me super sick if I eat it, but out right calling it butane makes us look like crazy people.

  15. I tried dark chocolate from dollar general,made in france.
    I figured it was ok. I developed a severe itching around the mouth.I stopped the candy for 3 days,when I TRIED THE CHOCOLATE again the itch came back.I looked at ingrediants
    and found pgpr listed.Now no anything with pgpr and no rash ,no itch.

  16. Robert, unfortunately, Special Dark DOES have PGPR in it. :-( I found this website because I was eating my special dark bar and saw PGPR on the label. Dark chocolate is my favorite and I grew up in Hershey, PA, so I was disgusted to find this ingredient in my beloved chocolate.
    In fact the label reads, “Sugar; chocolate; cocoa butter; cocoa processed with alkali; milk fat; lactose (milk); SOY LECITHIN; PGPR, emulsifier; VANILLIN, artificial flavor; milk”
    If you see the semi-colon seperates the ingredients and they explain that PGPR is an emulsifier and vanillin is artificial. I am very disappointed in Hershey’s. They are nothing like Milton Hershey made it to be and it’s a shame. Someone correct me here if you know whether Milton used artificial ingredients but as far as I know he did not! I am ready to boycott Hershey’s, it’s such a shame.
    Ghiradelli chocolate, which I also have, has TBHQ in it! As well as HFCS, palm oil and unnamed preservatives. I’m broken hearted.

  17. can I just say that I’m sooooo tired of reading how far humans have gone to poison EACHOTHER and our very own families to make an extra few pennis. I’m just so past outraged. I’ve stood up and screamed for years. It’s as if there’s Hans, and there’s this giant dark killing machine we are slaves to. Won’t someone save us from ourselves? Won’t someone at the Fda say enough is enough? Why DID margaret Hamburg step down? Why do we keep allowing synthetic poison like pgpr into our bodies? Why do we still eats millions of pounds of cancer and then wonder why we get cancer? I’m just so tired. So tired….

  18. When will the fda say enough is enough? When will someone protect us from that which is killing us? I can’t believe they’ve literally taken the chicolate out of chocolate. It’s like replacing the party of a burger with plastic and selling it as the worlds finest burger. WAKE UP !!!!!! WE’RE VOLUNTARILY DYING

  19. Thanks for providing the information. Some candy doesn’t contain it such as Skinny Cow Blissful Truffle Candy Bar.

  20. 7.5 mg per Kg of body weight? For me, that’s .6g. That’s about 2% of a 1oz (28.3g) candy bar.

    I just saw PGPR for the first time listed as an ingredient on a Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup.

    What the frack is it with chocolate manufacturers using artificial ingredients now. I’m pissed now when I see the finer European chocolates listing Vanillin instead of real Vanilla.
    I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  21. The Japanese didn’t start getting the same cancers as us until we started shipping our foods over there. Specifically stomach and pancreatic cancer. “What does that say about our food”?

  22. nestle also uses it in candy bars..why cant they just use cocoa butter? The government is negligent in allowing these corporations to posion our kids.
    Europe banned all of these chemicals in candy bars..now we need to wake up in America and protect our children!

  23. Now margarine has PGPR, especially LandOLakes. Be careful, folks, please. To get a spreadable butter, purchase salted butter and allow to soften on counter. Salt preserves, and will not go bad so quickly.

  24. Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR)in a 1998 study funded by Unilever (therefore, not bias-free) was found to be “nontoxic and easily metabolized by lab rats). This may show no acute toxicity but consider this: It is a fatty acid made from highly irritant castor oil. This is due to the large number of double bonds(unsaturated fat). The canard that unsaturated fats are “heart-healthy” was used to promote the unsaturated oils, especially corn oil. “Trans” fats are artificially hydrogenated, but also have increased double bonds in their carbon chains. Arteriosclerotic heart disease was rare before the advent of corn oil last century. Recent research suggests that saturated fats are healthier than unsaturated fats. Also castor beans have small amounts of Ricin, one of the most toxic poisons known, probably, traces of Ricin may find their way into PGPR. Compared to Hershey, Nestle who used to
    pack their candies with toxic emulsifiers and sweeteners (Polysorbates, sorbitol, lactose) have responded to consumer dissatisfaction by removing them, and their chocolate confections taste much better. Hopefully, Hershey’s will do the same. Then, the s’mores made with Hersheys will taste good as they used to.

  25. it’s a shame that most americans are media-driven into cheap, convenient and ‘tastes good’ and aren’t educated enough or willing to understand that spending a little more for healthier food choice options, including so called chocolate is beneficial. Emulsifiers such as PGPR have the side effect of destroying healthy digestiive tract bacteria, directly exposing the gut lining to harsh digestive acids- potentially causing things such as ulceritive collitis.

  26. stating the chemical as “pgpr” makes it look not so toxic and is really easy to miss when you read the ingredients. If they spelled it out “polyglycerol polyricinoleate” people would choke and probably not buy it. I think its deceptive to label it simply pgpr.
    Then there is that matter of “…ricin…” ! That would stop me from eating it!

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