I bought a bag of Hershey Kisses to make some holiday cookies.
I was looking at the package ingredient list and saw something I hadn't seen before, an ingredient listed as simply "PGPR," so I Googled it to see what it could be. I am not happy and wanted to get the word out to those that might not know, but they've screwed with our chocolate.
They have taken out the ingredient that makes chocolate healthy (to sell it for profit to cosmetic companies) and replaced it with additive crap for us to ingest.
Here's some of what Wikipedia had to say on the chemical :
Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (PGPR), E476
It is primarily used to reduce the fat content of chocolate. Since 2006, commercial-grade candy bars, such as those made by Hersheys and Nestle, made an industry-wide switch to include PGPR as an ingredient - a possible indicator of a cost saving measure by the commercial chocolate industry. Makers of PGPR (see source link below) such as Danisco and Palsgaard indicate that PGPR can be used to replace the more expensive cocoa butter as an ingredient in chocolate. Palsgaard's website asserts, "Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material for chocolate manufacturers. By using PALSGAARD 4150 the chocolate recipe has lower costs in terms of less cocoa butter but also gives the benefit of having less fat."
PGPR is a yellowish, viscous liquid composed of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil. It may also be polyglycerol esters of dimerized fatty acids of soya bean oil.
PGPR is strongly lipophilic, soluble in fats and oils and insoluble in water and ethyl alcohol. In chocolates it is used as a viscosity reducing agent. It is virtually always paired with lecithin or another plastic viscosity-reducing agent.
Here's what a candy blogger has to say,
CandyRecapper: PGPR and the FDA
Deodorized cocoa butter is more readily available not only because it allows for flavor control, but also because it is often removed in the manufacturing process and sold to the cosmetics industry. PGPR is often hailed as a cost-saving move for chocolate companies because it is much cheaper than cocoa butter, but it is rarely pointed out that for those companies who manufacture the chocolate themselves, there is money to be made in redirecting part of their foodstuffs to rub on consumers' skins at a much higher price than that of chocolate.
The author of the Wikipedia article about PGPR, in his Yelp account as "Aaron P.," states that "It has a detectable and somewhat offputting aftertaste.... American chocolate makers have been lobbying for years to be allowed to add vegetable fats to their products so they can sell the cocoa butter at a higher profit to cosmetic manufacturers. So far they have been thwarted, so now they have moved to using PGPR to lower the levels of cocoa butter while still remaining undetectable to most people." He also noted that "Unfortunately, someone keeps altering the (Wikipedia article) to detail the glories of PGPR, and I have to keep fixing it."
The 1996 study conducted by Andrew Waterhouse of UC Davis which discovered the phenols (potent antioxidants) in chocolate also revealed that these antioxidants come from cocoa butter and the stearic acid it produces. It demonstrated that the phenols prevented LDL cholesterol from building up in arteries. Another study had subjects follow diets in which the majority of fat calories came from either chocolate or butter; only those with the butterfat diet showed an increase in LDL cholesterol.
This is why dark chocolate, which usually contains between about 30% and 50% cocoa butter, is touted for its antioxidant properties, and a bar of Hershey's milk chocolate is not.