Cocoa biscuits are dry pastry desserts . Let’s start by pointing out that cocoa biscuits and chocolate biscuits (covered or with pieces in the dough ) have completely different recipes. The main characteristic of these sweets is that they contain cocoa in the dough; depending on the recipe, cocoa may or may not replace part of the flour . Without adopting this measure, the mixture would be unbalanced, dry and unworkable. Cocoa biscuits are well known and widespread throughout the world. The chemical composition can vary greatly depending on the recipe. Cocoa biscuits are very high-calorie foods, although the specifications vary considerably from one product to another. The energy excess is caused by the amount of fat and/or the lack of water in the mixture; furthermore, simple sugars are excessive in percentage.
Cocoa Cookies Cooked in the Microwave – Ready in 8 Minutes
Cocoa biscuits should have a significant caloric intake ; as anticipated, there are many types and the nutritional characteristics can vary significantly. Below we will try to highlight the most significant differences relating to the most widespread types today.
The type of cocoa biscuit with the least energy is undoubtedly the wholemeal one or the one with added fibre . The difference between the two variants is that the first contains exclusively wholemeal flour , while the second includes the addition of pure fibers such as bran , soluble gums, inulin , etc.
Other ingredients that can influence the caloric density of cocoa biscuits are:
- Fatty foods: butter , ghee , margarine , vegetable oils . They tend to increase total energy .
- Caloric sweet foods: granular, honey , maple or agave syrup , etc.; they are added to sweeten and tend to increase the final calories .
- Non-caloric sweeteners (natural or synthetic): stevia , cyclamate , aspartame etc tend to lower total energy.
- Others: oil seeds ( walnuts , almonds , pine nuts , flax etc.), chocolate , grains etc. tend to increase the final calories.
The main energetic macronutrients of cocoa biscuits can be fatty acids or carbohydrates (simple or complex), depending on the recipe.
- With large quantities of butter or oil, for example for cocoa biscuits , or in sweets rich in dried fruit (in pieces or in flour) or with a lot of chocolate, lipids prevail .
- On the contrary, sugars (simple and complex) seem to be more abundant in dry cocoa biscuits.
“Dietary” cocoa biscuits , on the other hand, may reveal a greater quantity of proteins than fats and sugars, but always less than the sum of the two. Generally they involve the addition of soy peptides , milk caseins or whey; Cricket flour (protein and extracted from the insects of the same name ) has recently been introduced .
In addition to the absolute quantity, the percentage of fatty acids can also change significantly. Certain ingredients are rich in saturated lipids (butter, lard , coconut oil , avocado oil , palm or palm kernel oil , various bifractionated or hydrogenated tropical oils , etc.). Others contain many unsaturated lipids ( monounsaturated or polyunsaturated , such as corn , peanut , olive , hazelnut , etc.). Ingredients of animal origin , with the exception of isolated proteins, contain cholesterol ; the most influential ones are egg yolks , butter, lard and whole milk . Natural caloric sweeteners increase the proportion of simple sugars ( sucrose , glucose , fructose , maltose ) compared to that of complexes ( starch ). Fiber is more abundant in wholemeal recipes and with added fiber. Dietary biscuits (for example against constipation or for diabetics) provide a higher quantity of water-soluble molecules (from algae , roots, berries , etc.) compared to the classic insoluble “bran” of cereals . Wholemeal cocoa biscuits with added fibre, in addition to having fewer calories, also have a lower load and glycemic index ; they are more suitable for diets against overweight , hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia . Furthermore, they contain more vitamins and minerals ; specifically, there is an increase in: thiamine (B1), niacin ( PP ), potassium , phosphorus and magnesium . It also significantly increases the amount of antioxidants . Furthermore, using wholemeal flour “properly” (containing wheat germ ) increases the amount of vitamin E and omega 3 essential fatty acids . Due to the excess of fats ( saturated
and cholesterol), simple sugars and total calories, cocoa biscuits are not suitable for frequent consumption and in significant portions.
This is especially true for individuals who suffer from overweight, hyperglycemia or type 2 diabetes mellitus , hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia .
For those who make extensive use of commercial products, it is worth remembering that most recipes include the addition of table salt ( sodium chloride ). Since sodium is implicated in the worsening of sodium-sensitive arterial hypertension , its frequent use is not recommended in subjects affected by this pathology. Dietary recipes
( protein, rich in fibre, sugar-free, etc.) can also be contextualised in clinical nutrition , but with a frequency of consumption and a portion appropriate to the case. Most cocoa biscuits contain lactose and gluten , which is why they are not suitable for diets due to related intolerances . They can only be accepted by the lacto-ovo vegetarian philosophy or also by the vegan one , depending on the presence or absence of milk and eggs (precluded by the latter). The average portion of cocoa biscuits is 2-5 pieces (depending on the individual weight ), or about 30 g.
At an international level, the legislation regarding cocoa biscuits and (even more so) chocolate biscuits is more quirky than one might imagine.
The indications of the various countries may differ and require specific characteristics; for example, the total percentage of chocolate to biscuit, the amount of cocoa butter in the chocolate, etc.
Not everyone knows that in England and surrounding areas these characteristics are crucial for calculating the applicable taxation as Value Added Tax (VAT).
In fact, in the United Kingdom there is a rule that “luxury foods” such as sweets are “taxable”, while basic food products are exempt.
It is curious to learn that jurisprudence and a succession of sentences have defined that chocolate-covered biscuits, such as Chocolate Digestives or Kit-Kat , are subject to VAT, while Chocolate-Chip Cookies or Jaffa Cakes are not.