Ciao Carb is an Italian company that specializes in low-carb products. They have a wide range of low-carb pasta and cookies, but these products usually contain soy protein isolate, which I’m not a huge fan of. Their protein chocolate Protochoc, however, is made with whey and rice protein and sweetened with erythritol. Their products are relatively easy to find on many European webshops, so I made a small order on a Dutch site to try the magic chocolate.
Ingredients: Whey protein, cocoa protein extract, rice protein, erythritol, hydrolyzed collagen, plant fiber, cocoa, hazelnuts, cocoa butter, soy lecithin.
What is ‘hydrolyzed collagen’? Turns out it’s gelatin, the same kind of gelatin you use to make desserts and jellies. So far so good. Yes, it’s definitely not an organic-100%-natural product, but I think the ingredient list doesn’t sound that bad, especially compared to some sugar-free chocolates that are full of maltitol.
Nutrition facts for one bar of Protochoc: 158 kcal, 12.2 g protein, 3.7 g carbs (I think they’re talking about net carbs, subtracting the amount of fiber), 10.5 g fat.
The texture is close to real chocolate, more waxy than brittle, which I appreciate. Protochoc also melts when dipped into a hot tea, just like regular chocolate.
Protochoc is thus really similar to the real thing! I’ve had some erythritol-sweetened chocolate before (like Belgian Cavalier for example), but the addition of protein in Protochoc doesn’t alter the texture nor the taste. On the contrary, I think the whey protein adds a kind of milky element to it, which is nice.
I’ve also tried some Ciao Carb cookies, but they contain soy protein and maltitol. They tasted good, but I’m trying to stay away from maltitol and too much soy.
In conclusion, I’ll probably buy some Protochoc again. I’m very picky when it comes to chocolate, but I found that this sugar-free protein-enriched product did deliver a nice chocolate mouthfeel. Of course it’s not as creamy or luscious as a real chocolate, but it’s a good alternative.
If you don’t live in Europe, Protochoc is sometimes available on Amazon.com, but unfortunately not all the time.