New Choco Belga without added sugars

We share with you the assessment of Choco Belga without added sugars made by Marta Ros Baró and Cristina Viader Vidal. They are expert nutritionists that have been working together with the Catalan Diabetes Association since 2008.

Moreover, they prepare gastronomic contents with the BulliFoundation and conclude that it is a soluble cocoa powder suitable for consumption by diabetics.

Comparison between Choco Belga without added sugars and traditional chocolate

The Simat Choco Belga product without added sugar is a granulated preparation based on cocoa and maltitol. Next, we will compare this product with a similar one, but instead of containing maltitol, it contains sugar in its composition. Products to compare:

Granulated preparation based on cocoa and maltitol

Main ingredients:

  • Sweetener (maltitol).
  • Lean cocoa powder (16%).
  • Skimmed milk powder.
  • Powdered whey.
  • Thickener

Recommended dose g / 100 ml: 20 g.

Granulated preparation based on cocoa and sugar

Main ingredients:

  • Sugar.
  • Defatted cocoa powder (16%).
  • Skimmed milk powder.
  • Powdered whey.
  • Thickener

Recommended dose g / 100 ml: 20 g.

Differences between maltitol and sugar composition

The two most notable differences are:

  • Granulated preparation based on cocoa and maltitol. ➡The product used to sweeten is maltitol.
  • Granulated preparation based on cocoa and sugar. ➡The product used to sweeten is sugar.

In the following table we can see the composition contrast per 100 grams of product and per consumption dose of 20 g.

 Per 100 gPer dose (20 g)Per 100 gPer dose (20 g)
Energetic value1492    KJ298    KJ1492     KJ298     KJ
Energetic value356     Kcal71     Kcal356     Kcal71      Kcal
Carbohydrates75,7    g15,1    g75,7     g15,1     g
Of which sugars73,5    g14,7    g43,75    g8,75     g
Fats2,1     g0,4     g2,1      g0,4      g
Of Which saturated1,3     g0,3     g1,3      g0,3      g
Protein9       g1,8     g9,0      g1,8      g
Fiber3       g0,6     g3        g0,6      g
Salt1,1     g0,2     g1,1      g0,2      g

We note that the energetic value, the total amount of carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, proteins, fiber and salt contribute very similar values.

What is maltitol?

It is a sweetener that belongs to the sugar alcohols, polyalcohols or polyols. It is widely used in the food industry as a substitute for sugar, since, with a small amount, it has a higher sweetening power.

One of its advantages is that it is partially metabolized, providing 50% of contained calories. This is because this percentage is the amount that our digestive system is able to absorb.

Therefore, it does not reach the blood directly and does not raise glucose levels fast.

The difference in composition is in the amount of sugars. Per serving of 20 g of sugar-based preparation, we provide 14.7 g of sugars, and with 20 g of maltitol-based preparation, we provide 8.75 g of sugars.

Calculation of carbohydrate rations of cocoa with sugar and maltitol

Next, we are going to calculate the carbohydrate servings of the two products.

Let’s remember that 1 carbohydrate serving is equivalent to 10 g of carbohydrates: 10 g HC = 1 S HC

Cocoa and sugar-based product

The contributions of carbohydrates in servings per measure of weight in grams are:

  • 100 g of product, provide 7, 57 servings of carbohydrates.
  • 20 g of product, provide 1,51 servings of carbohydrates.

Product based on cocoa and maltitol

In this product we find fewer carbohydrates for the same amount of product. 100 grams of the maltitol-based product contains 63.9 g of polyalcohol type CHC (75.7 g of total CH-11.8 g in the form of sugars).

Of these, the half of them is not absorbed at the intestinal level. Therefore, from the 100 g of product, 31.95 g of carbohydrates polyalcohol type will be absorbed.

Of the 31.95 g of carbohydrates such as polyalcohol, we add 11.8 g in the form of sugars. Thus, we obtain a result of 43.75 grams of carbohydrates, which is equivalent to 4.4 servings of carbohydrates.

Sugar-based product Maltitol-based product
Per 100 g Per dose
(20 g)
Per 100 g Per dose
(20 g) 
Servings of hydrates of carbon 7,57R 1,51R 3.195 + 1.18 =
4.37 ➡  (4,4R)
0.639 + 0.236 =
0.875 ➡  ( (0.9R)

We can see that carbohydrate rations are reduced. This is an advantage for people with diabetes.

Is Simat’s sugar-free Belgian chocolate suitable for diabetics?

The Simat Choco Belga without added sugar product is a more interesting option for people with diabetes. This is due to its significantly lower content of carbohydrate servings.

Nevertheless, since it is a product with carbohydrates, it should be counted in the diet and its consumption should moderate.

It should also be taken into account that excessive consumption of sweeteners such as maltitol can have laxative effects.

In conclusion, the Simat Choco Belga without added sugar product can be consumed in a diet for a person with diabetes. Because it’s a better option than a similar product, but with added sugars, without forgetting to count its portions within the daily diet.

Is maltitol safe for the population?

According to the Expert Committee on Food Additives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) even according to the World Health Organization (WHO) (JECFA), the use of maltitol as a food additive is safe.

Likewise, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a petition requesting GRAS status for this substance. That is, the one that recognizes the additive as safe, and therefore, it means that it can be used for this purpose.

This additive is also allowed in the European Union (where it is labeled with the letter and number E 965). Other countries where its use as an additive is allowed are Canada and Japan. At the European level, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) also considers it safe.

Both JECFA and EFSA have given maltitol an “unspecified” Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). This is the highest safety rating given to any food additive. With it, it is not necessary to indicate a maximum intake level.

However, maltitol is still sugar that is added to food. In addition, although it has different effects than table sugar or sucrose, its excesses are not recommended either.


Study made by Marta Ros Baró and Cristina Viader Vidal.

Marta Ros Baró

She has a graduated in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Barcelona and a Food Technologist from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is currently developing her Doctorate in Health and Psychology at the UOC focused on novel foods: eatable insects.

She currently works as a teacher at the Universitat Oberta of Catalunya (UOC) and she’s a high school teacher in the area of ​​science.

She has collaborated since 2008 with the Catalan Diabetes Association, providing personalized nutritional advice. She even teaches activities such as cooking workshops for the association’s members.

Besides, she collaborates with elBulliFoundation developing scientific gastronomic lexicon content.

Cristina Viader Vidal

She has a diploma in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Ramón Llull University. Besides, she has specialized in cooking in different recognized centers.

She has worked in her own practice since 2006, offering dietary advice, balanced diets, and weight loss for different pathologies.

She is specialized in nutritional education and collaborates with different companies, entities and municipalities. In them she teaches courses in different areas of dietetics, nutrition, as well as healthy show cooking.

She has written books like “Dóna una Volta a les verdures”. Editorial Efadós. “Terra de Tomàquets” (as co-author). Editorial RBA and “The best recipes for sauces and vinaigrettes”. Editorial RBA.

Additionally, she creates nutritional and gastronomic content for companies, such as video recipes, articles, she also writes about nutritional materials.


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