Find answers to a lot of questions you may have about our products and nutrition in general. If you can’t find an answer here, don’t hesitate contacting us!
I am a gluten-intolerant person (Celiac Sprue Disease), which products are gluten-free?
All SACO products are gluten free.
Which SACO products are sources of soy?
SACO “Dolci Frutta” and “real semisweet Chocolate CHUNKS” contain lecithin, which is soy-based.
Dairy in General
I am lactose-intolerant. Do the Buttermilk Blend and Mix’n Drink contain lactose?
Buttermilk Blend – Lactose Content: 23 grams of dry Buttermilk Blend (enough powder for 1 cup of liquid buttermilk) contains 63.33% lactose. Because the Buttermilk Blend is used in cooking and baking and distributed among an entire recipe, most of our customers that have lactose-intolerence problems do not have trouble using the Buttermilk Blend. The amount of lactose from the Buttermilk Blend consumed in one piece of cake, for example, is very minimal.
Mix’n Drink – Lactose Content: 23 grams of dry Mix’n Drink (enough powder for 1 cup of milk) contains 52% lactose. Drinking a straight glass of milk gives you a high percentage of lactose and will cause problems with many lactose-intolerent people.
Is your Mix’n Drink and Buttermilk Blend pasteurized and/or homogenized?
SACO Mix’n Drink and Buttermilk Blend are pasteurized. Pasteurization is a heat treatment for the milk which eliminates pathogenic bacteria that might be present. Very little milk is marketed raw because if a human consumes this bacteria, they are susceptible to what is called undulant fever, a chronic and debilitating disease characterized by intermittent fever, pain and swelling in the joints, and great weakness.
SACO Mix’n Drink and Buttermilk Blend are also homogenized. Homogenization is a process where the milk is forced through a pressure system to reduce the size of the fat globules, and eliminate visible separation of the fat particles. This is a standard process with any milk product.
I am allergic to whey. Can I use SACO Buttermilk Blend safely?
Whey is the byproduct of cheese making. To make cheese you start with pasteurized milk, add a lactic starter, then, once sufficient acidity is reached in the milk, an enzyme (generally rennin) is added to initiate the first step in the conversion to cheese. The gel or clot that eventually forms is cut into small pieces, which permits the liquid whey to drain from the curds. Whey increases the tenderness and improves the color in baked goods, which is why we add it to our Buttermilk Blend.
The amount of whey consumed, from the Buttermilk Blend, in one serving of any baked good made with the product, would be so minimal that it would more than likely not to cause any trouble for you, but the decision whether to use it or not lies with you.
What is the difference between SACO Buttermilk Blend and liquid buttermilk?
The liquid buttermilk on today’s market, is made from only cultured skim milk, and contains not even one drop of real buttermilk. While it may work in recipes that call for buttermilk, as does soured milk, it does not provide the benefits of using real buttermilk. SACO Cultured Buttermilk Blend is made from real buttermilk! When cream is agitated in a butter churn, the membranes around the fat globule membrane separate from the fat globule. This allows the butterfat to precipitate out in the form of butter. The phospholipids, meanwhile, remain in the fluid phase. The fluid that remains, after all the butterfat has been removed as butter, is similar to skim milk except it contains the phospholipids and proteins from the fat globule membranes. These phospholipids are natural emulsifiers! When real buttermilk is used in a recipe, the presence of these emulsifiers results in finer dispersing of the shortening throughout the batter. The smaller air cells which form in the presence of the emulsifier make the grain of baked goods finer, the volume and texture superior. This is by far the most important advantage of using real buttermilk for cooking and baking.
Do you use BHA and/or BHT to preserve your Mix’n Drink?
We do not specifically use BHA or BHT in the milk, however, these preservatives are used to maintain the shelf life of the added vitamins (A Palmitate & D3), which are put back into the milk to meet FDA requirements. These preservatives are often used in a variety of products because they are relatively stable to heat and maintain their effectiveness in cooked products (important with dry milk). They are most often used together because their combination is much more effective than if either is used singly. Their frequent use in the food supply raised concern about their safety, but after extensive review, they have been classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) substances. Since vitamins A & D are fat-soluble, skim and lowfat milks need to have these added back in.
You list the RDA % of vitamins A and D on your box, but I need to know the IU breakdown.
Due to the fact that both of these vitamins are not shelf stable, and will decrease from the initial amount added, enough is added to make sure that what the consumer gets is within the FDA guidelines. An 8 ounce liquid serving of milk, made with the Mix’n Drink, contains between 506 and 1,173 IU’s of vitamin A, and 101-235 IU’s of vitamin D. Even though this sounds like a large range, it is not because IU’s are extremely small units.
How much caffeine do your chocolate products contain?
Concerns regarding the caffeine in chocolate may not be as warranted as one might think. Actually, most of our chocolate items contain very little caffeine. To help one make the comparison, one cup of regular coffee contains 100-142 mg of caffeine. A cup of decaffeinated coffee contains approximately 4 mg of caffeine.
Baking Cocoa caffeine content: One serving of SACO Premium Cocoa (3 Tbsp. or 15 grams) contains 47 mg of caffeine. This is only about 1/3 of what you would get in a cup of regular coffee.
CHUNKS caffeine content: One entire 12 oz. bag of SACO Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate CHUNKS contains only 200 mg of caffeine.
Dolci Frutta caffeine content: In a one ounce serving (30 grams, or 1/8th of the container), there is only 1.7 mg of caffeine, less than half a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
An interesting fact found in my research; one cup of coffee made in an automatic drip coffee maker contains 142 mg of caffeine. One cup made in an electric perk machine only contains 100 mg. Those of you looking to wake up better use those automatic drip coffee makers!
Can you use SACO Chocolate CHUNKS or Baking Cocoa to chocolate cover fruit, cookies, etc.?
Although our CHUNKS and Premium Cocoa are some of the best chocolates you can buy, they are not suitable for chocolate covering anything that you would want a solid coating on, similar to our Dolci Frutta. The CHUNKS do not contain the proper oils that allow immediate solidification of the chocolate after melting. In order to use the CHUNKS for this purpose, they would need to be tempered, which is a very precise procedure involving heating the chocolate to a certain temperature, then dropping the temperature quickly, several times. If temperatures in tempering are not exact, it will not work, and it is much easier to use Dolci Frutta or a similar confectionary coating. The same holds true for the Baking Cocoa, in which a liquid chocolate would need to be made and tempered.
What is Dutched cocoa?
There are two types of baking cocoa; natural and Dutched. SACO’s Premium Cocoa is a blend of natural and Dutched cocoa. Dutched cocoa is European, and is the finest cocoa you can get. It increases the quality of the color, flavor, and texture of your baked goods. The acidity level in cocoa is based on a scale of 0 to 14 (0 being acidic, and 14 being less acidic, or alkali). A totally Dutched cocoa comes in at a level of about 7.5 on this scale. The problem with a fully Dutched cocoa is that most American recipes are based on using a natural cocoa, with a higher acidity level. The acidity in the natural cocoa (which scales in at about 5.8) contributes to the leavening of the baked product. If using a fully Dutched cocoa in these recipes, the acidity level may not be high enough to provide proper leavening. We blend the two cocoas to have the best of both worlds. We use enough Dutched cocoa to create the color, flavor, and texture advantage, but blend in enough natural cocoa to bring the acidity level back up to where it will work properly in all recipes (ours scales in at a level of about 6.4). In fact, since SACO Premium Cocoa is a blend, it can be used even in recipes calling for a fully Dutched cocoa. See scale below.
What is the shelf life of SACO Premium Cocoa?
The shelf life of our Premium Cocoa is indefinite. If kept where the powder has a lot of heat and moisture exposure, it may become very lumpy over time, but this does not affect it’s performance. The lumps may be sifted or mashed to break them up.
I am having trouble melting Dolci Frutta for dipping. What is the cause?
Dolci Frutta melting problems can generally occur because of two reasons: Moisture: If any kind of moisture gets into the chocolate, it will thicken the chocolate so that it’s fudge-like. This obviously does not allow for ease in dipping your fruit. It is important for you to make sure all your utensils are dry, and that the fruit is thoroughly dry before dipping. If moisture is an issue, you can try stirring in vegetable oil or shortening, by the teaspoonful, to see if that helps thin the chocolate out. Scorching: If full power on the microwave, versus half power, is used, it will almost always burn the chocolate. Or, if you tried melting the wafers on the stove top with direct heat (versus, for example, a double boiler), the chocolate will become fudge-like, the same as when moisture gets in it. If the chocolate has burned, there’s not much that can be done to rectify the situation except to start over. Dolci Frutta should always remain free from moisture, which is why we recommend that it not be refrigerated at any time.
Can you use the Dolci Frutta for making frozen bananas?
You can use the Dolci Frutta for frozen bananas by dipping the unfrozen banana in the Dolci Frutta (you will have difficulty getting the chocolate to stick to already frozen bananas). Allow the chocolate to harden, then place them in the freezer. We usually recommend cutting the banana in half, or in pieces, sticking a popsicle stick in the base, then dipping. Trying to dip an entire banana is too difficult. First, the banana will break when trying to dip. Also, the banana particles that will get into the chocolate in an attempt to chocolate cover it, will cause the melted Dolci Frutta to harden. Any fruit that you want to dip and eat frozen can be done in the same manner. We don’t recommend dipping then freezing any fruit that you would like to later eat in an unfrozen state. Frozen fruit, once defrosted, becomes very mushy. Defrosted and mushy fruit will obviously fall right out of the chocolate coating.
Why is unsalted butter called for in many recipes?
Salt is added to non-yeast baked goods chiefly for flavor, but it also affects the hydration of the flour proteins. A lot of this depends on how the recipe was developed. If the recipe was developed using unsalted butter, then more salt would be directly added. If the recipe was developed using salted butter, chances are the salt called for in the recipe is less to compensate for the salt in the butter. For yeast breads that call for unsalted butter, it is especially important to use unsalted butter. Salt inhibits the yeast and prevents the bread from rising too fast. If too much salt is used, however, it will prevent the yeast from working as it should. To sum it up, if your recipe specifies unsalted butter, you are generally better off using just that.
How can I reduce the fat in my baked goods and still have a decent end product to serve?
The fact will always remain that the fat called for does make the recipe the best! However, you can easily reduce the fat in your baked goods by evenly replacing it with unsweetened applesauce or prune puree (in your darker-colored items). You may find for some recipes that this is too drastic, and you can just eliminate 1/2 the fat and replace it with the same amount of applesauce or prune puree if you prefer. You can also use egg substitute instead of whole eggs for even further fat reduction.