All ingredients that can be certified Fair Trade, are. There is currently no international fair trade standard regarding milk, sea salt and a few other ingredients that we source. In this case, we work closely with our chocolatiers to ensure these ingredients are sourced from sustainable suppliers.
Yes! Our truffle wrappers are commercially compostable! They are mostly derived from eucalyptus and birch. To find an appropriate facility in your area, go to FindAComposter.com. Our packaging is not suitable for backyard composting at this time.
We have committed to using either recyclable or compostable packaging for 100% of our products by December 2020...and we’re almost there. Our Chocolate Bars are wrapped in recyclable aluminum foil and FSC Certified paper. In early 2019, we transitioned our Chocolate Truffles from a non-recyclable plastic pouch to a recyclable paper box.
Plastic waste is an issue that touches us all, and something we are ALL responsible for. Alter Eco remains committed to sustainability in every aspect of our production and is working hard to develop sustainable packaging alternatives to protect our planet. Learn more about our packaging journey here.
Alter Eco uses high quality milk sourced from USDA Certified and Swiss Certified Organic, open pastured, grass fed cows in the alpine valleys of central Switzerland, near Lucerne. The cows are located on 30 small-scale farms with approximately 35 cows per farm. The majority of what the cows eat is grown directly on the land for a low-input approach to dairy farming. The cows do not belong to Alter Eco, but we visit them and know their names!
To learn more about grass fed milk, click here.
You can find the nutritional panel on the individual product page. The ingredients and nutrition facts are listed at the bottom of each product's description. Clicking either "Ingredients" or "Nutrition Facts" will display the information.
Our natural flavors are made with plant extracts, which contain no regulated allergens, GMOs, or artificial flavors. The natural flavor is extracted from spices, fruits, fruit juices, vegetables, vegetable juices, herb, bark, buds, roots or leaves.
Our chocolate bar process does not require alkali (the Dutch process). We use the traditional Swiss method.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains a small quantity of caffeine and also theobromine, another stimulant. The darker the bar, the more caffeine and theobromine it contains.
We estimate that our chocolate contains between 15 and 50mg of caffeine per serving of chocolate (40g). As a comparison, drip coffee contains between 140 and 190mg of caffeine per serving (1 cup).
Cacao beans also contain theobromine, which is very close to caffeine in term of chemical structure. Theobromine is considered less stimulating than caffeine.
We currently don’t process our chocolate to remove caffeine or theobromine as this would affect the quality of our product.
Cadmium and lead are elements that are present naturally in the environment, and when absorbed by crops, can be found in food products. Trace levels can be found in chocolate as well as other agricultural products like legumes, seed pods, grains, and some leafy vegetables. These elements (in addition to other beneficial minerals) are absorbed naturally from the soil by the roots of cocoa trees, and are thus a natural constituent of pods, beans, and eventually the finished product. Volcanic soils have higher levels of cadmium than other soils, and volcanic soil is more common in the regions where we source our cocoa beans from.
Alter Eco is attentive to and compliant with standards applicable to its products in various markets. Because of the types of products we sell, Alter Eco is regulated in the United States by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which has not established limits or provided guidance on the topic of heavy metals in food at this time. Because of this, we have invested a lot of time and energy to research other points of reference used around the world by, for example, the European Union and the World Health Organization, and our products are meeting these standards.
We at Alter Eco stand strongly behind the quality and safety of our products, and we consume our own products frequently! We work very hard, along with our suppliers, manufacturers and distributors, to ensure that all food safety management systems, like ISO 22000 and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), are implemented and carefully followed.
Some of our products contain grass-fed dairy, coming from heritage pasture raised cows, allowing grass to grow back and the soil to regenerate. All of our truffles and the following bars contain dairy: Dark Coconut Toffee, Dark Brown Butter, Dark Salt & Malt and Dark Burnt Caramel chocolate bars.
Our chocolatier produces our chocolate on equipment shared with tree nuts, milk, and soy. Equipment is carefully cleaned between every production run.
Here is our complete list of plant-based products: Dark Sea Salt, Dark Salted Almonds, Dark Blackout, Dark Super Blackout, Dark Crisp Mint, Dark Quinoa, 90% Superdark Crisp Mint, Rainbow Quinoa, Pearl Quinoa, Black Quinoa, and Red Quinoa.
Currently, the milk in our truffles (present as either organic milk powder or organic butterfat) is a key ingredient for the creamy filling.
Currently, all of our products are made in a peanut free facility and there is no possible cross-contamination with peanuts. We do use some tree nuts in our products, such as almonds.
We do not use soy ingredients in our products, including soy protein and soy lecithin. However, our chocolatier produces our chocolate on equipment shared with soy, tree nuts, and milk. Equipment is carefully cleaned between every production run.
Our 70% Dark Salt & Malt bar does contain gluten. If you are interested in viewing our verification you may contact the Gluten Free Certification Organization directly and request a report. http://www.gfco.org/
To address cross contamination, we have a strict sanitation policy accompanied by product surface testing to ensure there are no residual allergens present. The lines are thoroughly cleaned between each production run and the allergens are separately handled in the facility to avoid cross contamination. In addition, the facility is audited against the British Retail Consortiums “Global Food Standard” and consistently certified as a Grade A (the highest level attainable). However, we cannot guarantee the total absence of allergens in the chocolate.
An understandable misperception is that “dark” means “no milk”. Dark chocolate will generally have a higher percentage of cocoa and can range from 30% to 90% in cocoa make-up.
Because we follow the Swiss regulation when it comes to naming conventions, those bars are indeed dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, which is why we say 'dark with a touch of milk.'