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F.A.Q.

Here are some common questions about Nova Chocolate

Ingredients

What does Nova use as its sweetener?

Nova uses maltitol. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables. They’re also considered carbohydrates.

Sugar alcohols are typically manufactured rather than being used in their natural form. They’re sweet, but not quite as sweet as sugar, and have almost half the calories. They are usually used in baked goods, candy, and other sweet items. They can also be found in some medications. Besides adding sweetness in place of sugar, maltitol and other sugar alcohols help keep food moist, and help prevent browning.

What are the benefits of Maltitol?

Maltitol allows you to get a sweetness that is close to that of sugar, but with not as many calories. For this reason, it can help with weight loss.

It also doesn’t have the unpleasant aftertaste that other sugar substitutes tend to have. This can help you to stick to a lower calorie diet if you are trying to lose weight or manage diabetes.

Another benefit is that maltitol, and other sugar alcohols, don’t cause cavities or tooth decay like sugar and other sweeteners do. This is the reason they are sometimes used in gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste.

What are the drawbacks of maltitol?

Maltitol is found in many sugar-free products, but people with diabetes should remember that it is still a carbohydrate. This means that it still has a glycaemic index. While not as high as sugar, it still has an effect on blood glucose. It’s important to note that your body doesn’t absorb as much sugar alcohol as sugar. So it can still be used as an effective alternative for people with diabetes. They just need to monitor their intake of it and read labels.

After eating maltitol, some people experience stomach pains and gas. It also can act similarly to a laxative. The severity of these side effects depends on how much of it you eat and how your body reacts to it.

There aren’t any other major health concerns with using maltitol or other sugar alcohols.

Are Nova products vegan?

All Nova branded products are dairy-free and vegan.

However, the packaging is required to say lacto-vegetarian friendly as we do produce milk and white chocolate products in our factory under another brand

What is the percentage cocoa in Nova Chocolate products?

The percentage cocoa content of our chocolate is 52% – 54%.

Is your product diabetic friendly?

Yes, the sweetener we use has a lower Glycaemic index than Sucrose.

Are your products safe for kids and pregnant women?

Yes

Are your products kosher/halaal?

Although no animal products are used, we do not have Halaal/Kosher certification

Must your products be refrigerated?

It is not necessary for refrigeration, but the ideal storage temperature is between 18-25 degrees Celsius.

General

Where are Nova products manufactured?

The slabs are produced in our factory in Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa. Each slab is hand-made and packaged the artisanal way.

Does Nova use sustainable resources?

The cocoa used in our chocolate is sourced from UTZ certified suppliers. UTZ, formerly called UTZ Certified, is a program and a label for sustainable farming. From 2014, UTZ is the largest program for sustainable farming of coffee and cocoa in the world. The UTZ program covers good agricultural practices, social and living conditions, farm management, and the environment. When you buy UTZ Certified coffee, cocoa or tea you are helping build a better future.

The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment.

Through the UTZ-program farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth’s natural resources.  Now and in the future.

Nova avoids the use of palm oils in its products. However, our non-dairy creamer (used in the fillings of our Espresso and mint slabs) has vegetable (palm) oil. Our supplier does have an RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil) Supply Chain certificate. The RSPO is a non-profit organisation that unites stakeholders from the 7 sectors of the palm oil industry: oil palm producers, processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks/investors, and environmental and social non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). When they are properly applied, these criteria can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions.

The RSPO has more than 4,000 members worldwide who represent all links along the palm oil supply chain. They have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO.

I have a shop and want to stock your products. Who do I contact?

Please send a mail to info@novachocolate.co.za

Damaged
Products
My Nova chocolate is discoloured or has a white layer on it. What is this?

You must have come across chocolates that are covered in white or light brown patches instead of the usual shiny surface. This is a phenomenon known as chocolate bloom. While bloomed chocolates are safe to be consumed, their unappetizing appearance and texture make them less than ideal.

 Chocolate bloom can be classified under two categories—Fat bloom and Sugar bloom. They are caused by different environmental conditions.

Fat bloom

Fat bloom can be identified when a thin layer of fat crystals forms on the surface of chocolate, causing it to lose its gloss. This white colour layer is soft to the touch and repels water. It should not be confused with the formation of moulds.

Fat bloom occurs when there is a re-crystallization of fats and/or a migration of fat to the chocolate surface as a result of various factors. The most common cause is improper storage conditions such as higher or fluctuating storage temperature. Storing chocolate products at a constant temperature will delay the appearance of fat bloom.

 Sugar bloom

Sugar bloom is caused by moisture coming into contact with chocolate. When chocolate is taken out from the refrigerator, temperature fluctuations and high humidity result in condensation. The resultant moisture dissolves the sugar in the chocolate. When the water evaporates afterward, the sugar re-crystallizes into rough, irregular crystals on the surface. This gives the chocolate an unappealing appearance.

Avoid sugar bloom by keeping chocolate away from temperature shocks (from cold to warm zones). When chocolate is taken out from a cold room, it should be stored in a warm area long enough before opening the package. This way, direct condensation on the chocolate can be avoided.

Hence, proper storage conditions is of utmost importance to enhance the shelf life of chocolate.

I had the unpleasant experience of finding a “worm” in my chocolate!

Worms in chocolate are actually the larvae of the cocoa moth. In all likelihood, this occurs, not during production, but during storage. If there is a hole in the packaging of the chocolates, the scent attracts the cocoa moth which lays her eggs nearby. The larvae cannot penetrate hermetically sealed packages, but if there is the slightest gap, the newly hatched larvae will crawl in, burrow in and start to feed. They will then produce webs and start to spin a cocoon before turning into pupae and then hatching as moths to begin the life cycle again. This is an unfortunate side effect of the chocolate (and other foodstuffs) industry and arises if there are cocoa moths in the warehouse or shop where the finished products are stored and there is a hole in the packaging.

What should I do if my item is damaged?
All of our products have been thoroughly transit tested and carefully packed to ensure they arrive with you in perfect condition. In the event that your order does arrive damaged, please don’t worry. We guarantee we’ll put it right for you –replacing or refunding as appropriate. It’s really beneficial to us if you can take some photographs to show us the damage, it will help in working out how the damage may have happened, and then contact us on +27 (11) 743 1911 or email shop@novachocolate.co.za – we’re here to help!

Online Shopping

How much is delivery?

Delivery is R75 for online orders no matter the size of the order or delivery address.

Can you ship internationally?

We currently do not deliver across the border or do international deliveries. Please call +27 (11) 743 1911 or email us to find out more

How long does delivery take?

Your order will be shipped within 24 hours of order acceptance (Saturday to Thursday) and will arrive within 2-5 working days. 

What is the return policy?

If you are not completely satisfied with the quality of your order upon arrival, please contact Customer Care (shop@novachocolate.co.za or +27 (11) 743 1911) within 48 hours of receipt, with a detailed description and photograph(s) evidencing your dissatisfaction, for assistance with a replacement or exchange. 

Due to the perishable nature of our products, all claims submitted without proper support will not be eligible for reshipment.

Nova Chocolate reserves the right to limit replacements. Nova Chocolate is not responsible for failed deliveries when:

  • 1. You provide an incorrect or outdated address;
  • 2. Your recipient is out of town or not available
  • 3. You do not provide a corrected/new delivery address within 24 hours of the first delivery attempt.

Shipments that are returned or require rerouting due to incorrect addresses will be subject to additional charges for reshipment and/or relabeling for the carrier.

Still need help? Send us a note!

For any other questions, please write us at info@novachocolate.co.za or call us on +27 11 743 1911

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