Solvent Extractors Association, a lobby group of edible oil traders, said India’s food regulator has allowed the use of vegetable fats in chocolates. The association has been pursuing the authorities for over two decades to treat vegetable fats as coco butter equivalents for the purpose of making chocolates, arguing that it will boost local collection of tree borne oilseeds and support the livelihood of tribals. Vegetable fats, which have physical properties similar to coco butter and are widely used by chocolate makers in Europe, were not permitted for chocolate manufacturing in India till now. “We are pleased to inform that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued final notification dated 15th May, 2017, permitting addition of vegetable fats (from sal, kokum, mango kernel, palm oil, mahua oil dhupa, phulwara, dharambe, etc) to a maximum 5% of the finished product,” Solvent Extractors Association said in a statement on recently. “These oils and fats are made from forest produce of India and this notification will allow its use in the manufacture of chocolates in India, thus promoting ‘Make in India’.” “Till now, the fats from TBO were exported for use in the manufacture of chocolates. But now, the opening up of its use in the manufacture of chocolates in India will give a boost to the production of vegetable oils and fats manufactured from tree borne oilseeds, help the industry in India by way of a larger basket of raw materials and, most importantly, the tribals by way of increased opportunity to collect larger quantity of TBO from the forests and would help to improve their livelihood,” it added.