As modern consumers seek whole grains, less sugar, more nutrients and less harm to the environment, one of the world’s biggest chocolate makers is playing to the trend with products based on a recipe using 100 percent of the cacao fruit, not just the seeds.
“Millennials and centennials earnestly want to live a happy, healthy life, in symbiosis with the world around them,” the Callebaut group said at an event where attendees sampled items from the new “Cacaofruit Experiences” line.
“They want food and drinks that are tasty and nutritious for them and also good for the planet and its people.”
Products in the line were pitched as rich in nutrients while not wasting any of the cacao used to make chocolate.
Traditionally, chocolate is made with just the “beans” or seeds of the cacao fruit. Fresh cacao fruits contain a sweet, white pulp that covers each cacao bean. The seeds are fermented, dried, and roasted before being conched (a long process of grinding and heating) with other ingredients like sugar to form molten chocolate. The peels and pulp are normally discarded or composted.
Typically, 70 percent of cacao fruit is discarded as waste while making chocolate, according to Callebaut.
Cacaofruit Experiences products promised to pack in the entire fruit, from beans to peels, pulp and juice.
“This results in a range of high-quality ingredients that can be used in applications such as juices, smoothies, frozen desserts, bakery and pastry products, and snacks all the way to chocolate,” Callebaut said.
“At the same time, they are good for the planet and its people because the entire cacao fruit is utilized.”
“WholeFruit chocolate” will come in two types, one consisting of 100 percent cacao and another mixing in milk.
Callebaut chief executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique said the company was looking forward to many offerings based on its new recipe.
Mondelez International-backed SnackFutures will be the first to introduce Cacaofruit Experiences in consumer products — in smoothie and jerky products initially debuting in Los Angeles shops, according to Callebaut.
WholeFruit chocolate made of 100 percent cacao was slated to hit chef and artisan markets early next year.
Chocolate has lost some of its appeal in developed markets, where it faces competition from foods perceived as more healthy. The cost of cacao, meanwhile, has put pressure on profits.
Callebaut last year introduced a new “ruby” chocolate, with its client Nestle launching KitKat bars in Japan and South Korea coated in pink chocolate.
The pink color is obtained naturally from ruby cocoa, explained Akiko Hara, a manager for Barry Callebaut in Japan.
Meanwhile, Nestle in July announced the creation of a chocolate made entirely from cacao beans and pulp, with no refined sugar added.
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