Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business has unveiled the breakthrough technology behind the first chocolate to achieve an EU-approved consumer claim of “reduced calorie”.

The 30 per cent calorie reduction is double that of any other chocolate on the market and is equivalent to a saving of up to 160 calories for a 100g chocolate bar.

This innovation has been achieved through applying Cargill’s chocolate expertise to an innovative process using a patented blend of sweeteners, including Cargill’s zero-calorie bulk sweetener, Zerose™ erythritol.

ZeroseTM erythritol is the only polyol which is recognised as zero-calorie, is produced by a fermentation process and does not exhibit the digestive intolerance that can be associated with other polyols.  Erythritol occurs naturally in nature in fruits such as grapes, and in fermented foods and drinks, such as wine and soy sauce.  It is also recognised as ‘toothfriendly’ by Toothfriendly International, as it does not cause tooth decay.

The chocolate experts at Cargill’s confectionery applications centre in Vilvoorde, working in conjunction with the chocolate R&D team in Mouscron, have developed the formulation using extensive taste panel testing to deliver a great sensory experience.

“Unlike chocolate made with alternative sweeteners, our new reduced-calorie chocolate can achieve a calorie reduction of 30 per cent.  As a result, it can carry the EU-approved reduced calorie claim,” says Blanche Olry, research and development manager at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. Olry brings with her years of experience in working with sweeteners from previous roles within Cargill Sweetness.

As an alternative to the reduced calorie claim, the Cargill innovation also offers two further benefits to manufacturers using chocolate as an ingredient: they can reduce the calorie level per portion; or they can use more chocolate in their product for the same calorie amount.

“This latter option is certain to appeal to manufacturers of cookies, cereal bars and other snacks where 99 calories per portion is the target maximum,” continues Olry.  “With our reduced calorie chocolate, there is now the option to increase the amount of chocolate for the same number of calories.”

Expected to be available commercially next year, the innovation demonstrates the pioneering results that are produced from the powerful combination of Cargill’s broad food ingredients knowledge coupled with its deep chocolate expertise.