ETH, Koa and Felchlin develop more sustainable chocolate

Zurich/Ibach SZ – Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) have been working with the start-up Koa and the chocolate manufacturer Felchlin on a more sustainable and healthier recipe for chocolate that uses almost the entire cocoa fruit. A patent application has since been filed.

As part of an Innosuisse project, a team led by ETH professor emeritus Erich Windhab has developed the recipe for a cocoa fruit chocolate together with the Zurich start-up Koa, which is committed to responsible value creation from the cocoa fruit, and the chocolate producer Felchlin. As the ETH reports, a patent application has been filed.

Not only previously unused parts of the cocoa fruit are used. The new recipe increases the dietary fiber content by around 20 percent and at the same time reduces the saturated fat content by around 30 percent. Both make cocoa fruit chocolate healthier.

It also diversifies the income opportunities of cocoa farmers. While only beans are processed in conventional chocolate, the researchers also used the pulp and the inner part of the fruit skin, known as endocarb, for the cocoa fruit chocolate. They processed it into a powder and mixed it with some of the pulp to make an extremely sweet jelly that can replace the granulated sugar that is normally added.

This would allow farmers to "generate a total of three value streams", the report quotes Kim Mishra, lead author of the study, as saying. "And if the added value of the cocoa fruit is higher, this is also more sustainable." However, the entire value chain must first be completed, "starting with the cocoa farmers who need drying facilities". This is because cocoa fruit chocolate can only be produced and marketed on a larger scale once enough powder has been produced. ce/mm

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