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New blend makes antioxidant rich chocolate easier to create, says Wild

By Guy Montague-Jones , 31-Jul-2009

Wild has launched a blend of plant extracts to help chocolate manufacturers create antioxidant rich products without needing to buy special quality cocoa beans.

Chocolate products full of natural antioxidants are growing in popularity as consumers associate antioxidants with healthy living.

But to create antioxidant rich products manufacturers normally have to buy special quality cocoa beans, with high levels of antioxidants. Furthermore, processing has to be gentle to ensure that the finished product is still high in antioxidants, said a Wild spokesperson.

Natural powder blend

With its new natural powder blend, Wild plans to make it easer for chocolate makers to formulate antioxidant rich chocolate products.

The blend itself contains plant extracts from green and white tea as well as green rooibos and grape seeds, which all have high and standardised levels of polyphenols, according to Wild.

The powder blend can be added to chocolate bars or pralines, with or without fruit fillings, to boost antioxidant levels and allow manufacturers to use less rarified cocoa beans.

In addition, the blend can be added to the chocolate mass after conching so that the polyphenols, or antioxidants, are not destroyed by the processing.

The consistency and taste of the chocolate is unaffected by the addition of the powder blend, said the company spokesperson.

Tea and grape extracts

Adding the blend to chocolate mass or the filling, Wild said it is possible to get up to 700 milligrams of polyphenols in 100 grams of a filled chocolate bar.

In such a product, 200 milligrams can be added to the chocolate mass and 500 milligrams can be added to a fruity cream filling.

The company said the blend can be combined with a wide variety of fruits, such as orange-passion fruit or cranberry. Both blend well with the taste of dark chocolate and are already rich in antioxidants.

In finished products, the Wild spokesperson said the company recommends that chocolate makers promote the antioxidant content by saying ‘rich in antioxidants’ or ‘high in polyphenols’. Given the current uncertainty and regulatory complications surrounding health claims in Europe, it is not recommended that specific health benefits be mentioned.

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