The new offerings fall under ADM’s global De Zaan line and, as raw materials for chocolate production, are suitable for use in ice creams and products with a high cocoa content.
The company’s cocoa processing plant in Singapore is importing cocoa beans directly from Ghana, Papua New Guinea and the Ivory Coast, in response to demand from customers in Asia and Australia for the specific taste and flavour profile that each bean delivers.
It is no secret that in emerging markets like China and India there are now more middle class consumers who are increasingly interested in Western-style and luxury foods.
Chocolate consumption in China is said to be growing at a rate of 10 to 15 per cent a year, and China's Food Industry Association says that annual chocolate consumption, currently worth around CNY3 billion, is expected to reach CNY20 billion (€1.9bn) in the future, making it the largest chocolate market in the world.
In this context, producing liquors closer to the manufacturer bring benefits to the supplier: “It is more cost effective for both ADM and consumers to process the beans in Asia as transport costs are not as prohibitive,” a spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com.
ADM is not making these liquors available to customers in Europe. ADM Europe does also supply cocoa liquors, but these are based on West African/Ivory Coast cocoa bean blends – not Papua New Guinean – and are in line with consumer taste demands.
ADM says it selects the most suitable beans for specific consumer requirements, and the liquor that they yield has an important part to play in determining the final flavour of the end product.
For example, the De Zaan 888 NL liquor uses Papua New Guinean beans, which have a high fat content and are said to give “a particularly fine flavour”.
ADM Singapore claims to be the biggest user of Papua New Guinean cocoa.
By contrast the 850 DL version is described as a “lightly alkalized cocoa liquor that may also reduce conching time”. (Conching is the agitating process that mixes the cocoa butter evenly through the chocolate).
In terms of the differences between chocolate available in Asia and that in Europe, they are “comparable”.
“But some chocolate in Asia can contain different ingredients and deliver regional specific tastes – for example, green tea flavouring is a common example.”