Cargill breakthrough puts instant into cocoa drinks

By Emma Edwards

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate

Cargill has announced a breakthrough in cocoa powder technology which enables faster and improved dispersion in cold drink mix application.

The company claims to be the first to crack the technical challenge of improving the speed at which cocoa powder disappears below the surface of cold liquid – known as wettability. Its new cold dispersible cocoa powders demonstrate increased wettability rates of 100% when compared to market standard and will disperse evenly throughout the liquid. This performance is maintained throughout the product’s shelf life which it says is “something that doesn’t hold true for existing products.”

With a number of patents pending, Cargill is currently unable to further expand on the technology behind this development. Dr Henri Kamphuis, quality and technology director, Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate told;Unfortunately on the grounds of commercial confidentiality we cannot provide further technical details of how the product works at the moment.”

The announcement follows what the company describes as “years of research and development work​” and is an area which “many manufacturers in this market have been looking at for some time,”​ said Kamphuis.

The news comes well in advance of the official launch of the first cocoa powders featuring the new technology, which is scheduled for 2012 under the company’s premium Gerkens premium brand. According to Kamphuis, the timing will “inform our customers and the industry well in advance regarding our innovation, so they have time to anticipate their requirements and have adequate preparation time.”

Instant application

Developed specifically for cold drink application, the new product is “aimed at all markets where cocoa drinks are prepared with cold milk,” ​Kamphuis said, “but is also suitable for use in hot applications.”

“Because of its ability to vary the balance of sugar and cocoa [our] dispersible powder can be used in a wide variety of recipes to meet consumer and cultural preferences across a range of markets.” ​The company identifies lower calorie drinks and stronger chocolate tastes as potential market drivers.

Cargill would not be drawn further on specific market insights or trends.

Market highlights

The global market for chocolate-based flavoured powder drinks is forecast to grow 76.7% in the ten year period 2005-2015, according to Euromonitor International. It was valued at €4,130.1 million in 2010 with Latin America owning the largest market share, followed by Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

By 2015, total global market value is forecast to increase to €5,695mn, with Latin America retaining the greatest share, followed by Western Europe but with Middle East and Africa region taking third position.

Despite a drop in demand during 2008-09 as a result of the recession, the global cocoa market is now forecast to reach 4.8 million metric tonnes by 2015, according to a recent report by Global Industry Analysts Inc, with Europe identified as the largest market for cocoa worldwide.

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