Following a rigorous four-year FDA review process, Barry Callebaut is the first cocoa and chocolate company in the United States to establish a qualified health claim stating that high-flavanol cocoa powder may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The claim’s FDA-specific language can be found here.
The flavanols in the cacao beans
Health benefits of high-flavanol cocoa powder, an important step forward in the journey of cocoa and food for health. Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that naturally occur in foods from vegetables and fruits to chocolate and tea. Flavanols are particularly abundant in cacao beans with the level dependent on origin, crop type and processing practices.
Cementing its position in the better-for-you category, Barry Callebaut was the first cocoa and chocolate company to receive a positive Scientific Opinion on a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claim that cocoa flavanols have a positive impact on blood flow. Since the original statement in 2012, the EFSA extended that health claim to also include cocoa powder, dark chocolate products, and cocoa extract products. For the FDA, Barry Callebaut was able to provide similar evidence as it relates to high-flavanol cocoa powder.
The growing interest of consumers for healthy food, the health benefits of cocoa
“We know U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how the foods they love impact both environmental and personal health. This is a major milestone in the development of cocoa as an ingredient, as we now know that, in combination with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, consumption of cocoa flavanols in high flavanol cocoa powder may help support cardiovascular health“: Tj Mulvihill, VP Marketing, North America
“We are honored to be at the forefront of exploring the health and scientific benefits of cocoa. For our customers, this presents an opportunity to develop and enhance better-for-you products leveraging high-flavanol cocoa powder, especially in the sports beverage and protein mix categories, to meet consumer demand“: Hugo Van Der Goes, VP Cocoa, North America.
(*)Acticoa high-flavanol cocoa & chocolate supports heart-healthy indulgence.