ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The E.U. Commission has approved Barry Callebaut’s health claim submission on cocoa flavanols, the Zurich-based maker of cocoa and chocolate products said Sept. 4. The claim states, “Cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.”

Barry Callebaut has the proprietary right to use the claim within European Union countries. The claim may be used for cocoa beverages (with cocoa powder) or for dark chocolate providing at least a daily intake of 200 mg of cocoa flavanols. Customers of Barry Callebaut who use the company’s Acticoa cocoa and chocolate products may apply the claim on their products and packaging. Potential applications include chocolate drinks, products using dark chocolate and pharmaceuticals.

The commission’s approval follows a positive scientific opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority in July 2012.

“Receiving the right to use a health claim on cocoa flavanols by the E.U. Commission is most valuable for us as it is a great reward for long years of extensive research,” said Peter Boone, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut. “The health claim is opening up new market potential. Since we received the positive opinion from E.F.S.A. on our submitted health claim, we saw a lot of interest among our customers.”