Granola bar with chocolate
Chocolate ingredients can walk the fine line between indulgent and healthy, and nutritionally enhanced chocolate ingredients can take that a step further.

Building a nutritional profile

Ever since chocolate was linked to antioxidants, the indulgent ingredient has also enjoyed a healthy halo that bakers and snack producers can crown their products with. Ingredient suppliers have jumped on this healthy trend to bulk up chocolate’s nutritional profile even more.

For example, Delavau, a company supplying calcium ingredients to nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and food brands for decades, now offers calcium-fortified chocolate, compound coatings, and inclusions for bars, baked goods and snacks. The company’s patented technology creates an ingredient that delivers the same amount of calcium as a serving of milk, while maintaining the eating experience of chocolate.

“By bringing the calcium out of the base of the bar and incorporating it in the chocolate, compound coating or inclusion, it creates an opportunity to add even more of the ingredients consumers demand, such as protein or fiber,” said Jeff Billig, Delavau’s vice-president and general manager. “The technology also delivers this result without adding cost, providing formulators and marketers with a lot of flexibility to improve claims in bars and snacks while maintaining calcium levels in a cost-effective manner.”

Barry Callebaut offers protein-fortified compound coatings that can be used to enrobe bar-type products or applied to other baked goods as a drizzle. Containing 20% whey protein, the coatings offer bakers another way to boost protein content. There’s also a high-fiber coating.

Chocolate chips
Barry Callebaut recently patented a process to manufacture milk chocolate with only 25% fat by weight.

With increasing demand for chocolate products in warmer climates, Barry Callebaut recently launched chocolate and compound solutions with a higher thermo-tolerance. The new recipes have a melting point that is up to 37°C (98.6°F), which is about 2 to 3 degrees higher than normal. It still looks, tastes and melts like chocolate, according to the company.

“We did not invent a new chocolate,” said Elien Van Steen, project lead. “We developed a toolbox to make a chocolate recipe more thermo-tolerant. Our customers can use these tools to make their chocolate or compound recipes less sensitive to deformation or decrease the chance of products sticking to packaging. This will greatly benefit products displayed in stores in warmer climates.”

The company also recently patented a process to manufacture milk chocolate with only 25% fat by weight, compared to normal levels of 36%. The process refines fat-coated particles before the traditional conching step. Barry Callebaut can apply this newly developed processing technique to products used in enrobing bars and biscuits.

“Some consumers are looking for ways to reduce their calorie intake. Finding their favorite indulgence with fewer calories is high on the wish list,” said Marijke De Brouwer, program manager of authenticity and permissibility for Barry Callebaut. “Reducing the fat content has a bigger impact on calories than reducing sugar. Calorie reduction is an even bigger challenge in chocolate because both fat and sugar reduction is needed. It is all about finding the right balance.”

Balancing nutrition, indulgence, sustainability and fun is the path chocolate treads as an ingredient. And with sustainable supply, innovative ingredients and nutritional fortification, bakers can expect to find chocolate and its various forms with a little something extra.