The ingredients have been used in a limited number of Choxi+ products already. But they are being incorporated into a range of 70% cocoa Choxi+ chocolate bars, which are being launched in the UK in major supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose as well as Harrods and delicatessens from October 12.
Product sampling is taking place in these outlets next week. These bars contain almost twice as much cocoa as previous products from Prestat, a UK-based manufacturer, retailer and distributor of premium chocolate products.
In addition, Acticoa is being used in a range of Prestat’s Choxi+ drinking cocoa, which hit Harrods stores and delicatessens two months ago. One spoon of the cocoa powder has been formulated to contain suggested daily antioxidant levels.
The move illustrates the rapidly growing popularity of Acticoa, which boasts more active flavanols than standard chocolate on the market and high levels of antioxidants. As a result, Prestat’s Choxi+ packaging displays the claim, “naturally rich in antioxidants”.
Prestat aims to pursue scientific studies to substantiate the claim under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation. Barry Callebaut is responsible for submitting the relevant dossiers to the European Food Safety Authority for assessment.
A spokeswoman for Barry Callebaut said: “We are continuing with clinical studies regarding the health benefits of polyphenols and flavonols because we believe in the market potential of Acticoa.”
The company has so far conducted more than 25 human clinical studies in relation to the Acticoa product, she said.
She said Barry Callebaut was working closely with individual processors to tailor Acticoa to their products. “We are now looking at the nutrient profile of Acticoa by reducing its sugar and fat content,” she added.
The approach is significant because EU health and nutrition proposals make provision for a nutrient profiling scheme that would prevent products high in sugar, saturated fat and salt from making health claims.
Acticoa is made using gentler heat treatments that preserve more antioxidants in the final product.