DairyReporter.com caught up with Ieme Blondeel, product and process development engineer at Barry Callebaut, following ConfectioneryNews.com's Vitafoods Live! debate, Cocoa flavanol science and the potential for better-for-you chocolate.
Barry Callebaut currently holds the property rights to a European Union (EU) health claim, which says that 200mg of cocoa flavanols can "help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow."
While the health claim is largely associated with dark chocolate, Blondeel said that flavored milk and dairy drinks actually present one of the best opportunities for use of the health claim because they have greater "credibility."
"...people relate health to dairy much more than they relate health to dark chocolate," Blondeel told DairyReporter.com.
Blondeel added that all but one of the dairy companies it approached with the concept "thought it was brilliant" and that work is underway at many dairies to bring milk-based beverages featuring the health claim to market.