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Nestle campaigns for benefits of dark chocolate

By Karen Willmer , 04-Sep-2007

A new Nestle-backed campaign in Australia is promoting the health benefits of dark chocolate to doctors, dieticians and nutritionists.

The Switch To Dark campaign highlights recent research that indicates dark chocolate has high levels of antioxidants, and aims to encourage people to switch from milk to dark chocolate. The dark chocolate phenomenon has already been picked up by the food industry, with many manufacturers launching or focussing on developing lines. Nestle has already announced it will launch a new range of dark chocolate products. Mars, Barry Callebaut and Lindt have also released their own ranges to take advantage of this new consumer fad. "The evidence is there, that dark chocolate is a good alternative to milk chocolate and is a source of some key anti-oxidants," stated researcher Sandra Capra from the University of Newcastle, as quoted on the campaign's web site (www.switchtodark.com). "Anyone already on a healthy and balanced diet should be able to indulge occasionally in one or two squares of dark chocolate and benefit from a few health benefits aswell." Recent research has suggested that dark chocolate has health benefits, such as in reducing blood pressure and the chances of cardiovascular disease. Cocoa is high in polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants, and research has suggested cocoa contains five times the polyphenols of an apple. The new Switch to Dark campaign will feature in healthcare publications across Australia. "At the heart of the Switch to Dark campaign, the message is that if we choose to indulge occasionally in chocolate, a small amount of dark chocolate is by far the wiser choice," according to Penny Small, a Nestle nutritionist quoted on the internet site. Mars announced this week it will launch a new dark chocolate version of its M&M's brand in the US, following the launch of its dark chocolate Galaxy bars in the UK.

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