ADM Cocoa unveils where it plans to concentrate its R&D efforts in 2014.
The company told ConfectioneryNews that it plans to explore possibilities to combine chocolate with savory flavors as well as chocolate with micronutrients such as calcium. The firm has also prioritized its sustainable cocoa program in the face of global cocoa shortages and producing chocolate with a healthier profile.
Rinus Heemskerk, global director of innovation at ADM Cocoa, said that he expected chocolate’s popularity to grow in both mature and emerging markets and earmarked areas for growth.
“Cocoa continues to be associated primarily with sweet-tasting foods; however, more and more cocoa products are evolving to include a savory touch. From red peppers in chocolate, to chocolate flavored potato chips, cocoa and chocolate continue to expand in food applications.”
In the company’s Advantage Centers, ADM plans to explore how chocolate combines with savory flavors.
The company has already developed its deZaan Fresco Cacao range of cocoa powder, cocoa masses and chocolate specially designed for use in yoghurts and fresh cheese.
“In chocolate, Fresco complements applications that contain high cocoa content, which lack bitterness, and combine perfectly with fruit and fruit fillings, which are naturally acidic,” said Heemskerk.
Health & nutrition
He continued that health and nutrition were becoming increasingly influential in consumers’ purchasing decisions.
“The industry will continue to create healthier options as demand rises for food and beverage products with reduced calories, saturated fat, hydrogenated fat, sugar and salt.”
Towards the end of last year, ADM introduced its deZaan cocoa powder, D-00-ZR, which contains only 0.5% of fat.
“ADM Cocoa’s technologists are continuously researching possibilities to develop chocolates with enhanced nutritional benefits for our customers, such as chocolate with increased fibers, reduced sugars and micronutrients. For example, calcium is a micronutrient that plays a critical role in bone health and is essential for consumers of all ages,” said Heemskerk.
ADM Cocoa also plans to expand its S.E.R.A.P (Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices) program on sustainable cocoa to improve farmer livelihoods sustainably and maintain supply of good quality cocoa.
“Certified or non-certified, but independent third party verified, sustainably grown cocoa, traceable raw materials, complete supply chain control, as well as connecting with the places where cocoa is grown, will remain top priorities,” said Heemskerk.
He said that combining S.E.R.A.P with a certification system such as UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade would allow productivity to flourish on cocoa farms leading to a bright sustainable future for cocoa and farming communities.