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Health & Functionality

Health & Functionality

The healthy chocolate sector is still in a relatively embryonic stage but is being buoyed by the increasing amount of cocoa polyphenol science, exciting product innovation and increasing public interest. And, while the segment still suffers from a counter-intuitive response in many consumers that a health benefit shouldn’t be derived from an indulgence food like chocolate, this is being overcome.

Chocolate may have benefits but flavanols make no difference to pregnancy outcomes, says researcher

Chocolate may improve placental function during pregnancy but flavanol levels seem to make no difference to pregnancy outcomes, says a Canadian researcher.

Cocoa flavanols may use gut microbiota pathway to ease metabolic syndrome: Review

Consuming cocoa flavanols may interact with the gut microbiota as a way of preventing metabolic syndrome or easing the condition’s symptoms, a review has concluded.

ProSweets Live Debate

Reformulating chocolate to reduce sugar and fat key as regulations harden

A free-to-attend ProSweets panel discussion featuring Mondelēz and Nestlé will assess how chocolate makers can develop and reformulate products to comply with self-imposed nutrition guidelines.

Reduced sugar chocolate cracked with inulin and isomalt combo, claims Beneo

Beneo claims previously untested varieties of inulin and isomalt come closer to matching the taste and mouthfeel of sugar in chocolate than ever before.

Herbaland introduces functional gummies line with direct depositing

Canada-based supplement firm Herbaland is launching a new Pure gummy product line, which it says is the first to use direct depositing rather than starch molds during processing.

Exclusive interview

Nestlé nutrition expert talks ‘difficult’ task of cutting sugar in confectionery

KitKat maker Nestlé reports progress in reducing sugar across its confectionery portfolio but won’t reformulate to a lower threshold until sugar’s link to obesity and type 2 diabetes is substantiated....

Mangosteen rind ups 'cheap chocolate' polyphenols by 50%: Research

Adding a mangosteen fruit by-product to cheaper low cocoa chocolates could improve their nutritional content without compromising flavour, researchers have discovered. 

What works for cigarettes may not work for food: Plain packaging increases snacking

The use of plain packaging on unhealthy food as an obesity prevention measure may have the opposite effect by increasing snack intake among men, a study has found.

Dark chocolate’s link to warding off pancreatic cancer overplayed in media reports, says researcher

A scientist says a New York Daily News article suggesting his new study shows dark chocolate has preventative effects against pancreatic cancer because it contains magnesium is misleading.

Dark chocolate may boost time trial performance for cyclists

Flavanol-rich dark chocolate may boost endurance and exercise performance in moderately-trained male cyclists, says a new study.

Supplemented chocolate: A new confections category set for growth, says Energems

Energems has been accepted as a member at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and says the new confectionery category of chocolate energy supplements it has created is poised for...

EFSA backs safety of new stevia form

Rebaudioside M is safe and can be added to the list of EU-approved steviol glycosides (E960), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded. The agency said this was the...

Dispatches from FIE in Paris

Lost Inca battle berry could be winner in adult energy gummies, claims Frutarom

Israel-based ingredients supplier Frutarom has introduced an extract from a ‘superfruit’ that was used by the Incas before battle.

Systematic Review

Chocolate may benefit pregnant women, but further research needed

Moderate chocolate consumption may help expectant mothers and their fetuses by reducing stress and providing antioxidants that guard against reproductive diseases and pregnancy complications, say Italian researchers.

Cocoa flavanols may boost skin from within: 24-week RCT

High-flavanol cocoa supplementation may have positive impacts on facial wrinkles and skin elasticity in photo-aged Korean women, says a new study from scientists from Seoul National University.

Diet soda: A key to weight loss?

Low energy sweeteners commonly used in diet sodas may help with weight loss, says a University of Bristol study, adding that confusion among consumers between sweeteners and sugar needs to be...

Naturex CEO: “There is already quite an interesting list of first contacts.”

Naturex takes Barry Callebaut cocoa flavanols to the supplements aisles

Swiss Chocolate titan Barry Callebaut has handed the job of taking EU heart health claim winning cocoa flavanols to the supplements sector to French herbals leader Naturex.

New guidance to prevent free-from faux pas

Concern over misuse of the term ‘free-from’ in relation to allergens in food products and a need for greater standardisation of manufacturing practices has led the British Retail Consortium (BRC)...

Time for candy makers to prepare for FDA added sugar label changes, says consultant

US confectioners should ready themselves to declare percentage daily values for added sugars set at 10% of total calorie intake, which could be a regulatory requirement by 2018, says a...

Science brief

Study confirms safe doses of cocoa flavanols for supplements & fortified products

Consuming up to two grams per day of cocoa flavanols for 12 weeks is well tolerated in healthy men and women, says a new study from scientists from Mars Inc....

Junk food not the biggest culprit for obesity: Study

While many people have snacks, sugar and sodas pinned as the bad guys in the war against obesity, one recent study found little to no correlation between consumption of junk...

Chocolate market to exceed $26bn by 2018: Packaged Facts

The chocolate market will exceed $26bn in the US by 2018, according to a recent report.

Katjes acquires rights for Vicks cough drops in Europe and considers UK expansion

German confectioner Katjes has acquired a perpetual license from Procter & Gamble to sell and distribute Vicks cough drops in Europe and Russia.

Kayco launches Chocolate Leather to appeal to better for you segment

Kosher product manufacturer Kayco has launched Chocolate Leather, a chewy candy bar lower in calories, fat and sugar than an average chocolate bar.

Mars targets healthier, on-the-go crowd with Snickers Crsiper and other c-store launches

Mars announced the November launch of its portion-controlled Snickers Crisper at this year’s National Association of Convenience Stores Show.

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