The company, which featured the line at the recent HiE show in Paris, said it developed the ingredients in collaboration with Natraceutical Group, a health-geared firm in which Natra owns a 50.3 per cent stake.
The new products – which are manufactured at the NatraCacao facility located in Quart de Poblet, Valencia, Spain – include: chocolate with omega-3; low sugar and high-soluble fibre chocolate; non-added sugar chocolate; organic white chocolate; and low-lactose chocolate.
Natra also recently launched functional chocolate end-products through its partnership with Natraceutical, but said this new line is designed to allow food makers to add functional chocolate inclusions into products such as cookies, pastry, cereals, ice-cream or other dairy goods.
It adds to the firm’s other ‘value-added’ chocolate and cocoa ingredients, which include high polyphenol chocolate, low-fat products and organic or fair trade products.
Natra did not respond with additional information prior to today’s publication deadline on the levels and forms of omega-3 and fibre that are delivered in its new functional ingredients.
Natra last week reported a 50 per cent increase in its cocoa and chocolate sales to €218.8m in the year up to end Q3, and a margin (EBITDA) of 11.4 per cent.
Amongst the explanations for this bumper increase, it cited its “solid positioning in a defensive sector, in which chocolate consumption traditionally increases in crisis periods”.
Although health-positioned chocolate products are still in the early stages, major R&D efforts that focus on potential health-boosting ingredients are starting to trickle down into the chocolate market.
Mars recently launched CocoaVia, while Barry Callebaut has rolled out its Acticoa ingredient, both of which boast high polyphenol contents and are marketed as healthy options.
However, at the Salon du Chocolat show in Paris earlier this month, NutraIngredients.com sister site ConfectioneryNews.com reported that health positioned chocolate products were barely visible at a show that featured the wares of some 140 exhibitors.