Patent applicant Cadbury UK said that the development presented huge opportunities for the chocolate, biscuit and snacks industries.
Benefit in hot countries
“Production of temperature tolerant chocolate would allow production of chocolate-containing product more suitable for hot climates, particularly in less economically developed countries where the supply chain is ill-equipped to handle significant temperature / humidity fluctuations and where product quality is compromised,” it said.
The process may be of use for Mondelez in Brazil and India – two hot countries where it is concentrating its chocolate efforts. See HERE.
Re-refine the chocolate
Cadbury said that traditionally processed chocolates have sugar particles that are coated in fat, which makes them less heat resistant.
“We have found that it is possible to instill more favorable temperature tolerant properties into a conched chocolate by refining the conched chocolate after the conching step.”
It said this leads to shearing of sugar particles, which produces a more continuous sugar matrix that reduces the amount of fat coated sugar particles, creating temperature tolerant chocolate.
Cadbury placed re-refined Dairy Milk’s in a 40°C incubator for 3 hours and found that they did not melt and had the same mouthfeel as a traditionally processed bar.
Chocolate generally melts at 33.8°C, according to an earlier review.
The patent was filed under The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international patent law treaty that allows a uniform patent to be considered by signatory national or regional authorities.
National and regional authorities that are signatories to the PCT will now decide whether or not to grant the patent.
Other heat-resistant chocolates
A review published last year in the Trends in Food Science & Technology by Stortz, and Marangoni said that no simple and inexpensive heat resistant chocolate had been developed to date.
In 2009, Barry Callebaut developed Volcano, a heat-resistant chocolate that uses less cocoa butter to increase the melting point to 55°C.
Last year, UK confectioner Choc-o-Bloc introduced its answer to heat resistant chocolate with Magic Choc, a Play-Doh like chocolate that melts at 37°C.
Kraft Foods, which held Mondelez’s global snacks portfolio before a spin-off in October, was previously looking at a solution through packaging and was inviting suggestions from material suppliers. See HERE.