Protein yet to plateau in chocolate confectionery, says Barry Callebaut
This high protein coating is available in dark, milk, and white chocolate flavors, in addition to yogurt flavored compounds, and they can be used in applications such as cookies, snacks, and energy bars.
Speaking with ConfectioneryNews at IFT recently in Las Vegas, director of innovation and market development at Barry Callebaut, Laura Bergan, said, “When you see protein chocolate in the market place, you see more what we call ‘compound product’, not a pure chocolate,” because it gives some benefits such as higher milk content and it lasts longer in distribution.
The chocolate confectionery market has seen a trend of adding protein as a key ingredient, Bergan said. That is the main reason why Barry Callebaut decided to expand its protein portfolio even though it only contributes a small percent of the company’s overall business.
She said FortiPro contains whey protein primarily, but it also offers blends of plant-based protein as well depending on the customer's demands.
“Protein is definitely an area where we develop resources towards as we see how long the ingredient has been sticking around,” Bergan said. “To some degree, the protein market is starting to plateau a little, but now, given the switch to plant-based protein, it’s still going forward.”
Barry Callebaut said its FortiPro is currently produced at several plants including the ones in Philadelphia; Pennsauken, New Jersey; Vermont, and Canada.
Formulation challenges with flavor and texture
Bergan mentioned that whey protein powder could change the flavor and texture of chocolate, so Barry Callebaut’s R&D needs to find the appropriate cocoa powder as a complement.
The right cocoa powder “either masks a little bit of the protein flavor or gives it a more optimal flavor profile,” she said. “From a texture standpoint, it can never be the same as a Belgian chocolate, so it has to pair with other ingredients in an application.”
Barry Callebaut also uses different types of sweeteners for its protein chocolate coating as they do not contain added sugar. “Foods are going to be more natural, so we’re doing things with stevia,” Bergan said.
Barry Callebaut recently reported its revenues for the nine-months of fiscal 2016/17 have grown by 2.9% despite declining sales volumes in the global chocolate market.