Nestlé is claiming a breakthrough by developing a process to sweeten chocolate bars entirely from cocoa fruit using the beans and pulp as the only ingredients and eliminating the need to add any refined sugar.
The Swiss-based confectionery giant says it plans to introduce the first product in Japan in autumn through its KitKat Chocolatory. Further products in other countries will follow next year, through some of Nestlé’s most popular confectionery brands.
Until now, chocolate has been made with the addition of refined sugars. Nestlé says its patented innovation ‘delivers a great tasting chocolate using only one ingredient – the cocoa fruit’, with no compromise on taste, texture and quality.
Patrice Bula, head of strategic business units, marketing and sales at Nestlé, said: "We’re proud to bring chocolate lovers a new chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit without adding refined sugar. This is a real innovation, which uses the natural sweetness of the cocoa pulp to provide a pure, novel chocolate experience."
The cocoa fruit contains cocoa beans and cocoa pulp. The pulp surrounds the beans, it is soft, sweet and white in color. Some of the pulp is used in the fermentation of the cocoa beans after they are harvested, but a significant proportion is usually removed and the value is lost. Until now, it has not been used as an ingredient to naturally sweeten chocolate.
According to Chef Takagi, the patissier behind KitKat’s innovative limited-edition releases in Japan, "it is an innovation that focuses on the fact that cacao is originally a fruit and provides the full taste of cacao".
Nestlé was the first to bring Ruby chocolate to market in 2018 with KitKat, first in Japan and then across Europe.