As well a one of the largest cocoa and chocolate suppliers in the world, the Group is also an industry leader in research and development, specifically relating to the health benefits of cocoa flavanols – becoming the first cocoa and chocolate company to establish a qualified health claim in the United States.
What are flavanols?
Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that naturally occur in foods from vegetables and fruits to chocolate and tea
In a statement, it said that after a rigorous four-year review process by the FDA, Barry Callebaut received ‘a letter of enforcement discretion’ that it does not intend to object to the use of certain qualified health claims regarding the consumption of cocoa flavanols in high flavanol cocoa powder and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease for conventional foods, ‘provided that the qualified claim is appropriately worded so as not to mislead consumers and that other factors for the use of the claim are met’.
Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that naturally occur in foods from vegetables and fruits to chocolate and tea. Flavanols are particularly abundant in cacao beans with the level dependent on origin, crop type and processing practices.
Cementing its position in the better-for-you category, Barry Callebaut was the first cocoa and chocolate company to receive a positive Scientific Opinion on a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claim that cocoa flavanols have a positive impact on blood flow. Since the original statement in 2012, the EFSA extended that health claim to also include cocoa powder, dark chocolate products, and cocoa extract products. For the FDA, Barry Callebaut was able to provide similar evidence as it relates to high-flavanol cocoa powder.
“We know U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how the foods they love impact both environmental and personal health,” said TJ Mulvihill, VP Marketing North America at Barry Callebaut.
"This is a major milestone in the development of cocoa as an ingredient, as we now know that, in combination with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, consumption of cocoa flavanols in high flavanol cocoa powder may help support cardiovascular health.”
Hugo Van Der Goes, Vice President Cocoa North America, Barry Callebaut, said for its customers, it presents an opportunity to develop and enhance better-for-you products leveraging high-flavanol cocoa powder, especially in the sports beverage and protein mix categories, to meet consumer demand
“We are honoured to be at the forefront of exploring the health and scientific benefits of cocoa,” he added.
- The FDA-specific language regarding Barry Callebaut’s claim can be found here.