Cocoa and chocolate products manufacturer Barry Callebaut has received a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the company’s health claim that “cocoa flavanols help maintain endothelium-dependent vasodilation which contributes to normal blood flow.”
The company said that it was able to provide evidence that the intake of 200 mg of cocoa flavanols (provided by 2.5g of high-flavanol cocoa powder or 10g of high-flavanol dark chocolate) positively influence blood circulation in the human body.
Barry Callebaut says that it is the first company in the EU to obtain a positive Scientific Opinion on a health claim on cocoa flavanols.
Since 2005, Barry Callebaut has carried out more than 20 human clinical studies examining various impacts of cocoa flavanols on the human body. For these studies, the company used cocoa powder and chocolate products made through its own developed ACTICOA process which results in high-flavanol cocoa products.
Barry Callebaut’s specific ACTICOA process is said to be the outcome of years of research into ways of preserving cocoa flavanols. The company succeeded in maintaining up to 80% of the cocoa flavanols which would be destroyed for the most part during the conventional chocolate-making process.
If the EU Commission further approves the health claim, Barry Callebaut will have the right to use the cocoa flavanols claim for five years within EU countries. The company said that customers using its high-flavanol cocoa products would be able to apply the claim on their products and packaging, enabling them to differentiate their offerings from other products on the market and gain useful competitive advantage.
Barry Callebaut sees considerable market potential for – among others – applications in chocolate drinks, cereal bars and biscuits.
“It is very valuable for us to now have an official positive Scientific Opinion from the European Food Safety Authority that cocoa flavanols have a positive effect on human blood flow,” said Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut.
“As the first company receiving such a health claim, we see new market potential both for us and for our customers. The health claim is also a reward for our long years of extensive research in the benefits of cocoa flavanols on the human body.”