A new aerated chocolate ingredient claims to allow manufacturers of baked and dairy goods to cut costs and calories by reducing the total amount of chocolate in their products without affecting taste or visual appeal.
Launched by Barry Callebaut in the North American market, the Aerated Inclusions have one third the weight of regular chocolate chunks, and therefore also one third less calories.
According to the chocolate ingredient firm, which introduced the chunks at the IFT food expo in Chicago, the new product can be used wherever traditional chocolate chunks are used. Applications include cereals, baked goods, ice cream, dairy drinks and other snacks.
The chunks, which contain more air and less chocolate than regular counterparts, can either be used to reduce the chocolate content of products without these appearing less chocolaty, or they can allow manufacturers to include more chunks in products without any additional cost or calories, said the firm.
The Aerated Inclusions have a lighter texture and mouthfeel than regular chocolate chunks, but they melt smoothly in the mouth and the chocolate taste remains the same. The handling and processing of the inclusions are the same as for traditional chocolate, said Barry Callebaut.
The company is also marketing them as providing a "unique visual experience" in cereal applications due to the fact that they float in milk.
"Manufacturers are looking for ways to add more value to their products - the floating chunks in cereal is one way of achieving this. Another is the perceived value of having more chocolate chunks in products," said the firm's director of marketing for food manufacturers Sarah O'Neil
"This is by far the platform that has the greatest momentum at the show," she told FoodNavigator-USA.com at IFT last week.
The firm is currently providing samples of its new Aerated Inclusions for testing, and it is due to start production on October 1.
Other new products featured at the show included single-origin chocolates, high cacao chocolates and new inclusions and decorations.
The single-origin chocolates are made from a single cocoa bean variety grown and harvested in a specific region of the world. Barry Callebaut said it will begin manufacturing six single-origin varieties at its facilities in North America. The varieties, which claim to offer a distinct flavor and aroma, include a Ghana dark chocolate (60 percent cacao), Tanzania dark chocolate (73 percent cacao), Mexico milk chocolate (40 percent cacao), Santo Domingo dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), Venezuela dark chocolate (75 percent cacao), and an Arriba dark chocolate (50 percent cacao).
The firm's new high cacao chocolates were developed to meet the growing demand for "bold, intense dark chocolate", said the firm. The products, which have up to 85 percent cocoa solids, are available in custom formulations to meet the requirements for specific applications.
Finally, Barry Callebaut's new line of inclusions was designed to help manufacturers add extra flavor and texture to bakery and confectionery products. The line includes a variety of tastes, sizes and shapes. Examples of the products include caramelized cocoa nibs (roasted kernels of cocoa beans) and coffee-flavored crystals.