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Business News of Thursday, 2 July 2020


Ghana’s Cocoa juice 'marries' Bolivian cocoa beans in world’s first 100% cocoa fruit chocolate

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Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Felchlin, has unveiled a new couverture made 100 percent from the Cocoa fruit, with no extra ingredient.

Made of Bolivian cocoa beans, the chocolate is sweetened with cocoa pulp juice from Ghana and becomes the world’s first sugar-free single ingredient chocolate.

Several chocolate makers around the world are racing to produce chocolates that substitute conventional sugar for cocoa pulp juice.

A press release copied to COCOA POST said, the innovation is made possible by the ingenuity of Max Felchlin AG’s confectioners collaborating with Swiss-Ghanaian startup, Koa, which produces the sweet natural juice from the pulp of Ghanaian cocoa beans.

“With the cocoa fruit couverture, we are offering our customers the chance to create products of a new chocolate generation,” comments Christian Aschwanden, CEO of Felchlin.

“In particular, this is an essential step towards more sustainability in the cocoa industry”, he added.

The new couverture consists of only two ingredients, both from a single fruit: cocoa beans and cocoa fruit juice, making it a true novelty to the global chocolate market.

In 2017, the start-up Koa Switzerland AG in collaboration with small-scale farmers found a way to gently process the cocoa pulp and collect the juice.

Bolivia cocoa islands (c) Felchlin

Prior to that, however, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans was previously considered a waste product. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp is needed for fermentation, the rest is discarded.

For Koa, the success in extracting value out of the waste marked a turnaround for the low income of cocoa farmers.

“By doing so, we enable Ghanaian smallholders to increase their income by 30% and at the same time boost value creation in rural Ghana,” explains Anian Schreiber, Managing Director of Koa.

Today, 35 employees in Ghana and Switzerland are engaged in the growth of Koa to boost value creation in the cocoa-growing regions and to developing innovative and pioneering processes.

In addition to a significant increase in added value in cocoa cultivation, a new flavour component enriches Felchlin’s cocoa fruit couverture.

The Swiss chocolate producer, Max Felchlin AG has successfully combined the novelty Ghanaian cocoa fruit juice with Bolivian cocoa beans to create the couverture.

The unique and rare wild cocoa “Criollo Amazonico” are sourced from Bolivia’s Beni province, where the collectors, mostly Chimane Indians, harvest the pods on the widely scattered “cocoa islands”.

According to Felchlin, the unusual thing about these cocoa plants is that the trees are left to nature which develops the distinctive fruity notes.

Following successful tests by various pastry chefs and confectioners, Felchlin is now officially launching the cocoa fruit couverture.

This will not be the first time products have been created from the Ghanaian cocoa pulp juice. The renowned Confiserie Sprüngli is the first company to develop two products from it: their iconic macaroon “Luxemburgerli” and a vegan truffle.

In addition to Switzerland, the product range is now being extended to other countries.


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