SWITZERLAND – Nestlé has begun a wider roll-out of its revolutionary Incoa chocolate made exclusively with the cocoa fruit without adding any refined sugar.
A statement from the Swiss food manufacturing giant, the chocolate under the Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand will appear on shelves in retail in France and the Netherlands with other European markets to follow.
Nestlé first announced the development of this revolutionary approach in 2019 and then launched it with KitKat in Japan.
The cocoa fruit contains cocoa beans and cocoa pulp. The pulp, which makes up around 10% of the fruit surrounds the beans and 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 discarded.
In some countries the pulp is commercialized as juice, or frozen and used as an ingredient in ice cream and other food products.
Nestlé leveraged its in-house chocolate expertise to develop a patented natural approach which allows it to extract the pulp and produce a dark chocolate that captures the pulp’s intrinsic sweetness and texture.
The company says this unique approach enables the company to produce Incoa in high quantities with no compromise on taste, texture and quality.
“This breakthrough innovation allows us to deliver a great-tasting dark chocolate, while also integrating agricultural side-streams into our value chain, a key priority for our sustainability agenda,” said Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Center in York
With Incoa, Nestlé is able to appeal to consumers who are conscious about the carbon footprint of the food they eat.
“People are looking for something that is a little bit different and more sustainable from their chocolate. The fact that Incoa is made from the cocoa fruit and nothing else means it cuts waste and brings additional value to the cocoa sector, “said Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé.
The cocoa beans in Incoa are sourced in West Africa from Nestlé Cocoa Plan farms certified by Rainforest Alliance while the cocoa pulp is currently sourced from Brazil from farms that are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.
The company says it is working on expanding the sourcing of the pulp across Cocoa Plan farms globally starting with West Africa where it is currently working with cocoa cooperatives and other partners to test how cocoa pulp production could be commercialized there.
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