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Healthier, more sustainable chocolate? The answer lies in science – science and health

In 2023, according to data from the Center for the Promotion of Imports to Developing Countries (CBI), the value of the cocoa bean market, the basis of the chocolate industry, will reach 14.7 billion euros globally. It is expected that by 2028 it will reach 20 billion euros.







The industry is one of the main responsible for global deforestation
Reuters






However, this market, which mainly comes from developing countries (according to data from… OECD Development Assistance Committee(with the exception of Australia and Trinidad and Tobago), have been in the news due to the conditions to which workers are exposed, as well as widespread deforestation in agricultural areas – one of the industries that contribute significantly to global deforestation, according to data from International Cocoa Organization -, smuggling that it Exploitation of child labour.

However, the overall picture may be changing, and the starting point lies in a recipe developed by Swiss chocolatiers, in collaboration with the scientific community: a recipe that replaces chocolate sugar with leftover vegetables.

According to the article he submitted Watchman And published in the magazine Nature of food“By crushing the pulp and shell of the cocoa bean, rather than simply removing the beans, scientists have created a sweet, fibrous gel that can replace the sugar in chocolate.”

“This ‘whole food’ approach results in a product that is more nutritious than traditional chocolate, using less land and water, while satisfying sweet tooths,” the same news story said. “The cocoa fruit is basically a pumpkin, and at the moment we only use the seeds… but there are many other wonderful things in this fruit,” says Kim Mishra, lead author of the study and a technology expert at the University of Zurich.

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The researchers also used cocoa pulp and juice to make a jelly that can be added to chocolate instead of the powdered sugar traditionally used. For Mishra, the findings could make chocolate healthier and more sustainable, while also providing farmers with a new source of income.

Despite the encouraging results – the study revealed that in a laboratory setting, the new method used 6% less land and water – emissions responsible for global warming increased by 12%, driven by an additional drying stage that consumed large amounts of energy.

However, scientists are confident that by intensifying the process, using drying the paste in the sun or using solar panels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced.

It must be remembered that cocoa production is mainly directed to Europe, the largest importer of beans (led by the Netherlands), paste, butter and cocoa powder in the world. Europe is also an important trading center for many products made from cocoa. Globally, the chocolate industry is estimated to be worth more than €90 billion.








In 2023, according to data from the Center for the Promotion of Imports to Developing Countries (CBI), the market for cocoa beans, the basis of the chocolate industry, will reach 14.7 billion euros globally. It is expected that by 2028 it will reach 20 billion euros.

However, this market, which mainly comes from developing countries (according to data from… OECD Development Assistance Committee(with the exception of Australia and Trinidad and Tobago), have been in the news due to the conditions to which workers are exposed, as well as widespread deforestation in agricultural areas — one of the industries that contribute significantly to global deforestation, according to data from International Cocoa Organization -, smuggling that it Exploitation of child labour.

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However, the overall picture may be changing, and the starting point lies in a recipe developed by Swiss chocolatiers, in collaboration with the scientific community: a recipe that replaces chocolate sugar with leftover vegetables.

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