The Indian chocolate industry is about to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% over the period 2022-28, according to a recent study by BlueWeave Consulting, a market research firm. This growth, according to experts, can be attributed to the growing awareness of consumers about the crowd health benefits related to moderate consumption of chocolates.
While a variety of chocolates have begun to fill supermarket shelves, black chocolates, which have been associated with a low sugar content, have begun to see, in particular, an increase in the percentage of the “original cocoa content.” which companies say is to cater to the health conscious consumer.
Buy now | Our best subscription plan now has a special price
Cocoa, a highly concentrated powder from chocolate liqueur, is a paste prepared from cocoa beans (the fruit of cocoa) and used as a flavoring ingredient. It is the key ingredient in chocolate and chocolate candies. The percentage of cocoa refers to the actual amount of chocolate made with the cocoa bean. Therefore, a 70 percent cocoa chocolate would mean that 70 percent of the chocolate has been made with the cocoa bean content, according to chocolatetradingco.com.
Companies, today, even provide 100% original cocoa in chocolates. This World Chocolate Day, which is celebrated annually on July 7, here is what experts say about the trend to increase the cocoa content in chocolates.
Why the increase in cocoa content?
“Increasing the percentage of cocoa in chocolates makes the chocolate softer, creamier and darker. Black chocolates they have many health benefits and are full of nutrients and antioxidants. It also gives the chocolate a sharper, slightly bitter taste. So there’s always a push to increase the percentage of cocoa in chocolate, ”said Vimal Sharma, founder, director and CEO of SMOOR. indianexpress.com.
According to Sharma, the ideal percentage of cocoa for “perfect dark chocolate” is 55%, while for a creamy milk chocolate, 37% would be ideal. But according to Shashank Mehta, CEO and founder of The Whole Truth Foods, “about 70 percent of cocoa, between cocoa solids and cocoa butter, could be the right balance to get all the complex flavors out of cocoa and balance it with sweeteners necessary to make the taste pleasant ”.
“A cocoa bean is intensely tasty, with a variety of versatile flavors. Increasing the concentration of cocoa, if done correctly, increases the complexity of the flavors in the final piece of chocolate you consume and therefore improves the eating experience, “Mehta added. Dark chocolate allows access to more cocoa flavors, because it has fewer fillings.
For the past two years, dark chocolate has gained enormous popularity, shared Srinath Balachandran, CEO of ZUKA Chocolates. “Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate. Bitter chocolate is considered better. High-cocoa will always be appreciated by connoisseurs, “said the chocolate maker who trained at France.
For the uninitiated, cocoa has an intrinsically bitter and deep taste, as it has theobromine which gives it its “stimulating properties and a pleasantly bitter taste”, and therefore increasing the percentage of cocoa greatly changes the taste of chocolate. , said Mehta.
The journey of chocolate, seconds Harvard School of Public Health, starts with a cocoa pod, larger than the size of the hand. The seeds (or beans) are extracted from the pod and fermented, dried and roasted into cocoa beans. The bean shells are then separated from the cocoa beans. The tips are crushed in a liquid called chocolate liqueur and separated from the fatty part, or cocoa butter. The liqueur is further refined to produce the cocoa solids and chocolate we eat. “After removing the tips, the cocoa bean is crushed into cocoa powder which is used to bake or drinks”, Reads.
According to the book by author Ramesh Sirohi Cocoa production and processing technology1 kg (2.2 lbs) of chocolate, processed between 300 and 600 grains, depending on the desired cocoa content.
Interestingly, artisanal or luxury chocolates, usually made with rarer types of cocoa, or more difficult-to-grow cocoa strains, are almost universally dark chocolates. “Many times, it is also a question of cocoa beans of mono origin, coming from a single farm in a specific place, therefore, they have concentrates and unique. flavors. But the most consistent thing about luxury chocolates might be that they only contain cocoa and a sweetener and nothing else. These chocolates are made and handmade from the bean to the inner bar, ”Mehta said.
Balachandran agreed and said that these plantations are also in India, such as in the Pollachi city of Tamil Nadu, in the Coimbatore district, which is becoming quite popular for its Indian cocoa which has a “distinctive taste.”
Does increasing the percentage of cocoa mean better health benefits?
Chocolate can be more than a dessertswhen it is clean and well done, said Dr. (Mr.) Kiran Rukadikar, bariatric doctor and obesity consultant and founder of DietQueen App.
Because cocoa is a highly concentrated food, it provides approximately 1 calorie per 1 gram, but it also provides carbohydrates, fats, protein, and minerals, Dr. Rukadikar said. “Its theobromine and caffeine content produces a mildly stimulating effect. Carbohydrates and easily digestible fats in chocolate make it an excellent high-energy food,” he said.
“Cocoa contains various phytochemicals, such as flavanols (including epicatechin), procyanidins and other flavanoids, which function as antioxidants, good for color and health in general. The use of flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products may cause a small blood pressure lowering effect (2 mmHg) in healthy adults, especially in the short term.
“It could raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol,” Dr. Rukadikar said.
Dr. Rukadikar mentioned that chocolate can increase mood, especially in women.
“Chocolate contains the chemicals – phenylethylamine and serotonin – that are believed to be mood enhancers and mild sexual stimulants. Eating chocolate makes you feel good, even euphoric. But the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate refer more to the sensual pleasure of how it melts in the mouth than to a sexual stimulus, ”Dr. Rukadikar said.
What to keep in mind?
While dark chocolate contains flavonoids good for you, it also has “fats, sugar, and calories not so good for you,” Dr. Rukadikar said. “Therefore, limit the portion size. Excess chocolate can undo any health benefits and cause weight gain and other health problems. A small serving of about an ounce should satisfy your taste buds, especially if you eat it slowly, and provide the health benefits of chocolate without increasing your taste. waist“He said.
According to Balachandran, milk chocolate and dark chocolate provide the same energy. “It’s about 500 calories per 100 grams. Milk chocolate is sweeter, but the fat content of dark chocolate is higher because it’s richer in beans and cocoa butter,” he said.
Dark chocolate may taste bitter, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of refined sugar. “The recommended daily intake of sugar for an adult female it is 100 grams, and for an adult male, it is two-thirds of that amount. And because it’s not sweet, you may be tempted to eat more, thus increasing your intake of simple carbohydrates, ”described Zamurrud M Patel-RD, chief dietitian at Global Hospitals, Parel, Mumbai.
Because dark chocolate is known to boost mood, there’s a trend you’ll depend on every time you need a boost, Patel warned. “Cocoa has measurable amounts of caffeine that, in large doses, can cause palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, and miscarriages between pregnant women. Dark chocolate also contains saturated fats, especially if made with milk chocolate, ”Patel said.
The sugar and fat content varies among chocolate manufacturers, so it is advisable to consult the nutrition label, advised Anam Golandaz, clinical dietitian at Masina Hospital.
“People interested in adding dark chocolate to their diet should keep in mind that it’s high in fat and calories, so moderation is key,” Golandaz said.
According to Rukadikar, the highest levels of cocoa flavanols are found in raw cocoa. But that doesn’t mean you consume 100% cocoa chocolates. “Most people generally enjoy 72 percent to a maximum of 85 percent. Anything beyond that can be an acquired taste. In fact, 100 percent dark chocolate in countries like Spain and Mexico are used to cook savory dishes as in combination with meat, ”Balachandran said.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health
* Choose 70% or more dark chocolate to get the most flavanols. However, the higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the greater the bitter taste.
* Store in a cool, dry area (65-70 F) in a tightly closed container. Do not refrigerate, which can cause the chocolate to “bloom,” a whitish layer caused by sugar rising to the surface due to excess. humidity. Flowering does not affect the taste, but it does not look attractive.
* If stored properly, dark chocolate will last up to two years.
* As the bitter taste increases with a higher percentage of cocoa solids, try taking a small piece and letting it slowly melt in your mouth. This technique can offer a different and more enjoyable experience than quickly chew and swallow the chocolate.
📣 For more news on lifestyles, follow us Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss the latest news!