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Celebrate World Chocolate Day with BENEO

Lots of chocolate on a wooden table

Hello my fellow BENEO chocolate lovers! Every year on 7 July, the world celebrates World Chocolate Day. The perfect excuse to indulge in and talk about our favourite sweet treat! And let’s face it, the world of chocolate, inspired by BENEO’s innovative ingredients, definitely deserves some attention. Let me take you on a delicious journey of chocolatey adventure and discovery.

The rich history of chocolate

The fascinating history of chocolate goes back thousands and thousands of years. The word ‘chocolate’ comes from the word ‘xocolātl’, which translates as bitter (xoco) water (atl).

The first ancient civilisations, including the Mayans and Aztecs, were known to make a drink from cacao beans. They often mixed the chocolate liquid with herbs and spices, such as peppers and chili, to add extra flavour.

As well as drinking the bitter beverage, chocolate was an important part of their culture. They used it in rituals and ceremonies, and the drink was mainly reserved for those in authority, such as priests or emperors. There was even a Mayan god of cocoa, so you can imagine that chocolate was a favourite treat for many back then!

Now that you know a little more about the ancient history of this amazing indulgence, let’s take a closer look at the modern cosmos of our chocolate treats with BENEO ingredients.

Consumers’ current desire for healthier feel-good food

From time to time, whether in 1800 BC or today, we all crave a little indulgence and like to treat ourselves to some “good mood” food. However, today’s consumers are more concerned about sustainability, and many are inspired by the flexitarian trend. So, they feel the need to balance out their plant-based aspirations with their need for those comforting treats. Enter BENEO!

Discovering BENEO myself: the game changer

When I first started working at BENEO, I was super excited to learn more about our functional ingredients and the possibilities of healthier chocolate. The plant-based ingredients help create sugar-reduced, dairy-free products and even other creations, without sacrificing taste and texture. Intrigued, I quickly put on my study glasses.

The wonders of BENEO’s ingredients

I decided to start with BENEO’s sugar replacer isomalt. As a bulk sweetener it can replace sugar cup by cup. At the same time, it provides a mildly sweet taste and has texturising properties, resulting in fewer calories. What’s more: it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it perfect for guilt-free indulgence. Both isomalt and our chicory root fibres can be used to make sugar-reduced or no added sugar chocolate. When I learnt about dairy-free chocolate, my personal interest was sparked, since some of my relatives are lactose intolerant. Our rice ingredients can be used to make a mouthwatering ‘milk’ chocolate. And let me tell you, those family members rushed to the supermarket to find their new favourite dairy-free treat! There is truly (or at least almost 😉) too much chocolate to try, don’t you think?

Baker or chef whisking melted chocolate in a bowl with an old metal wire whisk in a close up on his hand and utensils
Whisking melted chocolate in a bowl

Let’s get this – chocolate cooking – show on the road

Having read so much about this delicacy, it’s time for an appetising demonstration! Given my limited cooking skills, it’s only fair to let you witness a true expert at work. In this tasty video, you can follow the interesting process of how one of our colleagues at the BENEO-Technology Center creates a sugar-reduced milk chocolate with our chicory fibre Orafti® Inulin. Chocolate production is a very sensitive process and specific equipment is used to control humidity and temperature, for example.

The recipe used in the video is the following, if only we could make it at home, right?

Innovation opportunities in dairy-free chocolate
INGREDIENTS (% w/w)Recipe
Sugar24
Cocoa butter23
Milk powder23
Orafti® Inulin18
Cocoa mass12
Minor ingredients (e.g. emulsifier)q.s.
Recipe for a sugar-reduced milk chocolate with Orafti® Inulin

A sweet conclusion

Whether you want to reduce or eliminate sugar, cut out dairy, or just try something new, there’s a universe of possibilities waiting for you. Luckily, there’s a World Chocolate Day every year.

So, fellow chocoholics, why not experiment a little and start a quest to find your own favourite healthier chocolate treat? Share it with your loved ones, because let’s face it, giving them a little slice of chocolate heaven is always a nice gift, not only on World Chocolate Day!

All in all, I wish you a very happy World Chocolate Day! Indulge responsibly and enjoy every bite. 🍫

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