Barry Callebaut Cocoa
Photo courtesy of Barry Callebaut

Barry Callebaut could give chocolate lovers everywhere another reason to celebrate.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently issued a “positive opinion” on the Zurich-based manufacturer’s health claim that cocoa products with high amounts of flavanols can improve blood circulation.

In other words, it’s likely that dark chocolate really is good for you.

In its study, Barry Callebaut used high-flavanol cocoa powder and chocolate products derived from its Acticoa production process. Test subjects took in 200 mg of flavanols through either 2.5 g of cocoa powder or 10 g of dark chocolate, and results showed the antioxidant “positively influenced” circulation.

The claim is still awaiting approval from the EU Commission, but if validated, Barry Callebaut — the first company to receive a positive scientific opinion regarding flavanols in the EU —  can use the claim in EU countries for five years.

By extension, confectioners that use Barry Callebaut’s high-flavanol cocoa or chocolate can use the claim on packaging to distinguish their products and possibly to boost sales.

“As the first company receiving such a health claim, we see new market potential both for us and for our customers,” says Juergen Steinemann, ceo of Barry Callebaut. “The health claim is also a reward for our long years of extensive research in the benefits of cocoa flavanols on the human body."

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer, has performed more than 20 flavanol clinical trials since 2005. The company produces brands including Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma.