In response to demand for functional food by health-conscious Americans, cocoa and chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut rolled out itsACTICOA chocolate products for the North American market at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago this week.

Manufactured using a special process to preserve the maximum level of cocoa flavanols that occur naturally in the cocoa bean,ACTICOA chocolate products provide guaranteed levels of flavanols, which have been linked to several important health benefits for the body.

“Today’s consumers are increasingly seeking out healthier options, so Barry Callebaut has spent years working to reinvent chocolate through innovative research and development initiatives designed to harness the healthy components of cocoa and preserve them in new chocolate products,” says Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut. “WithACTICOA, North American consumers will be able to enjoy great-tasting chocolate that has been scientifically proven to have a wide range of health benefits -- from helping to maintain cardiovascular health to nourishing healthy skin.”

While found in abundance in raw cocoa beans, most cocoa flavanols are destroyed during the conventional chocolate-making process. Barry Callebaut has developed a distinctive process that preserves up to 80% of the flavanol content of raw cocoa.

TheACTICOAmanufacturing process starts at the cocoa plantation. Together with cocoa farmers, Barry Callebaut has investigated ways of growing, harvesting and treating the beans in such a way that a maximum amount of cocoa flavanols in the beans is preserved, together with the taste and aroma.

Every step in manufacturing process has been optimized to maintain the flavanols at the natural high level. The end result is a chocolate product that combines excellent taste with the natural cocoa flavanols that offer various health benefits when consumed in a small portion as part of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

ACTICOAchocolate products have been scientifically proven to have numerous health benefits due to their concentration of cocoa flavanols. Regular consumption of the cocoa flavanols found inACTICOA, Barry Callebaut reports, helps keep you young and fit, helps maintain cardiovascular health and helps maintain skin health.

The flavor ofACTICOA chocolate is authentic and identical to the indulgent, rich and varied flavors that consumers love in traditional chocolate, the company asserts; this is becauseACTICOAchocolate is made without additional additives and only preserves what is naturally present in cocoa. Barry Callebaut offersACTICOAchocolate in dark and milk chocolate varieties.

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