Premium chocolate manufacturer Valrhona has collaborated with Swiss-Ghanaian startup Koa to create Oabika, a cocoa fruit juice concentrate for chefs and other gastronomy professionals. 

After several months of research and development, Oabika was born. Oabika is the first cocoa fruit juice concentrate at 72° Brix created especially for the food service. It has the highest concentration on the food service market, providing a silky consistency and an amber-colored appearance. Besides its fruity and tangy flavor, Oabika surprises through its candied, honey-like notes. 

Frédéric Bau, pastry explorer at Maison Valrhona, and Victor Delpierre, drink expert and gastronomy consultant say, “Oabika is a magical ingredient that highlights, enhances and balances tastes. It represents an exceptional moment in time, deliciously refreshing, which takes you on a journey deep inside the pod to the heart of a cocoa plantation.” 

After Koa’s success with its cocoa fruit juice and dried cocoa fruit, Valrhona and Koa’s new concentrate complements the range of cocoa fruit ingredients. Oabika can be used in applications such as ganache, jellies, mousses, toppings, sauces, glazes, creams, ice creams, sorbets and drinks.

“As a start-up, we’re proud to be cooperating with a highly reputable and well-established chocolate brand as Valrhona who shares our mission of taking responsibility in cocoa-growing countries to the next level,” said Anian Schreiber, co-founder and managing director. “With the launch of Oabika, we demonstrate how indulgence and responsibility for people and planet go hand in hand. We encourage others to seek such partnerships to tackle some of the food system’s most pressing challenges together."

As the demand for cocoa fruit ingredients grows, an opportunity arises to create a positive impact in the cocoa-growing countries. Until recently, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn't be processed in cocoa-growing countries due to a lack of infrastructure and technology. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp was used for fermentation, the rest was lost. Koa has found a way to gently process the cocoa fruit in close cooperation with 1,600 smallholders. 

“As we make use of the cocoa pulp, we provide smallholders with an additional income, and at the same time, we create jobs for the young population in rural Ghana,” said Daniel Otu, operations director at Koa in Ghana.

Oabika will be launched worldwide starting in September, including Europe, Asia, the U.S. and the Middle East.