Barry Callebaut’s premium cocoa brand, Bensdorp, is launching Natural Dark, a cocoa powder that uses new technology to create a deeper colour and flavour without an alkalization process. The product shall enable food manufacturers to deliver a rich chocolate flavour in all major applications, while still offering a clean label to an increasing number of consumers who are uncomfortable with alkalization.
Previously, dark cocoa powder was achieved through alkalization, a process also known as “Dutching,” which lowers the acidity of the product. Although it is a standardized process that has existed for hundreds of years, there is a growing group of consumers who seek to avoid any food that has undergone what they perceive as a chemical process.
Due to US regulations, labels show the ingredient as “cocoa processed with alkali,” while in Europe, a percentage of above 7 % will show as an E-number on the label. This is unattractive for a specific group of consumers. These consumers who are interested in natural products and who want to avoid the word “alkali” or e-numbers on the label are who the company is aiming at.