Belgian chocolatier uses Barry Callebaut’s Cabosse recycled cocoa fruit in its chocolate fillings

February 02, 2022 — Belgian chocolatier Confiserie Vandenbulcke is among the first to use recycled cocoa fruit pulp from Barry Callebaut as a filling for its dark chocolates. Cabosse is made from the white pulp surrounding the cocoa bean which is normally discarded.

On the showfloor of ISM & ProSweets 2022 in Cologne, Germany, Nicolas Degryse, Head of Chocolate Marketing at Vandenbulcke Confiserie, talks to FoodIngredientsFirst on how the ingredient is enjoying adoption in mainstream chocolate houses.

“In traditional chocolate, only cocoa beans are used. But cocoa beans are only 30% of the cocoa fruit. The remaining 70% is made up of the juicy white pulp and thick skin that surrounds the beans,” notes Degryse.

“Normally, these pieces of fruit are thrown away. We have created the filling of our chocolate with this white flesh, which recycles a product normally thrown in the trash.

“What is typical of the cocoa fruit is that it is very pungent. It’s a little bittersweet, so it’s an atypical taste for chocolate. Normally, chocolate has sweet fillings, but here we are experimenting with a sweet and sour filling.

Use of whole fruit
Traditionally, this white cocoa fruit pulp is left on the beans to aid in the fermentation process – a crucial step in chocolate making. As the pulp breaks down around the kernels, it helps supply yeasts, bacteria, and enzymes.

The Cabosse concept is considered to be farmer-friendly as farmers take home increased income as they can sell more cocoa fruits.However, only a small percentage of the pulp is needed for this process, with much of it being wasted. The underutilized potential of this ingredient is at odds with today’s sustainability-conscious consumers.

The Upcycled Food Association calculates that if all cocoa fruit harvested were used to the maximum, it would reduce the same amount of CO2 as planting 3.5 billion trees per year – which is an area larger than France. and Germany together.

Farmer-friendly and eco-friendly
The word “Cabosse” comes from the French word for the cocoa pod used in plantations in West Africa along the equator.

The Cabosse concept is considered to be farmer-friendly as farmers take home increased income as they can sell more cocoa fruits.

Thanks to Cabosse Naturals’ collaboration with cocoa farming communities in Ecuador, the time between harvesting and processing fresh cocoa fruit into ingredients has been reduced to a maximum of five hours.

“At the moment, our chocolates at Confiserie Vandenbulcke using Cabosse are still in development. The chocolates we have at ISM & ProSweets 2022 are the only samples we have at the moment, so they are not yet available on the market,” says Degryse.

“We started in October with the development of the chocolate, its packaging as well as its brand storytelling.”

Degryse adds that Confiserie Vandenbulcke favors ecological packaging for its recycled product. “We also use ecological packaging which replaces the plastic tray with a tray made of recycled paper”, specifies Degryse.

Over the past year, other cocoa fruit chocolate iterations have hit the shelves. For example, Nestlé offers the Incoa bar, which is a 70% dark chocolate bar made exclusively with the fruit of the cocoa under the Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand.

In Japan, Nestlé unveiled a KitKat using dried cocoa powder pulp as a substitute for traditional sugar.

Barry Callebaut first unveiled the “first expression” of its WholeFruit line of chocolates, made from 100% pure cocoa fruit, last June. The product obtained has a natural acidity and fruity notes reminiscent of exotic fruits.

By Benjamin Ferrer with additional reporting by Missy Green at ISM & ProSweets 2022

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