Barry Callebaut invented a new, thermo-tolerant chocolate - what's so special about it?
Elien Van Steen, Project Lead: First of all, we did not invent a new chocolate that can resist higher temperatures. We developed a toolbox. With this toolbox, we can make a chocolate recipe more thermo-tolerant. As a result we can offer our customers the tools to make their chocolate or compound recipes less sensitive to deformation or decrease the chance of products sticking to packaging. This will greatly benefit products displayed in stores in warmer climates. Additionally, the need for cooled transportation may be eliminated.
And by doing this you can raise the temperature level of a chocolate by 4 degrees Celsius, correct?
Ingeborg van Heetvelde, Team Lead Global Projects: Not necessarily. Our toolbox currently enables us to go up to 4 degrees Celsius - from about 34 degrees Celsius with a standard chocolate or compound to up to somewhere between 37 to 38 degrees Celsius. Yet, depending on the business case and the needs of a customer we may only need to increase temperature resistance by 1 or 2 degrees Celsius.
The industry saw similar attempts before. Up to now such thermo-resistant chocolates could not convince from a taste point of view - they usually taste rather waxy, no?
Frédéric Depypere, Program Manager Discover Area “Structure Texture Sensory”: Indeed, the most important aspect when creating thermo-tolerant chocolate is taste! Technically you can have the best solution. But if the taste of a thermo-tolerant chocolate does not convince the consumer, it will not work. Taste is absolutely essential here. That's what we focused on, this was our main criterion.
We now have tools on hand to enable us in each case to create a similar tasting, thermo-tolerant chocolate. Our customers, their customers, the end consumer should not taste or feel any difference.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in the development of the new toolbox?
Ingeborg van Heetvelde: There were quite a few of them: We basically needed to make sure we can create a chocolate that still looks like chocolate, tastes like chocolate, melts like chocolate in the mouth and can be applied to all sorts of applications. Also, Barry Callebaut is a B2B company. Having said this, we need to guarantee the same workability of a thermo-tolerant chocolate delivered to our customers as a comparable, normal chocolate.
The heat-resistant chocolate bunny vs. the 'normal' chocolate bunny.