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New Chocolate: Made of 100% Cocoa Fruit

Two ingredients from one fruit. The Swiss chocolate producer Max Felchlin AG brings a novelty to the chocolate market. The new couverture made of Bolivian cocoa beans is
sweetened with cocoa fruit juice from Ghana – without added sugar. The Swiss-Ghanaian
start-up Koa has managed to extract the so far unused fruit pulp in collaboration with
small-scale farmers. In addition to a significant increase in added value in cocoa cultivation,
a new flavour component enriches Felchlin’s cocoa fruit couverture.

Cocoa farmer in Ghana © Ben Rotthoff

A number of companies are currently working on a couverture sweetened with cocoa pulp. But the innovation with a new raw material brings its challenges. The Swiss chocolate manufacturer Max Felchlin AG has now succeeded in producing this world first. “With the cocoa fruit couverture, we are offering our customers the chance to create products of a new chocolate generation,” comments Christian Aschwanden, CEO of Felchlin. “In particular, this is an essential step towards more sustainability in the cocoa industry”.

Less food waste thanks to cocoa fruit juice

The pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans was previously considered a waste product. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp is needed for fermentation, the rest is discarded. In 2017, the start-up Koa Switzerland AG found a way to gently process the cocoa pulp and collect the juice. “By doing so, we enable Ghanaian smallholders to increase their income by 30% and at the same time boost value creation in rural Ghana,” explains Anian Schreiber, Managing Director of Koa.

Wild cocoa from Bolivia

Cocoa fruit pulp © Koa

Felchlin combines the cocoa fruit juice with Bolivian cocoa beans to create the couverture. The unique and rare wild cocoa “Criollo Amazonico” comes from the province of Beni, the lowlands of Bolivia. The collectors, mostly Chimane Indians, harvest the pods on the widely scattered “cocoa islands”. The unusual thing about these cocoa plants: The trees are left to nature which develops the distinctive fruity notes.

“Luxemburgerli” and truffles, the first creations

Following successful tests by various pastry chefs and confectioners, Felchlin is now officially launching the cocoa fruit couverture. The renowned Confiserie Sprüngli is the first company to develop two products from it: their iconic macaroon “Luxemburgerli” and a vegan truffle. In addition to Switzerland, the product range is now being extended to other countries.

Couverture or chocolate?

Couverture is a chocolate with an increased cocoa butter ratio which increases its quality and makes it a little more fluid. The high flow properties of the couverture are ideal for further processing into chocolate specialities. Previously, sugar was a main component of a classic couverture. The cocoa fruit couverture sweetened by the cocoa pulp is thus a step towards more sustainable chocolate that makes use of the entire potential of the cocoa plant.

About Koa Switzerland AG

The Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa uses the pulp of the cocoa pod, thus reducing food waste and providing cocoa smallholders with an additional income. Today, 35 employees in Ghana and Switzerland dedicate themselves to the growth of Koa to boost value creation in the cocoa-growing regions and to developing innovative and pioneering processes. With the natural cocoa fruit juice, Koa brings a hitherto unknown taste to the European market and opens up new possibilities for gastronomy. For more info, visit www.koa-impact.com

About Max Felchlin AG

For more than a century, Felchlin from Ibach near Schwyz has been one of the leading companies in the production of the finest Swiss chocolate and semi-finished products. From cocoa cultivation to refinement: quality, transparency and sustainability are the focus for the niche producer from central Switzerland. Whether in its direct cooperation with local cocoa farmers, its partners and renowned customers from confectionery, pastry, bakery and gastronomy around the globe, or in all business processes. For more info, visit www.felchlin.com

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