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Some Publications

Birks, S. "True chocolate with less fat".
Food Manufacture March 2002; 17.

Chocolate is one of the most popular food flavours, but a means of creating an authentic chocolate flavour in confectionery, dairy products or dry mix beverages using only natural ingredients has long eluded manufacturers.

Full fat chocolate is a difficult material to work with, it requires melting and is not suitable for many food applications. Manufacturers tend to rely on cocoa and sweetened cocoa, but this doesn't give the real taste of chocolate melting in the mouth. Synthetically-produced chocolate flavours are sometimes added to achieve a closer match.

In addition to lacking the true taste cocoa also mixes poorly in watery liquids and tends to settle out form drinks producing brown sludge at the bottom of the container.

So, it was a breakthrough when Albert Zumbé invented reduced-fat conched chocolate powder that can be used in anything from confectionery to sauces, cereals and beverages.

Having patented the invention, Zumbé set up the chocolate Powder Co in Solihull, UK to market the powder. The product is currently manufactured under licence by Natra Cacao of Valencia, Spain and sold under the Natra brand.

Zumbé believes the powder is useful for applications where a rich natural flavour is important, and more so in reduced-fat or low-fat products such as nutritional bars, cakes, yoghurts and ice cream.

The important difference of this material, he says, is that its is conched - ie the cocoa, sugar, milk, lecithin and vanillin are mixed and heated to convert them into real chocolate - but it contains only 10-12% of the fat of normal chocolate.

It is also more soluble than cocoa powder, does not have a gritty texture and does not clump at temperatures below 30C.

It has the further advantage that it can be labelled as "chocolate powder", or when used as a beverage as "drinking chocolate".

Zumbé's company now offers several variants including: plain, extra bitter, milk and white. And for added ease of processing, there are agglomerated and freeze-dried versions.

© Copyright 2002 The Chocolate Powder Company