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Europe: EFSA issues positive scientific opinion on Barry Callebaut’s application for extending its health claim on cocoa flavanols

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Barry Callebaut has received a positive Scientific Opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the background data to extend their existing health claim to cocoa extract products.

This evaluation was published on May 5, 2014.

In September 2013, the European Union (EU) Commission granted the company the right to use within the EU market the health claim that “cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow”.

This claim was to be used for cocoa beverages (with cocoa powder) and dark chocolate products providing a daily intake of 200 mg of cocoa flavanols.

Barry Callebaut has now applied to the EFSA to extend this claim to cocoa extract products, that is to say products more concentrated in flavanols, such as supplements.

If the application is granted, Barry Callebaut will have the proprietary right to use this extended health claim within EU countries during five years, effective from the day of EU approval.

New market potential cocoa flavanols

While the content of the health claim remains unchanged, its field of application would be extended to other formats, including non-chocolate products, including that in the pharmacy, nutraceutical and supplement industries.

The cardiovascular properties of flavanols could, for instance, be offered in the form of pills and distributed in pharmacies.

Since 2005, the company has carried out more than 20 human clinical studies examining various impacts of cocoa flavanols on human body functions.

For these studies, Barry Callebaut used products made through its proprietary ACTICOA process that preserves cocoa flavanols, which support healthy blood circulation.