Cargill’s ExtraVeganZa launch harnesses sunflower seed powder for ‘truly indulgent’ vegan chocolate

January 12, 2022 — Cargill is targeting Europe’s growing flexitarian appetite with a new line of vegan chocolates and couverture chocolates. Chocolate ExtraVeganZa is positioned to deliver a “truly indulgent sensory experience,” using plant-based “powerful ingredients” sunflower seed powder, rice syrup, and organic rice syrup.

“Sunflower seed powder is a sensory winner. It brings a delicious creaminess and melt-in-your-mouth sweetness to chocolate recipes that is hard to achieve with ingredients commonly used in vegan chocolates,” says Vanessa Barey, Chocolate Products Developer at Cargill. FoodIngredientsFirst.

Cargill claims to be the first major supplier to incorporate sunflower seed powder into vegan chocolate, resulting in a product with a nuanced flavor of sweet cereal and nutty notes.

She also filed a patent application relating to sunflower seed powder for use in chocolate products, following her rigorous examination of the sensory and production attributes of plant-based ingredients.

Taste reigns
Cargill tested its Chocolate ExtraVeganZa line with consumer and trained sensory panels and found that the vegan chocolate line consistently outperformed popular market benchmarks on key likeability ratings.

The vegan chocolate range can be used in all applications including bakery, confectionery and dairy as a replacement for regular chocolate.A study of 90 participants from the UK, Germany and France found that 86% of consumers chose ExtraVeganZa chocolates over a leading market reference as their favourite.

The vegan chocolate range can be used in all applications including bakery, confectionery and dairy as a replacement for regular chocolate. The line also uses nut-free and gluten-free ingredients.

Vegan chocolate is picking up speed
Although the reasons for this desire are diverse and stem from a wide range of motivations – from ecological to health-related aspects – the trend [for vegan chocolate] continues to gain momentum, Cathrin Simon, chocolate trade marketing manager at Cargill, says FoodIngredientsFirst.

The appeal and willingness to pay more for chocolate products with a vegan claim increased significantly in 2021, Cargill found in an exclusive study.

“Many of our confectionery, bakery and dairy customers are exploring vegan formulations,” says Ilco Kwast, chief commercial officer at Cargill.

Find the flexitarians
Simon continues that despite strict vegan diets remaining a niche among consumers, consumer desire to incorporate more plant-based alternatives into their diets is growing, resulting in a large group of flexitarian consumers.

“Given this definitive consumer trend, Cargill customers need more choices and better solutions than are currently available in the industry,” Simon emphasizes.

“This way, they can better cater to consumer sensory preferences in the vegan chocolate space, and thus participate in the growth of this dynamic market segment.”

Get the right bite
Cargill’s chocolate engineers tested a long list of potential plant-based energy ingredients during the process of identifying the final selection, Barey says.

The rice syrup adds a noticeable “snap” to the final chocolate texture.The initial list of options included a variety of botanicals that chocolate engineers knew resonated well with vegan consumers. These were then analyzed against a variety of parameters relevant to production processes, quality, food safety, processability and the final sensory profile.

“It wasn’t until the chocolate engineers were fully convinced of all these aspects that a powerful plant-based ingredient was confirmed.”

While the sunflower seed powder provides a creamy and smooth texture, the rice syrup provides chocolates with a pleasant sweetness, enhanced with notes of honey and cocoa while adding a noticeable “snap” to the texture. chocolate finish.

By combining Cargill’s organic cocoa liquor with organic rice syrup, organic vegan chocolate with fine flavor notes and earthy, grainy notes can also be produced, the company notes.

“These ingredients provide a distinctive taste and texture profile, allowing us to create vegan chocolate recipes that reimagine plant-based pleasures,” adds Barey.

Transparency and traceability
To ensure compliance with its defined vegan standards, Cargill has applied new scrutiny to its ingredient selection and chocolate production processes, including dedicating chocolate production lines in Belgium and Germany to ExtraVeganZa chocolate and chocolates. black. The current reach of the vegan line is Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company also offers its customers the option of creating their vegan chocolate with sustainably sourced cocoa, either with third-party certification or as Promise Cocoa, sourced from well-known and well-known farmers and farmer organizations. trusted backed by the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

Promise Cocoa certifies that the product is made with 100% sustainable cocoa, sourced entirely from Cargill’s direct sourcing network in West Africa. Ingredient sustainability is calculated using the Mass Balance sourcing model as defined by the ISEAL alliance.

By Missy Green

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