There’s a meme that’s been floating around social media: “Chocolate comes from cacao, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad.” Actually, eating a block of chocolate might be even healthier than a salad thanks to some enterprising scientists at chocolate company Kuka Xoco.
The chocolate engineers at the Boston-based firm claim to have invented a prototype for the world’s first “medicinal chocolate,” a candy bar that boasts the extraordinary health benefits of the main ingredient cacao without sacrificing taste. Cacao contains an abundance of antioxidants (40 times more than blueberries), iron, magnesium and calcium, and has been shown to promote healthy cardiovascular and nervous systems and blood pressure levels. Cacao is inarguably a superfood.
So how did these crafty scientists produce this almost-too-good-to-be-true bar? They reduced the amount of fat and sugar, which are typically present in chocolate to overcome its naturally bitter taste. In lieu of the unhealthy additives, formulators used a “de-bittering agent” extracted from the coca plant found in the Andean region of Bolivia and Peru. At the World Chocolate Forum in London last week, Kuka Xoco president and chief scientist Gregory Aharonian told attendees, "This eliminates the need for sugar, sweeteners and much of the fat in chocolate, unleashing the medical benefits of cacao.”
The company plans to begin manufacturing and selling this chocolate in the winter of 2016, first in South America. The price and availability in the U.S. have not yet been announced.
Would you try this chocolate if it was sold at your local grocery store and, if so, would you pay medicine-level prices for it?