Cargill's ExtraVeganZa Launch Uses Sunflower Kernel Powder for 'Really Indulgent' Vegan Chocolate

Cargill’s ExtraVeganZa Launch Uses Sunflower Kernel Powder for ‘Really Indulgent’ Vegan Chocolate

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

“Sunflower kernel powder is a sensory winner. It brings delicious creaminess and a smooth, melt-in-the-mouth experience to chocolate recipes – something that is difficult to achieve with the ingredients commonly used in vegan chocolates, ”says Vanessa Barey, Chocolate Developer at Cargill. Food Ingredients First.

Cargill says it is the first major supplier to incorporate sunflower seed powder into vegan chocolate, resulting in a product with a flavor nuanced with sweet grain and nutty notes.

She has also filed a patent application for sunflower kernel powder for use in chocolate products, following 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 outperforms popular market benchmarks when it comes to key appreciation ratings.

The vegan chocolate line can be used in all applications including bakery, confectionery and dairy, replacing regular chocolate.A consumer study of 90 participants from the UK, Germany and France found that 86% of consumers chose ExtraVeganZa chocolates over a market benchmark as their favorite.

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

Vegan chocolate picks up speed
While the reasons for this desire are varied and stem from a wide range of motivations – from ecological aspects to health-oriented aspects – the trend [for vegan chocolate] continues to grow, says Cathrin Simon, Chocolate Sales Marketing Manager at Cargill Food Ingredients First.

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

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

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

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

“In this way, they can better respond to the sensory preferences of consumers within the vegan chocolate space, and thus participate in the growth of this dynamic market segment. ”

Get the good bite
Cargill chocolate engineers tested a long list of potential plant-based energy ingredients in the process of identifying the final selection, Barey explains.

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

“It was only when the chocolate engineers were fully convinced of all these aspects that a potent herbal ingredient was confirmed.”

While the sunflower kernel powder provides a smooth, creamy texture, the rice syrup produces pleasantly sweet chocolates, enhanced with hints of honey and cocoa while adding a noticeable “snap” to the final chocolate texture. .

By pairing Cargill’s organic cocoa liqueur with organic rice syrup, an organic vegan chocolate with fine flavor notes and hints of earth and grain can also be produced, the company notes.

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

Transparency and traceability
To ensure compliance with its set vegan standards, Cargill has applied further scrutiny to its ingredient selection and chocolate production processes, including dedicating chocolate production lines in Belgium and Germany to Chocolate ExtraVeganZa and with dark chocolates. The current scope of the vegan range is Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company also offers its customers the option of creating their vegan chocolate with cocoa from sustainable sources, either with third party certification or under the name Promise Cocoa, sourced from well-known farmers and farmer organizations. and trust benefiting from the Cargill Cocoa Promise.

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

By Missy Green

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