Imagine sitting down to eat Cocoa Puffs to improve your heart health, manage your blood sugar and lose weight! Cocoa is again gaining attention, but this time its healthy soluble fiber has been the focus.

Cocoa’s soluble fiber has all the same health benefits as traditional fiber. However, it is less gritty and has a light cocoa flavor that can enhance chocolate flavor applications, notes Natraceutical, which supplies the ingredient. Natraceutical has developed Soluble Cocoa Fiber (SCF) that is made from a patented process and is great for applications that assist with lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar and losing weight. SCF is made from the cocoa shell, using a patented process that increases the quantity of soluble fiber by enzymatic processes. The end ingredient is 37% to 42% soluble fiber with a good cocoa color and taste. In the U.S., it would appear on ingredient legends as “cocoa fiber.”

In collaboration with the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, i.e., Spanish High Council for Scientific Research), Natraceutical completed a three-week preclinical study to investigate the health benefits of SCF. In this study, rats were divided into three groups: a control group (NC) that was fed a basic diet that contained 10% insoluble fiber (cellulose), a hyper-cholesterolemic group (HC) that was fed a low cholesterol diet that also contained 10% cellulose, and a HC group fed a low cholesterol diet that contained 10% SCF.

In the study, total cholesterol was reduced in the SCF group by an average of 52% compared to the HC group. LDL cholesterol was reduced 54% in the SCF group compared to the HC group, on average, and triglycerides were reduced by 40%. The Atherogenic Index was also lowered below five (a favorable score in relation to heart disease risk). The HC diet produced an increase in body weight; however, the SCF group had a significant decrease (49%) of average body weight compared to the HC group. This was thought to be due to the satiety effect of fiber, because the SCF diet produced a 16% decrease in food intake compared to the HC diet.

In application studies, SCF has also been found to be an effective fat replacer in some products. Additionally, when used in concentrations between 4% to 8% in bread, it was found to improve freshness by reducing hardness during storage by up to 16 days compared to the soluble fiber inulin.

Natraceutical’s Soluble Cocoa Fiber is the world’s first commercially available 100% natural soluble cocoa fiber. It is also “low-carb,” in that it can increase fiber levels and decrease the glycemic response of products. It contains approximately 2.5g of carbohydrates per 100g cocoa compared to 16.5g found in regular cocoa. The cocoa product thus has nearly 50% total fiber content compared to only 31% in standard cocoa powder.

For more information:
Natraceutical Group, Valencia, Spain
Zachary Sniderman • +34 961 920 851 • •