Zurich, Switzerland/Press Release -- Barry Callebaut has applied to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to extend its existing health claim on cocoa powder and dark chocolate products, to include cocoa extract products.

In September 2013, the company was granted a health claim that cocoa flavanols support healthy blood circulation in the human body. This positive evaluation of EFSA on the scientific data for the health claim extension is a first step toward approval by the EU Commission.

Barry Callebaut, a manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, received a positive Scientific Opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the background data to extend the existing health claim to cocoa extract products. This positive evaluation was officially published on May 5, 2014, and bodes well for Barry Callebaut, as EFSA’s expertise is usually the basis for approval by the EU Commission.

In September 2013, the EU Commission granted Barry Callebaut 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 200mg 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.

The content of the health claim remains unchanged, but its field of application would be extended to other formats, including non-chocolate products. The application of the health claim on cocoa extract products opens new opportunities, for example 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.