Sweet News for Chocolate Lovers: Swiss Researchers Craft Healthier, Eco-Friendly Chocolate

By: | June 5th, 2024

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A Delicious and Sustainable Makeover

Chocolate – that delightful combination of creamy cocoa and sugary sweetness – might soon get a delicious and sustainable makeover. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) have developed a new method for making chocolate that addresses two major concerns with conventional production: sugar content and environmental impact.

The Problems with Conventional Chocolate

The problem with conventional chocolate is twofold. Firstly, it relies heavily on refined sugar, contributing to the well-documented health issues associated with excessive sugar consumption. Secondly, traditional chocolate production discards a significant portion of the cocoa pod, the fruit that houses the cocoa beans. This not only creates waste but also puts additional strain on resources needed to grow cocoa plants.

An Innovative Solution

The innovative approach developed by ETH researchers addresses both of these issues. They’ve discovered a way to utilize the discarded parts of the cocoa pod – the husk and pulp – to create a natural sweetener. By processing these parts into a sweet and fibrous gel, they can replace refined sugar in chocolate, resulting in a product with potentially lower sugar content and higher fiber content compared to traditional chocolate.

Promoting Sustainable Farming Practices

But the benefits don’t stop there. Utilizing the entire cocoa pod promotes sustainable farming practices. It reduces waste generated during chocolate production and could potentially lead to lower land use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with cocoa cultivation.

The Future of Chocolate

This “cocoa fruit chocolate” is still under development, but it holds immense promise for the future of chocolate. It paves the way for a future where indulging in chocolate can be a guilt-free pleasure, good for our bodies and the planet.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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