Naturex to bring Barry Callebaut’s health claim on cocoa extracts to the food supplement market

Barry Callebaut to source high-flavanol cocoa beans to be used by Naturex to manufacture and commercialise the cocoa extract

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, signed a licensing agreement with the Naturex Group, the global leader in specialty plant-based natural ingredients.

In April 2015, the European Commission approved the extension of Barry Callebaut’s existing health claim on cocoa flavanols from cocoa powders to cocoa flavanols from cocoa extracts (Regulation [EU] 2015/539). The group obtained the right to use the health claim that 'cocoa flavanols help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow,' for food supplement applications fitting into delivery forms such as capsules and tablets containing high-flavanol cocoa extracts.

For a period of 5 years until April 2020, Barry Callebaut is licensing its approved 13.5 EFSA health claim on cocoa flavanols for cocoa extract products to Naturex. As the licensee, Naturex is permitted to apply this proprietary health claim to its food supplement solutions and its B2B clients will be also allowed to duplicate it on their marketed end products.

Nowadays, consumer interest in food supplements that contribute to health and well-being is growing and tends more and more towards naturally based products. Additionally, heart health and obesity represent major consumer concerns. This partnership will make it possible to offer flavanol extracts in a convenient delivery form as food supplements, under a consumer-friendly small daily portion that supplies the required daily amount of 200mg of cocoa flavanols.

As part of the agreement, Barry Callebaut and Naturex will combine their know-how and expertise, which will revolutionise the food supplement market, building strong differentiation with existing applications in the cardiovascular health segment: Barry Callebaut will supply cocoa beans containing high amounts of healthy flavanols; from these beans, Naturex will produce a pure cocoa extract and will market an innovative solution with the proprietary health claim, positioned as one of their flagship food supplement products expected to first hit the European market in early 2016.

Leen Allgaert, Global R&D Project Manager at the Barry Callebaut Group, said: 'With Naturex, we can now bring the proven health benefits of cocoa flavanols, which contribute to normal blood flow in the human body, to consumers in a simple 100% natural food supplement application.'

Olivier Rigaud, CEO of Naturex, commented: 'This open innovation partnership with Barry Callebaut is a great opportunity to bring to the food supplement market a pure and natural breakthrough ingredient with a unique 13.5 EFSA claim for the next 5 years. It will help us to strengthen our global leader position in the phytoactives segment, one of the four key categories highlighted in our Bright2020 strategic plan, with endless applications that will help our customers to reduce time to market, fitting perfectly with consumer expectations.'

Eric Villain, Group Business Unit and Marketing Director at Naturex, added: 'The cocoa bean is a natural source of extraordinary phytoactives. It offers scientifically recognised health benefits and solutions for our self-care customers. The sale of food supplements that contribute to health and well-being is a field that has been experiencing strong growth in recent years. We look forward to working with Barry Callebaut to turn this licensing agreement into a big success for both of us.'

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