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Insight of the Day: Healthy candy bars? How ‘whole-fruit chocolate’ could revolutionize sweet treats

Whole-Fruit Chocolate: A Healthier and More Sustainable Alternative

Researchers in Switzerland have developed a new type of chocolate called "whole-fruit chocolate" that utilizes the entire cocoa pod, including parts that are typically discarded. This innovative approach offers several benefits:

Health Benefits:

  • Reduced Sugar Content: The gel made from cocoa pod husk and pulp replaces traditional sugar, lowering the overall sugar content.

  • Increased Fiber: The husk powder adds dietary fiber, which is lacking in conventional chocolate.

  • Lower Saturated Fat: Whole-fruit chocolate has less saturated fat compared to traditional chocolate.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduced Land Use: Large-scale production could significantly reduce land use compared to conventional chocolate production.

  • Lower Global Warming Potential: The whole-fruit approach results in more efficient use of resources, lowering the environmental impact.

Socio-Economic Benefits:

  • Diversified Income for Farmers: Cocoa farmers can benefit from selling the previously discarded parts of the cocoa pod.

  • Technology Transfer and Capacity Building: The new production process presents opportunities for technology transfer and skill development in cocoa-producing regions.


  • Comparable Sweetness: Despite lower sugar content, whole-fruit chocolate is just as sweet as conventional dark chocolate.

  • Enjoyable Sensory Experience: The increased fiber and reduced saturated fat do not negatively impact the taste.

Challenges and Future Outlook:

  • Energy-Intensive Production: The current production process, particularly drying the cocoa pod husk, is energy-intensive. Researchers are exploring ways to improve efficiency and utilize renewable energy.

  • Scaling Up Production: Large-scale production requires adapting the entire value chain, including drying facilities for cocoa farmers and increased powder production by food processing companies.


Whole-fruit chocolate represents a promising innovation in the chocolate industry, offering a healthier and more sustainable alternative to conventional chocolate. While challenges remain in scaling up production, the potential benefits for health, the environment, and cocoa-producing communities are significant.


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