Eighty years after the launch of white chocolate as the third type of chocolate after dark and milk, Swiss chocolatier and the world’s largest cocoa processor, Barry Callebaut, has launched a new type of chocolate: Ruby chocolate. Targeted at millennials and the growing demand for luxury products among younger consumers, the new invention is characterised by a pink hue.
According to a news release by Barry Callebaut, Ruby chocolate offers a completely foreign taste experience. It’s not bitter, milky or overwhelmingly sweet, but contains a slightly sourish berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. However, no berries or berry-like flavours, nor artificial colours, are added. The chocolate is made from the Ruby cocoa bean, which are sourced from Ivory Coast, Ecuador and Brazil, and the unusual color comes from the powder extracted during processing. It is smooth and creamy, although no ratio between cacao solids and cacao butter was disclosed by the company. The innovation comes after about a decade of development, according to Chief Executive Officer Antoine de Saint-Affrique.
Bloomberg reported that innovations in chocolate often take years because of the complex structures and the challenge of maintaining texture and taste. The production of chocolate often starts with the manual and labourious process of harvesting cocoa. The seed pods of cocoa will be collected before they are shipped to the manufacturer for mass production.
When the pods are ripe, harvesters hack the pods gently off of the trees and taken to the processing house, where they will be split open. Next is the fermentation process, which takes around five to eight days. After this, they are dried and shipped to manufacturers. The drying takes about a week, and leaves the seeds half their original weight.
The chocolate giant actually sells chocolate that can withstand higher temperatures. Barry Callebaut is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of chocolate and cocoa products, and actually sells chocolate and other cocoa products to businesses, and not directly to consumers, so it may take some time for this new product to hit the shelves in your local supermarket.
And even though we may not be aware of the specific benefits of ruby chocolate as of yet, we all know cocoa is rich in selenium, potassium and zinc, and contains flavenoids for skin and heart health. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, the same hormone that you release when you’re falling in love. However, whether ruby chocolate will be classified as a superfood remains to be determined.
Ruby chocolate was revealed at an exclusive launch event in Shanghai, China, on September 5, 2017.