How to make chocolates healthier and nutrition-rich? The Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has found an answer, thanks to chia and quinoa.
The premier food technology laboratory has developed chocobars that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins. Its trial to integrate the “superfoods” into the chocobar recipes had become successful and the commercial launch was expected soon.
The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited or CAMPCO has supported the CFTRI for the large-scale trials of the product, which will be formally announced in New Delhi on November 24.
Protein-enriched chocobar made from puffed quinoa and Omega-3 enriched chocobar made from crispy chia seeds (black and white chocolates) will be launched at CSIR’s Platinum Jubilee Techno Fest.
Besides adding to the nutritive value, the ingredients also add to the taste of the chocobars, making it sought after by all age groups, especially children and youth, according to CFTRI.
“CAMPCO, which has availed our chocobar technology for commercial production, is expected to launch the products in the market soon. Our idea is to integrate superfoods into chocolates for indirect blend of nutrition into foods,” said CFTRI Director Ram Rajashekaran.
Speaking to The Hindu , the CFTRI director maintained that addition of “superfood” grains in products like chocolates had not been tried since chia and quinoa are new to the country.
Chia is a plant of Mexican and South American origin and known for its nutraceutical value. Seeds contain about 30 to 35 per cent of oil, which is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, according to CFTRI.
Claiming that Chia seed incorporation in chocobars was “a first of its kind in the globe”, the CFTRI director said the product can help in the regular consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids by children thereby improving their cognitive skills, while quinoa incorporation can promote protein consumption.
Healthy and nutritious chocolates are a new concept with high market potential, said Dr. Rajashekaran, adding that CFTRI will get a royalty from CAMPCO from the sale of chocobars.
Products from “superfoods” are the CFTRI’s efforts towards promoting two farmer societies – Raitha Mitra and CAMPCO, an FPO.
Campco will procure the seeds for their chocobars from the farmers’ cooperative society, Raitha Mitra, that was set up by local farmers, who started growing chia and quinoa seeds in parts of Mysuru district since over three years due to CFTRI’s intervention.