LONDON — Cadbury P.L.C., which is owned by Mondelez International, Inc., has filed a patent for a heat-resistant chocolate that the company claims would allow for easier storage and shipping in certain parts of the world.
“Development of a temperature tolerant chocolate (T.T.C.) format represents a huge opportunity for the food and confectionery industry that has impact across a range of categories, including chocolate, biscuit and snacks,” Cadbury said in a patent filed under The Patent Cooperation Treaty. “Chocolate and biscuit-type snack products are sensitive to changes and extremes of temperatures such that their quality deteriorates dramatically unless conditions are well controlled. Production of temperature tolerant chocolate would allow production of chocolate-containing product more suitable for hot climates, particularly in less economically developed countries where the supply chain is ill-equipped to handle significant temperature / humidity fluctuations and where product quality is compromised.”
Cadbury’s patent claims the new chocolate may resist heat up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). In doing so, the chocolate will allow easier storage and transport, and enhance sales in the summer months when the temperature exceeds 33.8 degrees Celsius, the melting point of chocolate.
In testing the chocolate, Cadbury said product samples were incubated at 40 degrees for three hours, at which point the chocolate still had not melted.
“If pressed with a finger, it does not stick nor has the consistency of a molten product, however, it could be broken by applying some load,” Cadbury said. “It had the mouthfeel more similar to standard chocolate than unconched paste samples.”
Cadbury said it believes less temperature tolerant chocolates tend to comprise a more fat continuous system where the sugar particles are coated in fat.
“We have found that it is possible to instill more favorable temperature tolerant properties into a conched chocolate by refining the conched chocolate after the conching step,” the company said in the filing. “Without being bound by theoretical considerations it is believed that this leads to shearing of sugar particles in the conched chocolate leading to exposed faces of the sugar particles, i.e. faces which are not coated in fat. Such exposed sugar particle faces contribute towards a more sugar continuous system (sugar matrix) reducing the percentage of fat coated sugar particles which is believed to be advantageous for temperature tolerant properties.”
Cadbury is not the first company to develop a heat-resistant chocolate.
In the 1940s, The Hershey Co. introduced Hershey’s Tropical Chocolate Bar for military personnel stationed in high temperature areas. The product’s formula was designed to allow the bar to hold its shape after one hour in 120 degrees Fahrenheit (about 49 degrees Celsius). And in the 1990s the company introduced a similar product called the Hershey’s Desert bar. It was discontinued in 1991.
In July 2009, Zurich, Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut developed Volcano, a low-calorie, heat-resistant chocolate that melts when it reaches 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit). The Volcano chocolate, according to Barry Callebaut, does not melt in consumers’ hands, but only in their mouths when it touches their saliva.
Volcano chocolate also has lower calories per weight and especially per volume than standard chocolate, according to Barry Callebaut. Volcano chocolate contains air bubbles, and the recipe contains less cocoa butter than standard chocolate.
More recently, Newtonards, Ireland-based Choc-o-Bloc launched Magic Choc, a heat-resistant chocolate product that allows children to shape 100% Belgian chocolate into models and then eat them. Magic Choc may be molded and shaped without heating, and is pliable from 20 degrees Celsius and playable up to 37 degrees Celsius.
A combination of oils within the chocolate prevents melting and keeps the product flexible, according to Choc-o-Bloc.