MCLEAN, VA. and ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut AG want to create a standard for measuring beneficial flavanols in foods through a cross-licensing and cooperation agreement the two companies recently signed. They expect the agreement to increase the availability and uniformity of cocoa flavanol-rich chocolate products worldwide.

Research suggests cocoa flavanols have a positive impact on circulatory health and related conditions.

“While flavanols are naturally abundant in cocoa, unless you are specifically measuring and carefully handling a product throughout the manufacturing process, there is just no guarantee the product contains meaningful levels of the flavanols,” said Mary Wagner, general manager at Mars Botanical, a scientific unit of McLean-based Mars, Inc.

Zurich-based Barry Callebaut AG began licensing Mars patents in February and will display the Mars Cocoapro “bean in hand” logo on its Acticoa products in the United States and other markets.

“Acticoa chocolate has been on the European market for nearly five years, and this new cooperation will allow us to even better serve our customers worldwide, in particular also in the U.S.,” said Hans P. Vriens, chief innovation officer for Barry Callebaut.