Compound coatings can deliver extra boosts of fiber or protein to bars in a chocolaty form.
Beyond its own health properties, chocolate can be a delivery tool for an end product’s nutritional boost. “One of the many wonderful attributes about chocolate is that it is a great carrier for nutritionally additive ingredients like fiber and protein, and it helps to mask certain off-flavors that might be associated with such ingredients,” Ms. Derhammer said.
Compound coatings can be reinforced with protein or fiber to increase such content in finished snacks. These ingredients can help bakers and snack producers make high-protein and fiber statements when used in conjunction with other nutrient-boosting ingredients. Compound coatings often contain cocoa powder or cacao mass but differ from chocolate in their fat systems because their ingredients are not governed by a federal Standard of Identity, as is chocolate (21 CFR 163). They are sometimes referred to by the terms “chocolaty,” “fudge” or “fudgy.”
“While it is unlikely that the chocolate portion of the finished product alone will achieve a specific nutritive goal or claim, it can certainly be an active component of moving the nutrition position in the right direction while adding a lot of flavor and decadence,” Ms. Derhammer continued.
These ingredients often come in the form of compound coatings that can be drizzled on top of a product or enrobed to partially or completely cover the food. In this form, issues of taste and texture can be easily masked and downplayed.
“There is a point at which flavor and mouthfeel may become negatively affected by making a better-for-you chocolate product,” Ms. Derhammer said. In this area, Blommer has worked with different fiber and protein combinations to find the right balance of function, nutrition and flavor so that the finished product delivers the desired eating experience and nutrients.
Protein is enjoying an on-trend moment in the food industry, and chocolate-flavored coatings are positioned well to deliver this macronutrient. “Protein has outgrown its traditional fitness target market and is finding its way into baked goods and even the commercial snack aisle,” Ms. Blondeel said. Puratos offers a range of protein-enriched compound coatings for bars or cakes. They also can be used as inclusions in muffins and cookies. “Although it’s hard to associate a health claim with protein, the coating helps improve the nutritionals of the finished item by increasing the protein content and reducing the amount of sugar,” she said.
Barry Callebaut’s high-protein compound delivers 15 and 20% protein in both dark and white bases, giving bakers and snack producers options.
Fiber is another straightforward way to make chocolate a functional ingredient. “Cocoa has fiber, and evidence suggests that some of these fibers are prebiotic, meaning they play a role in digestive health,” said Satya Jonnalagadda, PhD, director of nutrition, Kerry. Including more is only natural. As with protein, bakers can use fortified compound coatings along with other fiber-boosting ingredients to make high-fiber statements.
Read on for information on balancing the health benefits of chocolate with its sugar content.