Single-origin cocoa ingredients, derived from cocoa beans from a single source, are not a new concept but have recently enjoyed a huge boost in popularity. The trend has been strongest in cocoa liquors – no surprise given these are the critical component in the manufacture of chocolate – but it is now expanding to other ingredients too, like cocoa powders as its many varieties and applications become better understood.
There are lots of reasons behind this, from growing consumer demand for premium products and new flavor profiles to the drive for greater traceability in the cocoa supply chain. Certainly, single-origin cocoa ingredients can deliver many benefits to chocolate and confectionery manufacturers looking to keep up with these trends. Here we explore some of them.
DISTINCTIVE FLAVOR PROFILES
Just like the grapes used to make wine, cocoa beans from specific regions have their own terroir. The taste of the cocoa beans is affected by the soil and landscape in which they are grown which gives them their own unique flavors. Often cocoa beans from different origins are blended in the manufacturing process to create the perfect color or flavor for a particular customer.
Blends are still very popular and form the majority of the cocoa ingredient market. However, more customers are starting to see single-origin ingredients as desirable because they concentrate those flavors and create distinctive new tastes.
When mixing cocoa beans from different origins, the terroir is obviously lost; with a single origin, you reveal the unique character of the cocoa.
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