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Manufacturing original foodstuffs from cocoa

Development of innovative cocoa-based products (in terms of texture and/or aromatic properties) through the elaboration of techniques to modify the physico-chemical properties of cocoa.

PARTNERS: VALRHONA's vocation is to create exceptional chocolate with intense flavours, in a traditional way. Its strategic line is to develop its high quality range on different markets (craft industry, food industry, selective distribution) in countries such as the U.S.A., JAPAN, ITALY and SPAIN. VALRHONA's uniqueness is in the selection of the finest cocoa beans directly from plantations, a painstaking combination of beans and manufacturing of Grands Crus chocolate, which is intense and aromatic. TIRTIAUX is essentially oriented to the treatment of edible oils. It deals with the conception, manufacturing, commercialisation, export and setting up of refining and transformation plants in the sector of fats. START-OF-THE-ART: The usual extraction process of cocoa is not suitable for small-scale production and may be detrimental to the aromatic properties of the substance. The user is dependent on frequent natural variations of the raw material. To date, there is no method able to modify the thermic properties of cocoa; chocolate makers have to buy substitution fats (dairy or vegetable fats) if they want to elaborate innovative textures. The special composition of cocoa does not allow a direct application of the actual technology proposed by TIRTIAUX, a technology that is widely applied to most oils and food fats. AIM OF THE PROJECT: VALRHONA aims to obtain original products made of pure cocoa in terms of aromatic and textural characteristics. The aim of the project is to finalize an original extraction process of a cocoa component and an original process to modify its physico-chemical properties. These products will be useful to VALRHONA's customers (pastry chefs, chocolate makers, "restaurateurs") to promote their know-how and creativity for new concepts (new textures, new tastes, etc.). In this project, TIRTIAUX, a well-known parts manufacturer in the oleaginous sector, will adapt its technology to this special case, and this should subsequently broaden to a worldwide level (cocoa farmers). VALRHONA will be in charge of elaborating the extraction process (parts manufacturer supplier) and will share with TIRTIAUX the finalisation of the new process of transformation. This two-step co-operation will last 2 years. CO-DEVELOPMENT PHASE (ONE YEAR): A one-year co-development phase involving Research, Development and Marketing Departments. The aim of this first step is to optimize TIRTIAUX technology, at a pilot scale, and to adapt the transformation equipment. Models will also be made, in a sufficient quantity to develop the product. Trials will be carried out at TIRTIAUX laboratory, in close collaboration with VALRHONA's Research & Development team. In addition, characterisation analyses will be carried out during this configuration step, before any application by VALRHONA pastry chefs. In parallel to these technical studies, strategic market research will be undertaken during this first year by each partner in order to determine the market size, identify the competition and prepare the industrial and commercial launching. PRE-INDUSTRIAL LAUNCHING PHASE (ONE YEAR): The following step is the installation by TIRTIAUX of a pilot production line at VALRHONA's factory. For TIRTIAUX, this entails the definition of different elements of the equipment, the sizing, supplying and assembling instructions. For VALRHONA, this means having a suitable area (shop) and organising transport and installation of TIRTIAUX equipment. The start-up will be jointly realised by the two companies. Keywords: cacao, extraction, transformation.
Acronym: 
INNOCHOCO
Project ID: 
3 249
Start date: 
15-12-2003
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
1 360 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Food Additives / Ingredients
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.