R&D

New cocoa fruit juice concentrate available for food professionals

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Until recently, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn't be processed in cocoa-growing countries. Pic: Koa
Until recently, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn't be processed in cocoa-growing countries. Pic: Koa

Related tags: cacao juice

French premium chocolate manufacturer Valrhona has joined forces with the Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa to create Oabika, a new cocoa fruit juice concentrate for chefs and other gastronomy professionals.

According to Koa, Oabika is the first cocoa fruit juice concentrate at 72° Brix (the sugar content of an aqueous solution) created especially for the food service. It has the highest concentration on the food service market providing a silky consistency and an amber-coloured appearance.

The juice took several months of research and development, and the end result is described as a ‘fruity and tangy flavour, with candied, honey-like notes’.

Frédéric Bau, pastry explorer at Maison Valrhona, and Victor Delpierre, drink expert and gastronomy consultant, described Oabika as a “complete and playful experience​.”

They both state that “Oabika is a magical ingredient that highlights, enhances and balances tastes. It represents an exceptional moment in time, deliciously refreshing, which takes you on a journey deep inside the pod to the heart of a cocoa plantation​.”

After Koa’s success with its cocoa fruit juice and dried cocoa fruit, the new concentrate collaboration is an innovation that complements the range of cocoa fruit ingredients.

Upcycling cocoa fruit

The availability of cocoa fruit concentrate for chefs and other gastronomy professionals signifies a milestone for the cocoa fruit valorisation and the cocoa farmers. As the demand for cocoa fruit ingredients grows rapidly, the chances to create a positive impact in the cocoa-growing countries increases at the same time.

Until recently, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn't be processed in cocoa-growing countries due to a lack of infrastructure and technology. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp was used for fermentation, the rest was lost. Koa has found an innovative way to gently process the cocoa fruit in close cooperation with 1,600 smallholders.

 “As we make use of the cocoa pulp, we provide smallholders with an additional income and at the same time, we create jobs for the young population in rural Ghana​,” said Daniel Otu, Operations Director at Koa in Ghana.

Oabika offers pastry professionals a multitude of applications such as ganache, jellies, mousses, toppings, sauces, glazes, creams, ice creams, sorbets, or drinks. Whether it’s to create new flavour experiences or to demonstrate what sustainable value creation in the cocoa-growing countries really means, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Related topics: R&D

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