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Scientists boost antioxidant effects of chocolate with innovative ingredient

Published on 30/05/2012

Chocoholics will be pleased to hear that an anti-ageing chocolate bar may soon be hitting the confectionary market.

Flavonoids, a group of chemical compounds with antioxidant properties, are derived from a variety of plants, including cocoa. Flavonoids have been shown to protect the body from ageing, as well as preventing cell damage from oxidation and boosting cardiovascular health.

Dark chocolate is said to have anti-ageing properties

Dark chocolate in particular contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). However, chocolate is still a high-calorie and high-fat food, and eating too much of it can cause weight gain.

Now, scientists from biotechnology specialist Lycotec have created a new type of chocolate that increases the body’s absorption of cocoa flavonoids in much smaller quantities.

Their innovative ingredient, called Coco-Lycosome, boosts the power of cocoa flavonoids by up to 20 times compared to unmodified chocolate, with supposedly no impact on the taste or texture of the chocolate.

A small chunk of the modified chocolate is said to have the same anti-ageing benefits as two bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk. Lycotec founder Dr Ivan Petyaev told The Grocer magazine: 'Two bars a day may be good news for chocoholics but not everybody loves chocolate that much.

'But now everyone can benefit from the intrinsic values of cocoa flavanols without compromising their health and habits.'

The ingredient is said to be safe and accepted by the food industry for everyone with or without health insurance. Nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton said: 'They are definitely on the right track. Flavanols are clunky molecules and there have been problems with absorption so it sounds interesting.

'But before I get excited I want some concrete end points that the consumer would experience. And you always have to balance the benefits with any detrimental effects.'

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
Scientists boost antioxidant effects of chocolate with innovative ingredientChocoholics will be pleased to hear that an anti-ageing chocolate bar may soon be hitting the confectionary market. Flavonoids, a group of     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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