DolCas Biotech to demonstrate Curcugen in chocolate at Vitafoods

Cocoa and turmeric extract have been blended together to create a smooth, tasty format that delivers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits

DolCas Biotech will introduce a new prototype of chocolate laced with the curcumin ingredient Curcugen to demonstrate its versatility in functional foods and beverages. The demonstration will be held the upcoming Vitafoods Europe in Geneva.

“We bring functional chocolate to Switzerland – a country famous for its chocolate—to reinvent the chocolate segment with added better-for-you value,” asserted Dr Shavon Jackson-Michel, director of medical and scientific affairs for DolCas Biotech. “Increased consumer focus on health and wellness continues to drive demand for functional treats. Consumers are seeking convenient ways to incorporate bioactive ingredients into their daily routines, and functional platforms offer a flavourful and accessible option.”

Blending two antioxidant-rich, astringent ingredients – cocoa and turmeric extract – in a smooth, tasty format creates a real challenge. To tackle this, DolCas partnered with a boutique chocolate maker to create the perfect chocolate with all the sensory experience consumers demand. The collaboration resulted in an indulgent chocolate bite enriched with Curcugen’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to suit consumers desiring innovative delivery systems for wellness ingredients.

“The chocolate company successfully addressed the challenges of colour and texture and were quite pleased by the mild taste of Curcugen and its ability to readily be applied to the chocolate base,” shared K G Rao president of DolCas. “Similarly, we expect customers looking for researched anti-inflammatory and antioxidative actives for other food, beverage, and crossover applications to have an equally great experience with Curcugen.”  

The 2×2-inch chocolate square is individually wrapped for visitors at Vitafoods Europe to sample the treat. Each single-serving chocolate square delivers a clinically-supported dose of 500mg of Curcugen, based on a number of published studies on Curcugen. Curcugen has been shown to support gut mobility and mood health, as well as improve post-exercise recovery time. These mechanisms are backed by multiple clinical studies.

Previous experiments with other curcumin sources showed that overcoming bitter flavours and solubility were the major obstacles for chocolate manufacturers.

“Using ongoing in-house tasting with our employees, business colleagues, and clients we were able to choose the ideal concentration of Curcugen within a 65% dark chocolate matrix, without the use of bitter blockers or loads of unnecessary ingredients and without adding additional sugar,” explained Jackson-Michel.

Curcugen delivers a concentrated and bioavailable source of curcuminoids of natural turmeric composition; it also includes other beneficial components of the spice that have been previously overlooked or even discarded in attempts to maximally concentrate and purify the curcuminoids alone. The Curcugen formulation retains the turmeric essential oils and turmeric polysaccharides – synergistic components that offer independent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits – and the turmeric dispersible resins that improve the surface area of the lipophilic curcuminoids. This allows them to be more fully absorbed and actualize their bioactivity potential.

Recent achievements

“We achieved several important milestones this year,” added Rao. “We’ve strengthened our distribution arrangements with IFF which will deepen our foothold in the European market. We have recently opened new offices in Delhi, India and Shanghai, China, strategically positioning ourselves for further expansion and greater efficiency as we pursue  our goals for global growth. The India and China locations also will serve as sourcing and export houses for DolCas and Orcas ingredient portfolios. The Delhi office will work closely with our raw material production and extraction facilities in Bikanir – where Curcugen is manufactured, to coordinate shipments and distribution globally.

Curcugen is the only oleoresin-sourced turmeric active on the market to generate its absorption benefit from the dispersion power found in a previously ignored turmeric native polar resins. The ingredient’s full-spectrum profile benefits from the strategic and patent-protected application of safe, food-grade solvents and precipitants. Curcugen delivers the same ratio of curcuminoid analogues – curcumin demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) – found in the turmeric rhizome in its food state, or as its primary derivative, the oleoresin.

While Curcugen is concentrated to a 50% standard of curcuminoids, it is not hyper-purified, as is common with other curcuminoid formulations. This allows it to retain many other native and synergistic turmeric actives, including turmeric essential oils and polysaccharides. Curcugen is water-soluble and does not use synthetic bioenhancers to optimize the plasma absorption of its important curcuminoid compounds and metabolites.

“Curcugen chocolate is a true proof of concept,” concluded Jackson-Michel. “Already widely available in traditional dietary supplement formats, like capsules, tablets, and liquid shots in original study-substantiated doses deliverable in only 1-2 capsules or tablets per day. Its application in flavourful foods and beverages will only serve to make it more consumer friendly and allow its significant advantages to benefit a wider audience.”