Chocolate Maker Is a New Player in Functional Cocoa Ingredients


The company’s Theo Innovations division recently announced it is launching a cocoa ingredient, Violetamine.

Seattle-based chocolates manufacturer Theo Chocolate has its eye on the food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic markets. The company’s Theo Innovations division recently announced it is launching a cocoa ingredient, Violetamine, a free-flowing, purple-hued soluble powder suitable for beverages, tablets and capsules, bulk powders, food, and cosmetic applications.

Cocoa antioxidants are linked to numerous health benefits, including heart health and sports nutrition. Stefan Wypyszyk, vice president of Theo Innovations, says Violetamine is organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, and extracted at the company’s Seattle facility without using harsh solvents or unnecessary additives, “allowing the beans to maintain their whole nutritional profile.” Violetamine is standardized to total polyphenols as opposed to flavanols, the company says, adding that it does carefully track Violetamine’s flavanol content.

Wypyszyk adds that “Theo uses a groundbreaking technique to achieve highly efficient polyphenol delivery, allowing for products that use Violetamine to contain a ratio of epicatechins to total catechins that’s significantly higher than traditional chocolate health products currently on the market.” Studies show epicatechin is both highly bioavailable and crosses the blood-brain barrier, Wypyszyk adds.

“As a company committed to supply chain transparency, from farm to factory and beyond, we’re in a strong position to excel in the functional ingredients market,” said Joe Whinney, Theo Chocolate’s founder and CEO, in a press release. He said the company’s quality control is enhanced by its longstanding relationship with cocoa producers. “These direct connections provide a much higher degree of quality control than is possible through conventional sourcing and manufacturing practices.”

Theo Innovations has also forged a distribution partnership with nutritional ingredients supplier Nutegrity (Irvine, CA). At the recent SupplySide West trade show, Nutegrity debuted Cocoanol, an organic Violetamine-based cocoa extract.

Nutegrity says that Theo’s proprietary post-harvest process avoids the fermentation and high-heat roasting typically used to process cocoa that can oxidize the cocoa bean’s natural antioxidant content. By contrast, Theo’s process involves drying organic cocoa beans, winnowing, and milling them; extracting with pure water and no alcohol; and using centrifugal force to separate fats, fibers, and polyphenols. As such, it says, Cocoanol retains a higher antioxidant content compared to conventional sources. It adds that Cocoanol has three times the level of epicatechin compared to competing cocoa extracts and that Cocoanol is “standardized to contain a consistent level of polyphenols (10%).


Jennifer Grebow
Nutritional Outlook magazine



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