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1. WO2019239366 - CHOCOLATE COMPOSITION

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CHOCOLATE COMPOSITION

Field

The invention relates to a chocolate composition and to a process for the manufacture of a chocolate composition. In particular, the invention relates to chocolate compositions comprising soluble corn fibre.

Background

Chocolate is generally considered to be a relatively high sugar and high calorie food. A typical commercially available milk chocolate will normally comprise non-fat cocoa solids, fat, milk solids, sugar and emulsifier. Consumers and public health bodies are becoming increasingly concerned about the sugar content of foods and in particular about the sugar content of confectionery products such as chocolate. Confectionery products comprising less sugar and/or fewer calories, which may be termed 'light' and/or 'sugar free' products, are therefore growing in popularity. The increased consumption of high sugar content foods has been linked to health problems. For example, an over consumption of such products may cause obesity, may increase the risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases and may promote the development of dental caries. Sugar-free confectionery is of course particularly popular with those suffering from diabetes.

Accordingly it would be desirable to provide a chocolate composition having a reduced sugar content.

However, “natural” sugar (such as sucrose) is a key component in many confectionery products and provides the familiar and appealing sweetness that consumers expect from such confectionery products. Many previous attempts of confectionery manufacturers to reduce or replace sugar in confectionery products have been unsuccessful, providing an inferior taste and/or texture compared to the“full sugar” original products. Therefore consumer acceptance of such reduced sugar products may be low.

One approach to reducing or replacing sugar in confectionery products has been to use a sugar alcohol (also known as polyols) instead of part or all of the sucrose. Sugar alcohols are less sweet than sucrose but generally provide fewer calories because they are incompletely digestible. As with many other incompletely digestible substances, overconsumption of sugar alcohols can lead to gastro-intestinal effects such as bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence. Many sugar alcohols may therefore have a recommended upper limit for daily consumption which may be exceeded by consuming normal amounts of such reduced sugar confectionery products. Also, consumers may have a bias against products which are labelled as containing such“artificial sweeteners”.

Also, previous attempts have been made to reduce or replace sucrose in confectionery products with dietary fibre, such as inulin and fructo oligosaccharide (FOS). Inulin and fructo oligosaccharide (FOS) are not digested in the human small intestine and therefore have a lower calorific value than sucrose. However, inulin and FOS have a propensity to cause bloating and flatulence when consumed in the quantities that are required to replace sugar in confectionery products. Therefore such products were not well tolerated or readily accepted by consumers.

Also, when added to chocolate to reduce sugar content, inulins and FOS may increase the viscosity of said chocolate which is problematic for the production processes, for example in tempering, conching and moulding the chocolate or using the chocolate as a coating.

Summary of the invention

It is one aim of the present invention, amongst others, to provide a chocolate composition that addresses at least one disadvantage of the prior art, whether identified here or elsewhere, or to provide an alternative to existing chocolate compositions. For instance it may be an aim of the present invention to provide a chocolate composition which comprises a reduced amount of sugars and/or calories than a standard chocolate composition.

According to aspects of the present invention, there is provided a chocolate composition, method and use as set forth in the appended claims. Other features of the invention will be apparent from the dependent claims, and the description which follows.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a chocolate composition comprising a cocoa-derived product, sugar and soluble corn fibre.

The chocolate composition comprises sugar, i.e. one or more sugars. Suitably the sugar is or comprises a“natural sugar”, for example sucrose, derived from a natural source. Suitably the sugar comprises sucrose and/or lactose (in milk chocolate compositions). Monosaccharides such as glucose may also be considered to be natural sugars. Therefore the term“sugar” used herein may refer to sucrose, lactose and monosaccharides such as glucose.

As discussed above, typical chocolate compositions comprise sucrose to provide the sweet taste which consumers expect from chocolate products. The inventors have found that by including the soluble corn fibre in the chocolate composition of the first aspect, the total amount of sugar (such as sucrose and/or lactose) in the chocolate composition can be reduced compared to a reference“full sugar” chocolate composition of the prior art. The inventors have determined that the amount of total sugar can be reduced to a greater extent than would be expected without significant impact on the properties of the chocolate composition, when including said soluble corn fibre in the chocolate composition. For

example, the amount of total sugar may be reduced by at least 10 %, suitably at least 15 %, suitably at least 20 %, suitably at least 25 %, suitably at least 30 %, by using soluble corn fibre in this way, compared to a reference“full sugar” chocolate composition of the prior art. In some embodiments the total sugars of the chocolate composition may be reduced by at least 40 %, for example at least 45 % or at least 50 %.

Soluble corn fibre

Soluble corn fibre (SCF) is obtained through the enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch. It is low in viscosity, water soluble, and stable to heat, pH, and processing stresses.

SCF may be described as a soluble gluco-fibre or a gluco-oligosaccharide. SCF comprises mainly glucose sub-units linked together by a-1 ,4 and a-1 ,6 glycosidic linkages. SCF also comprises some a-1 ,2 and a-1 ,3 glycosidic linkages between glucose sub-units which are indigestible in the human small intestine and therefore contribute to the relatively low digestibility of SCF, compared to sucrose for example.

SCF is an oligomer of glucose. SCF is not considered to be a polydextrose.

Polydextrose is commonly known as a polysaccharide composed of randomly cross-linked glucose, containing minor amounts of sorbitol and acid. It is sold under trade names such as LITESSE and STA-LITE. Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not comprise polydextrose.

SCF is not considered to be a maltodextrin. Maltodextrin comprises glucose sub-units linked together predominantly by a-1 ,4 glycosidic linkages and is therefore readily digestible, much more readily digestible than SCF. Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not comprise (malto)dextrin.

Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not comprise polydextrose or maltodextrin.

The SCF may have a degree of polymerisation (DP) of less than 12, suitably less than 1 1 , for example approximately 10. In some embodiments, the SCF has a DP of less than 10.

The DP of a typical polydextrose is greater than an SCF/glucose oligosaccharide. For example, the DP of a typical polydextrose is greater than 11 , suitably greater than or approximately equal to 12.

The SCF may be a mixture of different glucose oligosaccharides, for example glucose oligosaccharides having different degrees of polymerisation. Therefore the DPs referred to above may represent average values. The SCF may comprise some sugar and/or

monosaccharide (for example glucose) and some polysaccharide (for example having a DP greater than 10). However, the average degree of polymerisation described above and the contents of the SCF being mainly glucose oligosaccharide define the SCF as an oligosaccharide, rather than a polysaccharide such as polydextrose.

Suitably the SCF comprises less than 80 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 5, suitably less than 75 wt%, suitably less than 70 wt%, on a dry weight basis.

Suitably the SCF comprises less than 80 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 5, suitably less than 75 wt%, suitably less than 70 wt%, on a wet weight basis.

Suitably the SCF comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10 (which may be considered polysaccharides), suitably less than 65 wt%, suitably less than 60 wt%, on a dry weight basis.

Suitably the SCF comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10 (which may be considered polysaccharides), suitably less than 65 wt%, suitably less than 60 wt%, on a wet weight basis.

The glucose oligosaccharide (and any glucose polysaccharide) comprised within the SCF may be referred to as a“dietary fibre”. A dietary fibre is a term that is used for plant-based carbohydrates that are not digested in the small intestine. The SCF may comprise at least 50 wt% dietary fibre, suitably at least 60 wt%, suitably at least 65 wt%, suitably at least 70 wt%, suitably at least 75 wt%, suitably at least 80 wt%, suitably at least 85 wt% or at least 90 wt% dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis. The SCF may comprise up to 90 wt% dietary fibre, suitably up to 80 wt%, or up to 70 wt% dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis. This can be measured in accordance with AOAC method #2001.03.

The SCF may comprise at least 55 wt% dietary fibre, suitably at least 60 wt%, suitably at least 65 wt%, suitably at least 70 wt%, suitably at least 75 wt%, suitably at least 80 wt%, suitably at least 85 wt% or at least 90 wt% dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis. The SCF may comprise up to 90 wt% dietary fibre, suitably up to 80 wt%, or up to 70 wt% dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis.

In said embodiments, the SCF may comprise at least 55 wt% dietary fibre, suitably at least 60 wt%, suitably at least 65 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis. In said embodiments, the SCF may comprise up to 80 wt% or less dietary fibre, suitably 70 wt% or less dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis. For example, the SCF may comprise from 50 to 80 wt% dietary fibre, suitably from 55 to 80 wt%, suitably from 60 to 80 wt%, suitably from 65 to 80 wt%, suitably from 65 to 75 wt% dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis.

In some embodiments, the SCF may comprise at least 50 wt% dietary fibre, suitably at least 60 wt%, suitably at least 65 wt% dietary fibre on a wet weight basis. In said embodiments, the SCF may comprise up to 80 wt% or less dietary fibre, suitably 70 wt% or less dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis. For example, the SCF may comprise from 50 to 80 wt% dietary fibre, suitably from 55 to 75 wt%, suitably from 60 to 70 wt% dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis.

The SCF may comprise some sugar/monosaccharides. Suitably the SCF comprises at least 0.1 wt% sugar/monosaccharides, suitably at least 1 wt%, suitably at least 2 wt%, suitably at least 5 wt% or at least 8 wt% sugar/monosaccharides. The SCF may comprise up to 15 wt% sugar/monosaccharides, suitably up to 12 wt%, suitably up to 10 wt%, suitably up to 5 wt% sugar/monosaccharides. For example, the SCF may comprise from 0 to 15 wt% sugar/monosaccharides, suitably from 0.1 to 12 wt%, suitably from 0.1 to 10 wt%, suitably from 1 to 10 wt% sugar/monosaccharides.

In some embodiments, the SCF comprises from 2 to 15 wt% sugar/monosaccharides, suitably from 5 to 12 wt%, suitably from 7 to 12 wt%, suitably from 8 to 12 wt%, suitably from 8 to 10 wt%.

If SCF were used to provide a reduced sugar chocolate, if may be expected that an SCF containing a low amount of sugar would be beneficial. Surprisingly, the inventors have determined that a higher sugar content SCF is beneficial, for example an SCF comprising 8 to 12 wt% sugar.

The SCF is a soluble dietary fibre. Suitably such soluble dietary fibre is soluble in water. Such soluble dietary fibres are differentiated from insoluble dietary fibres which are not soluble in water, are metabolically inert and provide bulking in the intestinal tract. The amounts of dietary fibre in the SCF referred to above may therefore refer to the amounts of soluble dietary fibre in the SCF.

For example, the SCF may comprise 60 to 70 wt% dietary fibre on a wet weight basis and 65 to 75% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis. An example of such an SCF is PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 70 (supplied by Tate & Lyle) which provides a minimum of 70 wt% dietary fibre (dry) and 66 wt% dietary fibre (wet). This SCF contains less than 10 wt% sugar/monosaccharide. Suitably the SCF is PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 70.

In some embodiments, the SCF may comprise from 80 to 90 wt% dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis. In said embodiments, the SCF may comprise from 80 to 90 wt% dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis. For example the SCF may be provided by PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 85 (supplied by Tate & Lyle). PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 85 provides a minimum of 85 wt% dietary fibre (by wet weight) and contains less than 2 wt% sugar.

In some embodiments, the SCF may comprise from 85 to 95 wt% dietary fibre, on a dry weight basis. In said embodiments, the SCF may comprise from 85 to 95 wt% dietary fibre, on a wet weight basis. For example the SCF may be provided by PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 90 (supplied by Tate & Lyle). PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 90 provides a minimum of 90 wt% dietary fibre (by wet weight) and contains less than 2 wt% sugar.

PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 85 and 90 are produced by the removal of low molecular weight sugars from PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 70, yielding products with a higher fibre content and reduced sugar content.

Fibersol®-2 is an SCF comprising 90 wt% minimum dry solids basis soluble dietary fibre (measured in accordance with AOAC method #2001 .03).

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise at least 8 wt% SCF, suitably at least 10 wt% SCF, suitably at least 15 wt%, suitably at least 18 wt%, suitably at least 19 wt% SCF. In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise at least 20 wt% SCF, suitably at least 21 wt%, suitably at least 22 wt%, suitably at least 23 wt%, suitably at least 25 wt%, suitably at least 28 wt%, suitably at least 30 wt%, suitably at least 35 wt% or at least 40 wt% SCF.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise up to 50 wt% SCF, suitably up to 40 wt%, suitably up to 30 wt%, suitably up to 25 wt% or up to 20 wt% SCF.

For example, the chocolate composition may comprise from 10 to 35 wt% SCF, suitably from 15 to 35 wt% SCT or from 10 to 30 wt% SCF, suitably from 15 to 25 wt% or from 18 to 23 wt% SCF, suitably wherein the SCF is PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 70.

For example, the chocolate composition may comprise from 10 to 30 wt% SCF, suitably from 10 to 25 wt%, suitably from 10 to 20 wt% SCF, for example from 10 to 15 wt%, suitably 11 to 14 wt% SCF, suitably wherein the SCF is PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre 70.

Fructo oligosaccharide (FOS) is an oligosaccharide consisting of chains of fructose molecules. Galacto oligosaccharide (GOS) is based on galactose and xylo oligosaccharide (XOS) is based on xylose. Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not comprise inulin or FOS. In further embodiments, the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin, FOS, GOS or XOS.

The SCF in the chocolate composition of the present invention has been found to be well tolerated by consumers. In particular, this SCF content has been found to be better tolerated by consumers than inulin and/or FOS. Also, SCF has been found to be advantageous over other dietary fibres such as inulin and fructo oligosaccharides due to its higher stability during common processing steps. For example, inulin may be unstable at low pH and fructo oligosaccharides may degrade (by hydrolysis) during common pasteurisation processes.

Furthermore, the SCF present in the chocolate composition of the present invention may advantageously provide dietary fibre to the consumer, potentially increasing the daily intake of dietary fibre by the consumer. Dietary fibre has been linked to improved health. Therefore the consumption of the dietary fibre in the chocolate composition of this first aspect may provide a health benefit to the consumer compared to the consumption of known chocolate compositions.

Sugar content

The inclusion of the SCF in the chocolate composition of this first aspect allows the amount of sugar in the chocolate composition to be reduced whilst retaining a taste and texture profile which is acceptable to consumers and is approximate to the taste and texture profile of a chocolate comprising only sugar (e.g. sucrose), rather than sugar and SCF.

The chocolate composition may comprise different sugars from different sources. This may be referred to as the total sugar content (total sugars) and is the value which may be displayed on a confectionery product to show a consumer the sugar content of the product. For example, the chocolate composition may comprise sucrose, dextrose, glucose syrup solids, fructose, lactose and maltose or any combination thereof. The chocolate composition may comprise sugar derived from milk products, such as skimmed milk powder, for example lactose. As discussed above, the SCF may comprise sugar in the form of monosaccharides such as glucose. Therefore the chocolate composition may comprise said sugars from the SCF incorporated into the chocolate composition. However, the majority of the total sugar content of such a chocolate composition may be the sugar added as part of the chocolate making recipe, typically sucrose. This may be conveniently referred to as“added sugar”.

The reduction in sugar content of a chocolate composition discussed herein may be in relation to the total sugar content of the chocolate composition. As the majority of the sugar content of the chocolate composition is typically sucrose added during the chocolate making process (added sugar), it is suitably this sucrose which is reduced in the chocolate composition of the first aspect. Therefore in order to obtain the chocolate composition of this first aspect, less sucrose is added during the chocolate making process compared to a known reference“full sugar” chocolate composition. Such known“full sugar” chocolate compositions may comprise 50-60 wt% total sugars and may comprise 45-55 wt% sucrose.

Total sugars

The following values refer to the total sugar content of the chocolate composition, including added sugar (sucrose), sugar from the milk products, when present, and sugar from the SCF.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise up to 52 wt% total sugars, suitably up to 50 wt%, suitably up to 48 wt%, suitably up to 45 wt%, for example up to 43 wt% total sugars.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise at least 28 wt% total sugars, suitably at least 30 wt%, suitably at least 32 wt%, suitably at least 34 wt%, at least 36 wt%, for example at least 38 wt% total sugars.

For example, the chocolate composition may comprise from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars, suitably from 32 to 48 wt%, suitably from 37 to 48 wt%, suitably from 37 to 43 wt%, for example from

39 to 42 wt% total sugars. In some embodiments, the chocolate composition comprises from

40 to 48 wt% total sugars, suitably from 42 to 48 wt%, suitably from 44 to 48 wt%, for example from 45 to 47 wt% total sugars.

The total sugars of the chocolate composition of this first aspect may be reduced by at least 10 % compared to a known reference“full sugar” chocolate composition, suitably reduced by at least 15 %, suitably at least 20 %, suitably at least 25 %, suitably at least 28 % or at least 30 %. In some embodiments the total sugars of the chocolate composition may be reduced by at least 40 %, for example at least 45 % or at least 50 %. Suitably whilst retaining the taste and texture of a“full sugar” reference chocolate.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre, suitably from 38 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre.

Added sugar

The following values refer to the added sugar content (e.g. sucrose) of the chocolate composition which does not include sugar from the milk products and sugar from the SCF.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise from 10 to 25 wt% or from 10 to

22 wt% SCF and 10 to 36 wt% added sugar (e.g. sucrose).

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise from 15 to 25 wt% or from 18 to

23 wt% SCF and 23 to 27 wt% added sugar (e.g. sucrose).

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise from 15 to 35 wt% or from 18 to 33 wt% SCF and 23 to 27 wt% added sugar (e.g. sucrose).

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise up to 40 wt% added sugar, suitably up to 35 wt%, suitably up to 32 wt%, suitably up to 30 wt%, suitably up to 28 wt%, suitably up to 26 wt%, suitably up to 25 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

In some embodiments the chocolate composition may comprise up to 23 wt% added sugar, suitably up to 20 wt%, suitably up to 15 wt%, suitably up to 10 wt%, suitably up to 5 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may comprise at least 2 wt% added sugar, suitably at least 5 wt%, suitably at least 10 wt%, suitably at least 15 wt%, suitably at least 18 wt%, suitably at least 20 wt%, suitably at least 23 wt% or at least 25 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

For example, the chocolate composition may comprise from 16 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably from 20 to 36 wt%, suitably from 24 to 36 wt%, for example from 24 to 34 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition may comprise from 20 to 30 wt% added sugar, suitably from 22 to 30 wt%, suitably from 23 to 29 wt%, for example from 23 to 27 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition may comprise from 25 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably from 30 to 35 wt%, suitably from 32 to 35 wt%, for example from 32 to 34 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose.

The added sugar (e.g. sucrose) of the chocolate composition of this first aspect may be reduced by at least 15 %, suitably at least 20 %, suitably at least 30 % compared to a known reference “full sugar” chocolate composition, suitably reduced by at least 35 %, suitably at least 40 %. In some embodiments, the added sugar (e.g. sucrose) of the chocolate composition may be reduced by approximately 50 %, suitably at least 50 %.

Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect has a sweet taste similar to a reference “full sugar” chocolate composition. Suitably said sweet taste is provided by the SCF and the sugar content of the chocolate composition. Suitably the chocolate composition does not comprise intense sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, acesulfame-k, cyclamates, saccharin, sucralose, neohesperidin, dihydrochalone, alitame, stevia glycosides, glycyrrhizin or any combination thereof).

Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not comprise sugar alcohols (e.g. sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, lactitol, isomalt, or any combination thereof).

Suitably the chocolate composition does not comprise polydextrose, inulin, FOS, GOS, XOS and sugar alcohols. Suitably the chocolate composition does not comprise polydextrose, inulin, FOS, GOS, XOS, sugar alcohols and intense sweeteners.

Chocolate ingredients

The term“chocolate composition” in the context of the present invention is not restricted by the various definitions of chocolate provided by government and regulatory bodies. A typical commercial dark chocolate will normally comprise non-fat cocoa solids, fat, sugar and emulsifier. A typical commercial milk chocolate will normally comprise non-fat cocoa solids, fat, milk solids, sugar and emulsifier. A typical commercial white chocolate will normally comprise milk solids, fat, sugar and emulsifier.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect may be a chocolate filling composition, for example for use inside a chocolate shell or a baked good, such as a biscuit, a pastry or a cake.

Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, fat, sugar and soluble corn fibre. Suitable cocoa-derived products include non-fat cocoa solids, cocoa liquor, cocoa mass and cocoa butter. Cocoa mass comprises non-fat cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises cocoa solids, fat, sugar and soluble corn fibre. Suitably the cocoa solids are non-fat cocoa solids.

By non-fat cocoa solids we mean to refer to the component remaining after removal of fats from cocoa liquor.

Suitably the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises cocoa mass, fat, sugar and soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments the cocoa-derived product and the fat are both cocoa butter. In these embodiments the chocolate composition comprises cocoa butter, sugar and soluble corn fibre. Such a product may be a white chocolate. The chocolate composition comprising cocoa butter may comprise an additional fat.

In some embodiments the chocolate composition comprises cocoa mass, fat, sugar and soluble corn fibre. The fat may be a single fat or a combination of more than one fat.

Suitable fats include cocoa butter and cocoa butter alternatives.

Suitable cocoa butter alternatives include, butterfat, a cocoa butter equivalent (CBE), a cocoa butter replacer (CBR), a cocoa butter substitute (CBS), (sometimes used interchangeably with CBR), a vegetable fat that is liquid at standard ambient temperature and pressure (SATP, 25°C and 100kPa) or any combination of the above.

CBEs are defined in Directive 2000/36/EC as complying with the following criteria:

a) they are non-lauric vegetable fats, which are rich in symmetrical monounsaturated triglycerides of the type POP, POSt and StOSt;

b) they are miscible in any proportion with cocoa butter, and are compatible with its physical properties (melting point and crystallisation temperature, melting rate, need for tempering phase);

c) they are obtained only by the processes of refining and/or fractionation, which excludes enzymatic modification of the triglyceride structure.

Suitable CBEs include illipe, Borneo tallow, tengkawang, palm oil, sal, shea, kokum gurgi and mango kernel or synthetic CBEs such as COBERINE (RTM) produced by Loders Croklaan, The Netherlands. CBEs may be used in combination with cocoa butter.

Suitable CBSs (or CBRs) include CBS laurics and CBS non-laurics. CBS laurics are short-chain fatty acid glycerides. Their physical properties vary but they all have triglyceride configurations that make them compatible with cocoa butter. Suitable CBSs include those based on palm kernel oil and coconut oil. CBS non-laurics consist of fractions obtained from hydrogenated oils. The oils are selectively hydrogenated with the formation of trans acids, which increases the solid phase of the fat. Suitable sources for CBS non-laurics include soya, cottonseed, peanut, rapeseed and corn (maize) oil.

Suitable vegetable fats are liquid at standard ambient temperature and pressure (SATP, 25°C and 100kPa). A liquid vegetable fat may be employed when a liquid chocolate composition is desired. Suitable vegetable fats include corn oil, cotton seed oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil.

The present invention is further applicable to chocolate compositions in which some or all of the fat is constituted by a partly or wholly non-metabolisable fat, for example Caprenin or Olestra.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, fat, sugar and soluble corn fibre. The chocolate composition suitably comprises at least 10 wt% of a

cocoa-derived product, suitably at least 13 wt%, suitably at least 16 wt%, for example at least 19 wt% of a cocoa-derived product.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises up to 35 wt% of a cocoa-derived product, suitably 32 wt%, for example up to 30 wt% of a cocoa-derived product.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises from 15 to 35 wt% of a cocoa-derived product, suitably from 20 to 30 wt%, for example from 25 to 30 wt% of a cocoa-derived product.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises at least 10 wt% of fat, suitably at least 12 wt%, suitably at least 13 wt%, for example at least 14 wt% of fat, suitably of added fat not including any fat present in a cocoa mass or cocoa liquor present in the chocolate composition, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises up to 22 wt% of fat, suitably up to 20 wt%, for example up to 18 wt% of fat, suitably of added fat as defined above, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises from 10 to 22 wt% of fat, suitably from 12 to 22 wt%, suitably from 14 to 20 wt%, for example from 14 to 18 wt% of fat, suitably of added fat as defined above, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises at least 25 wt% of total fat, suitably at least 27 wt%, suitably at least 29 wt%, for example at least 31 wt% of total fat. Total fat includes any fat present in a cocoa mass or cocoa liquor present in the chocolate composition.

The chocolate composition suitably comprises up to 50 wt% of total fat, suitably up to 45 wt%, suitably up to 40 wt%, for example up to 35 wt% of total fat.

In some embodiments wherein the chocolate composition is a milk chocolate composition, the total fat content is from 25 to 35 wt%, suitably from 27 to 32 wt%, suitably from 29 to 32 wt%, suitably from 29 to 30 wt%.

The composition of the present invention may be a dark chocolate, a milk chocolate or a white chocolate composition.

In embodiments wherein the chocolate composition is a milk chocolate composition, the chocolate composition may comprise cocoa liquor or cocoa powder or cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk or milk powder, sugar and SCF.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition is a milk chocolate composition comprising cocoa mass, fat, milk products, sugar and SCF. In some embodiments the milk products may be incorporated into the chocolate composition from a milk chocolate“crumb” comprising a

cocoa-derived product such as cocoa mass or cocoa liquor, sucrose and milk solids, the milk solids being formed by condensing milk during the crumb making process. Suitably the crumb comprises all of the added sugar in the chocolate composition. Chocolate crumb making processes are known in the art.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises at least 8 wt% of cocoa mass, suitably at least 9 wt%, for example at least 10 wt% of cocoa mass.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises up to 15 wt% of cocoa mass, suitably 13 wt%, for example up to 12 wt% of cocoa mass.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 8 to 14 wt% of cocoa mass, suitably from 9 to 13 wt%, for example from 9 to 1 1 wt% of cocoa mass.

In said embodiments, the fat may be present in the amounts referred to above.

Suitable milk products include skimmed milk powder, full cream milk powder, anhydrous milk fat, whey powder or a combination thereof. Suitably the milk products are milk powders selected from skimmed milk powder, full cream milk powder, whey powder or a combination thereof.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises at least 8 wt% of milk products, suitably at least 9 wt%, for example at least 10 wt% of milk products.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises up to 30 wt% of milk products, suitably 28 wt%, for example up to 26 wt% of milk products.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 15 to 30 wt% of milk products, suitably from 20 to 28 wt%, for example from 23 to 27 wt% of milk products.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 10 to 30 wt% of milk powders, suitably from 15 to 25 wt%, for example from 18 to 22 wt% of milk powders.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 13 wt% cocoa mass, from 18 to 28 wt% milk products, from 14 to 20 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 13 wt% cocoa mass, from 18 to 28 wt% milk products, from 14 to 20 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 36 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 23 to 29 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 37 to 43 wt% total sugars and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 30 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 43 to 49 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre.

Said chocolate compositions suitably also comprise emulsifiers and flavourings, as discussed herein.

The chocolate composition may be moulded or extruded to form a bar (filled or solid). The chocolate composition may be moulded or deposited to form a solid or a filled chocolate which may be of single mouthful size, or may take the form of vermicelli chocolate, chocolate flakes or gianduja nut chocolate derived from any of such chocolate types. Alternatively, the chocolate composition may be used as a coating chocolate.

Chocolate compositions in accordance with the present invention may further include flavourings, especially those traditionally associated with chocolate, such as vanilla, orange and mint.

Suitable flavourings include cocoa powder, fruit concentrates, spices, hazelnut paste, orange essence, mint essence, coffee, and vanillin.

The composition may comprise, consist or consist essentially of a cocoa-derived product, fat, milk solids, SCF, sugar and optionally emulsifiers, suitably in the amounts discussed above.

The composition may comprise, consist or consist essentially of a cocoa-derived product, fat, milk solids, SCF, sugar, optionally emulsifiers and optionally flavourings, suitably in the amounts discussed above.

The composition may be a crumb-based chocolate. Chocolate crumb may be prepared from milk, cocoa liquor and sugar. A typical crumb used to make milk chocolate may comprise 56 to 59 wt% sucrose, 10 to 15 wt% cocoa liquor, 25 to 35 wt% milk solids and approximately 1 wt% moisture. The SCF can be added to the chocolate crumb and then processed as usual to form the final chocolate product.

The composition may be a non-crumb based chocolate, e.g. based on skimmed milk powder (SMP).

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 25 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 15 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 30 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 42 wt% total fat, from 15 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 30 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 25 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 30 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 42 wt% total fat, from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 30 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 35 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 35 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre, wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre, wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 10 to 20 wt% fat, suitably added fat, suitably cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre, wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition of this first aspect comprises a cocoa-derived product, from 26 to 32 wt% total fat, from 22 to 35 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre, wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides

In some embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 30 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 30 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, 30 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, 30 to 36 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 43 to 49 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 43 to 49 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 43 to 49 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 43 to 49 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 15 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 23 to 29 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 18 to 23 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 23 to 29 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 18 to 23 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 23 to 29 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 18 to 23 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 23 to 29 wt% added sugar, suitably sucrose, and from 18 to 23 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 37 to 43 wt% total sugars and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises from 60 to 95 wt% dietary fibre on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 37 to 43 wt% total sugars and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises less than 70 wt% of saccharide molecules having a DP of at least 10, on a dry weight basis.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 37 to 43 wt% total sugars and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise a polydextrose.

In said embodiments, the chocolate composition suitably comprises from 9 to 12 wt% cocoa mass, from 23 to 28 wt% milk products, from 16 to 19 wt% cocoa butter and/or cocoa butter alternatives, from 37 to 43 wt% total sugars and from 18 to 22 wt% soluble corn fibre; wherein the chocolate composition does not comprise inulin or fructo oligosaccharides.

The chocolate composition of this first aspect may have a moisture content of from 0.5 to 2.5 wt%, suitably from 1.0 wt% of 2.2 wt%, for example from 1.2 to 2.0 wt% moisture content. The inventors have surprisingly found that the chocolate composition of this first aspect has n surprisingly low viscosity during processing (prior to solidification) compared to a“full sugar” reference chocolate composition. This is despite the moisture content discussed above and the inclusion of dietary fibre in the form of the soluble corn fibre, which would normally be expected to increase the viscosity of the chocolate composition during processing. In known reduced sugar chocolate compositions, additional fat had to be added to overcome the processing problems associated with an increase in viscosity. Therefore such known reduced sugar chocolates were higher in fat which may detract from the potential benefits of the reduced sugar.

A relatively low viscosity of the chocolate composition during processing is advantageous because it facilitates the manipulation of the chocolate composition during mixing, conching, tempering and in its application such as moulding and/or enrobing. The inventors have also surprisingly found, despite the moisture content discussed above, that a finished chocolate product made from the chocolate composition of this first aspect does not exhibit the graining which is observed with some known chocolate compositions having such moisture levels. Such graining adversely affects the quality, texture and/or consumer acceptance of a chocolate product.

Preferred compositions (wt%) are set out below:



Further preferred compositions (wt%) are set out below for a milk chocolate and a dark chocolate:


Those skilled in the arts of chocolate formulation and manufacture will also understand that a milk chocolate can be made via a chocolate crumb intermediate comprising some or all of the sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk powders and or milk fat.

Additionally those skilled in the arts of chocolate formulation and manufacture will also understand that the recipes can be further adjusted to include vegetable fats and edible matter, such as whey powder where regulations permit it.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a process for the preparation of the chocolate composition of the first aspect, the process comprising:

a) mixing a cocoa-derived product, sugar and soluble corn fibre to form a paste; and

b) processing the paste to form the chocolate composition.

Step b) of processing the paste may comprise pasting, refining, tempering and/or conching.

Suitably step a) involves mixing a fat with the cocoa-derived product, sugar and soluble corn fibre. Step a) may involve forming a crumb comprising at least a part of the cocoa-derived product, at least a part of the sugar and milk products, suitably milk solids. Suitably the crumb comprises all of the added sugar in the chocolate composition. The crumb may comprise the soluble corn fibre. Alternatively, step a) may involve forming the crumb comprising at least a part of the cocoa-derived product, the sugar and milk products and then adding the soluble corn fibre and suitably the fat to the crumb to form the paste which is processed in step b). Step b) is suitably a standard process for forming chocolate from a paste, except for the presence of the soluble corn fibre.

Step a) may involve admixing any further ingredients present in the chocolate composition to the cocoa-derived product, sugar and soluble corn fibre and/or the crumb, for example additional cocoa-derived products, fats, additional milk products such as milk powders, emulsifiers and flavourings.

Suitably, the process of this third aspect is based on a standard, known chocolate making process, wherein the normal addition of sucrose in the chocolate making process has been replaced in part by the addition of soluble corn fibre. The present invention may therefore provide a process for making reduced sugar and/or reduced calorie chocolate composition using known processes and equipment. This provides the advantage that the investment in new processes and equipment required to produce the chocolate composition is minimised and therefore may be implemented cost-effectively.

The inventors have surprisingly found that no additional fat is required to be added to the chocolate composition to overcome the viscosity problems during processing which are associated with known reduced sugar chocolate compositions.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided the use of a soluble corn fibre in a chocolate composition for reducing the total sugars of said chocolate composition.

Suitably the use of the soluble corn fibre involves replacing sugar, suitably sucrose and/or lactose in the chocolate composition with the soluble corn fibre.

Suitably the reduction in total sugars is in reference to a known chocolate composition which does not comprise soluble corn fibre, for example a“full sugar” chocolate composition.

Suitably the use of this third aspect achieves a reduction in the amount of total sugars present in the chocolate composition of at least 10 %, suitably at least 15 %, suitably at least 20 %, suitably at least 25 %, suitably at least 30 %, compared to a reference“full sugar” chocolate composition of the prior art. In some embodiments the total sugars of the chocolate composition may be reduced by at least 40 %, for example at least 45 % or at least 50 %.

Suitably the use of this third aspect may also provide a reduction in calorific content of the chocolate composition achieved by reducing the total sugar content of the chocolate composition. The reduction in calorific content may be in the range of from 1 to 20 %, suitably from 3 to 10 %, suitably from 5 to 10 %.

As no additional fat is required to be added to the chocolate composition to overcome viscosity problems during processing, which are associated with known reduced sugar chocolate compositions, the reduction in total sugars provides a potentially beneficial reduction in calorific content.

Suitably the use of this third aspect achieves the reduction in total sugars and/or calorific content of the chocolate composition without adversely affecting the quality, taste, texture and/or consumer acceptance of a chocolate product.

The soluble corn fibre and chocolate composition of this third aspect may have any of the suitable features and advantages described above in relation to the first aspect.

In some embodiments of this third aspect there is provided the use of a soluble corn fibre in a chocolate composition for reducing the total sugars of said chocolate composition, wherein the use comprises including in the chocolate composition from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided the use of a soluble corn fibre in a chocolate composition for improving the processing of said chocolate composition.

The improvement in processing provided by this fourth aspect is due to the surprisingly low viscosity of the chocolate composition despite the presence of dietary fibre, as discussed above.

Suitably the use of this fourth aspect provides a reduction in viscosity at 2 s 1 of at least 0.5 Pa.s, suitably at least 1 Pa.s, suitably at least 2 Pa.s (suitably measured according to known method ICA46), suitably compared to an otherwise identical chocolate comprising inulin, FOS, or polydextrose in place of the soluble corn fibre.

The improvement in processing provided by this fourth aspect may be due to a reduction in viscosity of the chocolate composition compared to a“full sugar” reference chocolate which does not comprise soluble corn fibre, as discussed above.

The use of this fourth aspect may therefore provide a reduction in viscosity at 2 s 1 of at least 0.5 Pa.s, suitably at least 1 Pa.s, suitably at least 2 Pa.s (suitably measured according to known method ICA46), suitably compared to a“full sugar” reference chocolate which does not comprise soluble corn fibre.

Suitably the use of this fourth aspect achieves the improvement in the processing of said chocolate composition without adversely affecting the quality, taste, texture and/or consumer acceptance of a chocolate product.

The soluble corn fibre, chocolate composition and process of this fourth aspect may have any of the suitable features and advantages described above in relation to the first and second aspects.

In some embodiments of this fourth aspect there is provided the use of a soluble corn fibre in a chocolate composition for improving the processing of said chocolate composition, wherein the use comprises including in the chocolate composition from 28 to 48 wt% total sugars and from 10 to 25 wt% soluble corn fibre.

Examples 1 and 2

Example chocolate compositions 1 and 2 according to the present invention were prepared using a standard chocolate making process with the ingredients listed below (wt%) in Table 1 .

Table 1


Examples 1 and 2 represent a 30% reduction in total sugars as compared to the equivalent full sugar reference chocolate compositions.

The inventors expected the addition of fibres to increase the viscosity of the chocolate to unacceptable levels but this was not the case. The chocolate could be processed (refined, tempered and conched) to provide a chocolate mass that was moulded to form bars.

The viscosities of Examples 1 and 2 are stated below in Table 1 a with the comparison to their respective “full sugar” reference chocolate. The viscosity measurements were carried out using known method ICA46.

Table 1a


The organoleptic properties were excellent despite the reduction in sugar. Surprisingly the sweetness perception was retained despite the signification reduction in sugars. In addition, there was no retention of off notes.

Example 3

A chocolate composition according to the present invention was prepared using a standard chocolate making process with the ingredients listed below in Table 2.

Table 2


The chocolate composition of Example 3 comprises approximately 20 % less total sugars than the full sugar reference chocolate. Table 2 also shows nutritional information for the chocolate compositions.

Example 3 and the full sugar reference chocolate where analysed using the following techniques: particle size (using a Malvern Mastersizer), viscosity (using known method ICA46), moisture content (Karl Fischer), total fat (using known methods AOAC 963.15 and/or ICA14), microbiological (TVC, Yeasts and Moulds, Enterobacteriaceae, Salmonella spp., lactic acid bacteria (presumptive), Staphylococcus aureus). The results are shown in Table 3.

Table 3


Example 3 was then subjected to consumer testing by Rapid Response Panel (RRP) and by Qualitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) sensory profiling. The results are summarized below in Tables 4 and 5.

The blind attribute scoring for Example 3 against the full sugar reference is shown below in Table 4. The scoring of the samples is based on a 9 point scale and was analysed using ANOVA and Fisher’s LSD test. Samples which share a letter symbol are not considered to be significantly different at a 95 % confidence level. These tests conform to global consumer science standards. Table 4 shows that the Example 3 chocolate composition achieved parity with the full sugar reference chocolate across all four liking measures. This is surprising given the significant reduction in sugars.

Table 4


The purchase intent scoring of Example 3 against the full sugar reference chocolate is shown below in Table 5. The scoring shows the percentage of the consumers surveyed which chose each of the purchase intention options 1-5. Table 5 shows that Example 3 had a very similar purchase intent score in the top two categories (the T2B score which is the sum of“definitely would buy” and“probably would buy” categories) to the full sugar reference chocolate.

Table 5


This data shows that the 20 % reduced sugar chocolate composition of Example 3 retained the favourable taste and texture of the full sugar reference chocolate and can therefore provide a reduced sugar replacement for said full sugar reference chocolate without adversely affecting consumer acceptance of the chocolate product.

Example 4

A chocolate composition according to the present invention was prepared using a standard chocolate making process with the ingredients listed below in Table 6. Table 6 also shows nutritional information for the chocolate compositions.

Table 6



The chocolate composition of Example 4 comprises approximately 30 % less total sugars than the full sugar reference chocolate. Initial testing results show that the chocolate composition of Example 4 is well tolerated by consumers and has a similar taste and texture to the full sugar reference chocolate and the 20 % reduced sugar chocolate of Example 3.

In summary, the present invention provides a chocolate composition comprising soluble corn fibre. The soluble corn fibre is suitably a mixture of glucose oligosaccharides comprising indigestible a-1 ,2 and/or a-1 ,3 glycosidic linkages. The soluble corn fibre in the chocolate composition replaces at least a part of the added sugar content compared to a reference chocolate and therefore reduces the total sugars compared to said reference chocolate. The chocolate composition and may therefore be considered a reduced sugar chocolate. The chocolate composition may have a similar taste and texture to the reference chocolate. The chocolate composition may be used to reduce the calorie intake, especially the intake of sugars, in consumers of chocolate and may therefore provide a health benefit to said consumers. The present invention also provides a process for producing the chocolate composition.

Although a few preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications might be made without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

Throughout this specification, the term “comprising” or “comprises” means including the component(s) specified but not to the exclusion of the presence of other components. The term“consisting essentially of or“consists essentially of” means including the components specified but excluding other components except for materials present as impurities, unavoidable materials present as a result of processes used to provide the components, and components added for a purpose other than achieving the technical effect of the invention. Typically, when referring to compositions, a composition consisting essentially of a set of components will comprise less than 5% by weight, typically less than 3% by weight, more typically less than 1 % by weight of non-specified components.

The term “consisting of” or “consists of means including the components specified but excluding addition of other components.

Whenever appropriate, depending upon the context, the use of the term “comprises” or “comprising” may also be taken to encompass or include the meaning“consists essentially of or“consisting essentially of, and may also be taken to include the meaning“consists of or “consisting of.

For the avoidance of doubt, wherein amounts of components in a composition are described in wt%, this means the weight percentage of the specified component in relation to the whole composition referred to. For example,“wherein the soluble corn fibre comprises 8 to 12 wt% sugar” means that 8 to 12 wt% of the soluble corn fibre is provided by sugar.

The optional features set out herein may be used either individually or in combination with each other where appropriate and particularly in the combinations as set out in the accompanying claims. The optional features for each aspect or exemplary embodiment of the invention as set out herein are also to be read as applicable to any other aspect or exemplary embodiments of the invention, where appropriate. In other words, the skilled person reading this specification should consider the optional features for each exemplary embodiment of the invention as interchangeable and combinable between different exemplary embodiments.

Attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with or previous to this specification in connection with this application and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference.

All of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, and drawings), and/or all of the steps of any method or process so disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive.

Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiment(s). The invention extends to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, and drawings), or to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the steps of any method or process so disclosed.