Puratos brand Belcolade claims key plant based chocolate breakthrough

Experts from Puratos premium confectionery brand Belcolade are claiming a key taste breakthrough with its latest Selection M. Plantbased Cacao Trace series, reports Neill Barston.

The company claims to have ‘solved the puzzle’ of how to match conventional dairy based chocolate ranges, with its latest offering being hailed as a major contender within the segment.

As the business explained to Confectionery Production, its latest Belgian offering is lauded as the first chocolate offering an indulgent taste profile and mouthfeel similar to milk chocolate while being both dairy-free and nut-free, according to Belcolade, the flagship chocolate brand from Puratos.

Its patent-pending product is said to achieve the smoothness and creaminess of a milk chocolate and balanced sweetness, all without common allergens. Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is a real Belgian chocolate, thanks to being manufactured at the Belcolade factory in Erembodegem. It is manufactured in a nut free and dairy free environment, as well as being gluten free.

“Until now, there was a very clear gap in the plant-based chocolate market,” states Youri Dumont, SBU chocolate director at Puratos. “We know the chocolate sector is still driven by many millions of milk chocolate lovers, whose expectations weren’t being adequately met when they looked for plant-based alternatives. So this new product is really about indulging these milk chocolate fans with a really attractive plant-based option. We’re very excited to have solved the puzzle of delicious, allergen-free, plant-based chocolate.”

As the company notes, the creation of Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace was a true co-creation project, involving professional chocolatiers and customers from the outset, alongside Belcolade’s own experts.

Their mission was clear: developing a no-compromise, truly indulgent milkalike chocolate that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone, including allergy sufferers. The collaboration enabled the team to determine the taste, texture and working behaviour that would best reflect both the needs of professionals and the preferences of consumers.

As a result, Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace is highly versatile, suitable for the production of tablets, hollow figures and pralines by chocolatiers. It also has numerous artisan and industrial uses, including mousses, ganaches, coatings and dipping.

According to Puratos, the chocolate category is undergoing significant change thanks to global trends like health and well-being. Consumers’ concern about their own personal physical wellness, as well as that of the planet, is fuelling plant-based eating habits.

The company’s own Taste Tomorrow research has found the number of consumers buying plant-based foods has almost doubled (from 35% to 60%) since 2018, making it the biggest trend in the entire food industry. It is holding  live webinars on Wednesday 12 January at 10am CET or 4pm CET (Brussels/Paris). Belcolade’s chocolate expert Michel Eyckerman will create two confectionery and patisserie recipes based on Belcolade Selection M. Plant-Based Cacao-Trace, and answer viewers’ questions.

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