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UK scientists unlock cocoa's health potential for the nutricosmetic market

By Michelle Yeomans , 08-Jun-2012
Last updated the 08-Jun-2012 at 12:40 GMT

Scientists at biotechnology firm Lycotec are offering an up to date development for anti-ageing nutricosmetic products by discovering a way to modify chocolate from its cocoa flavanols - an essential factor in slowing down the ageing process, without impacting on taste or texture.  

The company has developed the high potency chocolate with its Coco-Lycosome ingredient, composed of either lycopene, found in tomatoes or watermelons, or lutein, which is found in spinach and kale said to boost the presence of epicatechin, which in turn boosts the power of cocoa flavanols.

 Beneficial

The ingredient could be added at 1 per cent levels at the melting stage to increase the bioavailability of epicatechin by 20 times,” says Lycotec’s founder Ivan Petyaev.

Furthermore the founder claims that “we can improve the microcirculation and oxygen delivery,” which can be beneficial in reducing cellulite inflammation to improve the skin.

We can also make milk chocolate as beneficial as dark chocolate,” he adds, pointing out that previous studies on the health potential of cocoa flavanols are all related to dark chocolate.

The ingredient is said to be most suitable for premium chocolate products,  while Petyaev reckons that one day it will obtain government subsidization due to its anti-ageing properties, making it cheaper.

However, he points out that more research still needs to be done before there is concrete proof that the new chocolate ingredient is really helpful, "we need to call for further studies to assess the health impact using larger volumes."

Industry interest

Lycotec has patented the technology to produce Coco-Lycosome and plans to license it and supply ingredients through a partner.

Petyaev reveals that the company is also currently in negotiation with two ‘major’ ingredients suppliers in Europe and the US, and has received a proposal from India to distribute in Asia.

Skin care news

Cosmetics Design is gearing up to its second SkinCare Ingredients virtual trade show to be held next week - June 13, a date skin care professionals should make a note of.

Building on the tremendous success of the first event, which attracted over 3,200 registrants, this year will be offering visitors increased networking opportunities, a new conference program that hits on some of the most pertinent trends in the category, as well as a show floor featuring booths with some of the leading names in the industry. Click here to register

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