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The advent of organic sweet dark chocolate – article

Fermented mushroom mycelium and other innovative superfood ingredients play starring roles in Macalat’s launch of new chocolate category.

May 21, 2024

5 Min Read
The advent of organic sweet dark chocolate

There are few foods loved as much as chocolate. And as consumers increasingly use food as medicine and seek nutrient dense products with functional ingredients, healthier dark chocolate consumption has been on the rise, according to NIQ. Yet, with 11% of Americans battling diabetes, another 21% undiagnosed and obesity and other ailments growing in numbers, NIQ reports that chocolate products that qualify for special diet needs, such as zero sugar, are up 24% over the three-year average. Now more than ever, savvy shoppers are looking for chocolate products using clean label claims such as free from artificial additives or sugars.

Of course, while traditional milk chocolate is loved for its sweetness and lack of bitter and astringency, when it comes to our health, dark chocolate has garnered the attention thanks to its myriad benefits and cleaner profile, including higher content cacao with less sugar and milk solids. The Harvard School of Public Health and others report that the flavanols in dark chocolate may actually help protect the heart and, long-term, could reduce the risk of diabetes. Observational studies suggest a link between 1-2 small squares of dark chocolate daily and reduced blood pressure and inflammation.

The challenge? Choosing 70% dark chocolate or higher provides the most flavanols but lower room for sugar plus milk in the recipe, so, the higher the percentage of cacao, the more bitter the taste. That’s where organic Macalat® sweet dark chocolate serves up a solution. Now, ingredient-savvy consumers can have it both ways—healthy and sweet chocolate. By using an innovative fermented mushroom mycelium flavor modulator developed by mushroom ingredient innovator, MycoTechnology, Macalat® delivers a creamy, sweet finish without the need for milk and sugar or other artificial additives.


Innovation in taste

Cacao is a strong astringent flavor and it takes tedious protocols to mitigate the bitterness and astringency that develop in cacao’s fermentation stage. “Eating just cacao would turn your mouth inside out,” says John Troy, developer of Macalat®. Troy, an organic product developer, accepted the challenge to make a difference using innovative formulation and production protocols to find a way to eliminate the need for sugar entirely in dark chocolate.

“A famous milk chocolate brand came along a century ago and took 14% cacao and 85% milk and sugar to mitigate the bitterness. By comparison, Macalat® is 70% cacao, gets rid of all the sugar and dairy, and with just a little bit of superfoods and mushroom, eliminates the harsh flavors that sugar and milk hide so well, allowing the natural flavors to shine through without all the sugar and milk. The mushroom doesn’t actually add any flavor to the chocolate; the alchemy happens right on the taste buds. It’s truly newsworthy,” explains Troy. “Tasting is believing!”

With the use of MycoTechnology’s fermented mushroom mycelium extract, Macalat® reaches a level of sweetness in a dark chocolate that’s not possible with traditional measures. “It’s simply not possible to reach this flavor profile with sugar alternatives alone,” says Troy. “You need the finishing touch of MycoTechnology’s fermented mushroom mycelium to get there.” Because the unique alchemy of the fermented mushroom eliminates the bitter astringency of the cacao, only small amounts of aromatic organic superfood inclusions are needed to reach the sweet flavor of Macalat’s flavor profile.


A new category is born: Organic sweet dark chocolate

Now, by combining a few superfood ingredients, Macalat® has cracked the code on organic sweet dark chocolate. The Macalat® bar is made from 70% organic heirloom Peruvian Cacao and further enriched with a unique blend of organic plant-based superfoods, including maca, lucuma, vanilla bean and monk fruit, along with cinnamon and Erythritol. These ingredients, combined with MycoTechnology’s fermented mushroom mycelium extract, uniquely eliminates the unpleasant bitter flavors of cacao and contribute to Macalat’s natural, gentle caramel-like sweetness. The unique Macalat® recipe employs totally new process protocols in chocolate creation that work together for a beautiful couverture finish that melts in your mouth. This innovation goes beyond the typical craft bean to bar mouthfeel.

As today’s consumers seek healthier options, it became imperative that Macalat® formulation goals include being truly sugar free, to meet the dietary needs of diabetics, pre-diabetics, keto diet followers and others searching for a way to incorporate the benefits of sweet dark chocolate into their diets without the sugar content of traditional bars, explains Macalat® seed capital “Spark”, Lisa Ellis. “The body can’t tell the difference between coconut sugar and regular sugar. Sugar is sugar to a person with diabetes,” she shares. “That’s why it is so important that Macalat® is honestly sugar free.”

By utilizing MycoTechnology’s innovative mushroom fermentation, Macalat® bars are suitable for a discerning and emerging superfood demographic that knows the truth about sugar and artificial sweeteners. Superfoodies are discerning and read labels. Not only is Macalat® Organic Sweet Dark Chocolate 100% sugar free, it’s also zero net carbs, vegan and USDA certified organic, making it very friendly with some of the most strict diet plans.


The fact that Macalat® is certified organic meets yet another consumer value. NIQ reports that sustainability is increasingly top of mind, with products with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) claims accounting for 23% of cacao sales. The fact that MycoTechnology’s fermented mushroom mycelium extract is USDA certified organic, allowing the entire bar to be certified organic, means that not only is Macalat® sugar free and healthy, it has sustainability and social impact already built into its organic sweet dark chocolate DNA.

To learn more about Macalat, please visit https://macalat.com/  or contact [email protected]

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