Growing demand for healthy food has encouraged food manufacturing companies to leverage health and wellness into various products. This is likely to be seen in dairy products such as Danone's Actimel and Unilever's Benecol.
A more innovative approach come from a giant chocolate maker which according to them may come up with a chocolate bar that could fight wrinkles and slow down the ageing process. This will marked as the latest food group tapping the appetite for a healthier living.
According to the research lead by Barry Callebaut, by eating 20g of its specially developed chocolate which contains antioxidants, or flavanols, everyday may help combat wrinkles and it has the effect of boosting elasticity and improving hydration to make skin more radiant.
Dark chocolate has been known to be linked with certain health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of strokes due to its high antioxidants.
The Swiss group has developed a way of preserving the flavanols found in cocoa beans during the chocolate-making process, allowing them to produce a bar that is richer in flavanols, Barry Callebaut Chief Innovation Officer Hans Vriens said in an interview.
Vriens said that although chocolate and health do not seem to fit together but it is a very interesting proposition: if I can eat something I like and it is good for me, that is great. Chocolate is probably at the bottom of the list when you think about making food healthier.
Our daily exposure to smoke, pollution, caffeine and lack of sleep contribute to the creation of free radicals can damage our healthy cells in the body and accelerate the aging process.
Kepler Capital Markets analyst Jon Cox said that there is huge body evidence which points to flavanols slowing down the damage caused by free radicals.
Richard Hurrell, professor of Human Nutrition at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology supported that there are quite a lot of evidence which shows cocoa flavanols' positive effect on blood pressure. He said however the evidence is much less consistent.
Some experts are doubtful about the positive effects flavanols have on skin.