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In the search for new market outlets for Corowise plant sterols, Cargill presented a dark chocolate shot at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo in Chicago, according to BeverageDaily.com.

Corowise was first launched in 2003 in the US and was then rolled out in Europe in 2006. Since then, it has been used in a number of food and drink products on both sides of the Atlantic. Examples include Minute Maid Premium Heartwise, Active Lifestyle Bread from Kroger and Racconto Essentials Pasta and Sauces, the report says.

Cargill now sees an opportunity to extend its reach into the chocolate beverage market. For the IFT trade show last month, the US supplier presented a prototype drink in a four-ounce pack containing 0.4 grams of CoroWise – enough for an FDA-approved heart health claim.

Cargill spokesperson Pam Stauffer told BeverageDaily.com: “CoroWise plant sterols are already well known in applications such as juices, breads and multivitamins. Considering that about 40 percent of the population already associates dark chocolate with heart health benefits, it just makes sense.”

Stauffer added that a shot style drink was chosen because it is a popular way to deliver healthy ingredients.

Cargill is targeting both the European and US markets with the new drink concept, seeing potential on both sides of the Atlantic for a chocolate drink, positioned as a heart health product.

The plant sterols in the drink are the key to the heart health message. Numerous clinical trials in controlled settings have reported that daily consumption of 1.5 to 3 grams of plant sterols from foods can reduce total cholesterol levels by eight to 17%, representing a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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