La Morella Nuts introduces its Mediterranean nut craft and expertise to the world

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Specialty nut expert La Morella Nuts, who creates nut based ingredients full of taste and goodness for artisans and brands, announced global expansion after decades of experience in Mediterranean Nut Craft in Spain. With the expansion, the Mediterranean Nut Craft expert taps into the growing need for healthier indulgence and plant-based products around the world.

Similar to the Mediterranean lifestyle, millennials and centennials from around the globe are looking for tasty, nutrient-dense food & drink such as plant-based, vegan and high-in-protein options. Since the pandemic the need for personal and environmental health is also increasing among older generations. The taste, texture and health benefits that nuts offer, further increases the popularity of the category.

Almond is the most popular milk alternative and the plant-based drink category leader, representing more than $ 1 billion per year in sales in the US alone¹. Hazelnut and cashew are also increasingly popular.

Between 2015 and 2019 the amount of nut-based vegan drinks, desserts and frozen desserts launches has tripled². The global non-dairy market is expected to increase year on year³ in drinks (6.3%), yogurts (16.7%) and ice cream (21.6%) until 2024.

“With our brand La Morella Nuts, we offer artisans and brands nut-based experiences that are tasty, nutritious and good for the planet. Exactly what the next generation of consumers around the globe is looking for. That’s why today we further expand our services from the Mediterranean nut groves to the globe,” said Pablo Perversi, Chief Innovation, Sustainability & Quality Officer and Global Head of Gourmet at Barry Callebaut

La Morella Nuts: Mediterranean Nut Craft solutions for the world

La Morella Nuts will further expand in Europe and Asia Pacific as of today. North America’s expansion starts in 2021. With the new plans and the opening of its Global Center of Expertise for nuts, La Morella aims to provide solutions to brands and artisans across the world.

Fuel global innovation with opening global Center of Expertise

To provide solutions to brands and artisans the state-of-the art center in Reus, Spain, combines expertise in taste and texture, sourcing and sustainability, as well as application knowledge. The brand also welcomes academics and nuts associations to the Center to further develop and broaden the knowledge about nuts.

It offers an immersive virtual and physical journey from the Mediterranean nut orchards to the consumer application. With the use of the Nut Sensory Language customers learn how to differentiate taste, texture and flavour in nut experiences.

Wide palette of tastes with new specialty nut range

With decades of experience in Mediterranean Nut Craft, La Morella Nuts is known as a supplier of high quality nut products from caramelized pieces to roasted ground nut pastes. Leveraging its expertise, La Morella Nuts introduces an indulgent specialty nut range for plant-based beverages, snacks and frozen treats for brands and artisans. The range consists of a selection of fillings and nut pastes, also known as nut butters. It is made from almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts, among other nuts. A wide palette of tastes is crafted thanks to several levels of roasting. The range is available dairy-free, single origin and organic upon request. The ingredients are available as of today throughout Europe and Asia Pacific. The nut brand plans to introduce a range in North America in the second half of 2021.

As part of Barry Callebaut’s commitment to sustainability, La Morella Nuts aims to secure the future of nuts by addressing the key topics in the industry such as water scarcity and loss of biodiversity. La Morella Nuts aims to have all of its nuts sustainably sourced by 2025.

Based in Reus, part of the main nut-growing region of Spain, La Morella Nuts was founded in 1986. It was acquired by Barry Callebaut ( in 2012 as part of the Group’s strategy to offer value-adding products complementing its chocolate offering.



Pandemic leads to cancellation of ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021

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The world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks, ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021 have been cancelled due to ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.

As recently as two weeks ago, Koelnmesse, the top associations of the German sweets and snacks industry and industry representatives were certain that the events would go ahead. But a growing number of infections along with international travel restrictions have forced the cancellation of the hybrid editions of both events, which had been planned from 31 January to 3 February, 2021.

Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, said that a record numbers of infections and new lockdowns were reported in many countries so many exhibitors had to cancel their participation. As such, the quality of ISM could ultimately no longer be guaranteed.

“We deeply regret this of course. We were well aligned and we firmly believed that we would be able to enable the sweets and snacks industry a re-start with ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021,” he said.

“However, due to the current uncertainties our exhibitors and visitors don’t see any dramatic improvement that would make a trade fair participation possible in January. We will nevertheless remain on the ball and will immediately set about organising ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2022 with new energy,”

The planned digital format, Matchmaking365+, will also not take place. But in their role as important innovation platforms for the industry, the two trade fairs are instead planning a campaign for the presentation of significant industry developments, new products and trends from the sweets and snacks sectors.



A new wheat quality milestone is reached

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Finding ways for bakers, millers and wheat growers to work cooperatively toward enhanced wheat quality has been a wheat industry aspiration since early in the 20th century. A recently announced initiative between Grain Craft, ADM Milling Co. and a major baking company marks a new high-water mark in these efforts.

Under the program, the millers agreed to supply flour milled from mutually agreed upon hard red winter wheat varieties in an effort, which proved successful, to obviate the need for the baker to purchase a flour blend that includes more expensive spring wheat. The baker agreed to pay a premium to help the millers attract grower interest, conceding that bakers’ longstanding assertion, “We shouldn’t have to pay extra for quality,” was not working.

On the surface, the idea seems simple to execute. Offer growers a price premium to grow quality wheat, mill the wheat, deliver the flour. While the plan the companies devised may be characterized as elegantly simple, execution is anything but.

Taking a step back, the big picture issue is the need for bakers to have access to flour that will consistently produce a high-quality product — ranging from crackers and cakes, to bread and bagels. In recent years, the importance of the issue has been growing for numerous reasons, including the unforgiving environment of modern, high-speed baking operations; the technical demands of product formulations far more complicated than, say, pan white bread; and the pressure bakers feel to avoid the chemical additives traditionally used to compensate for sub-par quality wheat.

For the most part, wheat quality has been rising over the last several decades. Communications facilitated by the Wheat Quality Council have helped ensure breeders look beyond growers’ demand for high-yielding varieties but also ensure adequate milling and baking properties. Fifty years ago, sub-par wheat varieties were commonplace. Most flour sold to commercial bread bakers contained a mix of no more than 70% hard winter wheat, supplemented with more expensive spring wheat. By the late 1990s, the baking performance of hard red winter wheat varieties had improved to the point bakers in hard red winter growing areas routinely were able to bake a satisfactory loaf of bread from 100% hard red winter.

This upward progress was interrupted about 10 years ago by the introduction of the variety Everest. Coveted by growers for its excellent yield potential and strong disease resistance, its milling and baking qualities, by contrast, were marginal at best. As it became the most popular variety grown in Kansas for several consecutive years, Everest created challenges for millers and bakers, especially during low protein years. More recently, wheat quality overall has been a mixed bag across the Southwest. Complicating efforts of millers and bakers to ensure satisfactory quality wheat have been rail freight rates that favor transporting wheat in large unit trains, making it more difficult for millers to select what wheat they purchase. As a result, hard winter mills end up with “average quality” of the crop. Bakers again have needed to add spring wheat, at a premium of 80¢ a bu or more.

Against this backdrop, Grain Craft and ADM agreed to supply the major baking company with flour milled only from a blend of varieties with top baking qualities. Execution challenges include identifying the varieties and testing whether blends of the varieties produce desired flour quality; educating growers about the importance of end-use qualities, recruiting participation and ensuring compliance; securing and monitoring grain storage; and dealing with the vagaries of wheat growing such as the unusually low protein content of this year’s southern Kansas wheat crop. To execute the program successfully required a significant commitment across the wheat foods chain from top to bottom.

After a pilot in 2019, the program was expanded in 2020. That it has been executed at a large enough scale to meet the needs of a major baking company represents an impresive achievement for the millers and the baker. Wheat quality has myriad facets. The program’s success should open the eyes of players up and down the wheat foods chain to the amazing possibilities for what could be cooperatively achieved in coming years.



Ulma Packaging develops compact line delivering automation for SME bakeries

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Responding to increased demand from SME bakeries seeking integrated automated solutions to improve speed and drive cost-efficiencies, Ulma Packaging UK has devised a new entry-level automatic line based on a compact layout.

The company’s latest series has been designed with smaller firms in mind, to save space on the factory floor and reduce manual handling that are key features of many manufacturing enterprises.

To do this, the business has designed its latest product packaging line to include a receiving conveyor, to automatically sort bakery products ready for even and continuous row distribution using a drop-down transfer conveyor. Products can also be accumulated to allow for short breaks in production, with automatic re-feed, or can be rejected for various product fault conditions.

The new multi-conveyor system has been designed to a reduced size in order to achieve a more compact line. In addition, the system is designed with ease of change of conveyor belts in mind, optimising maintenance and cleaning time.

Using the proposed automation line solution with the company’s compact FR 200 Horizontal Flow Wrapper (HFFS), the line has been shown to be highly flexible and versatile across a variety of product sizes. Using the FR 200, this flow wrapper is equipped to work with sustainable film, which is increasingly important for the bakery sector to be able to implement ways to reduce environmental impact.

Steve Craddock, Business Manager for Automation Projects at ULMA, said: “The benefits of automation have long been known, but for many SMEs in the bakery sector who are still unsure of whether automation is a possibility, especially for smaller packaging lines, it was important for us to show this market the possibilities. As a result, we have responded with a newly designed automation solution that is easy to integrate into existing lines and which is both compact and efficient.

“When combined with our FR 200 HFFS, the benefits continue with even more flexibility and ability to cope with packaging a variety of different products, alongside its sustainability credentials and compatibility with easy to recycle films.”



Mondelez considering closing two US biscuit plants

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Mondelez International is considering closing biscuit manufacturing plants in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and Atlanta as early as mid-2021, Baking Business reported. No official decisions have been made.

Mondelez said it would retain its manufacturing in the U.S. if these plants were shuttered. However, in 2016 the Chicago Tribune reported roughly half of the 1,200 workers at the company’s Chicago location were laid off after the company cut back on the number of brands it manufactured at the facility, with some jobs moving to Mexico.

To avoid that fate for its residents, the Patch reported New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso met with Mondelez management and union representatives.

“The closing of this facility would have a devastating impact on 600 hardworking men and women and their families right here in North Jersey — workers who may no longer be able to put food on their tables in the midst of a global pandemic,” Gottheimer told Patch.

It’s uncertain how many workers would be impacted in the Atlanta plant.

While millions of Americans are beset by job loss and financial constraints due to the pandemic, it does not mean that people have stopped snacking. Mondelez said in April it was experiencing “unprecedented demand” for its snack offerings, including Oreo, Ritz and Triscuit. The Fair Lawn facility is one of the largest producers of Oreo cookies.

In its State of Snacking report, Mondelez found snacking has become a “lifeline” during the pandemic with 88% of adults saying they are doing it more or the same than they were before the outbreak. An NPD Group study similarly found snack food consumption jumped 8% between April and July.

Mondelez’s decision to focus on manufacturing sites that are “strategically located and operationally advantaged,” is indicative of its efforts to accelerate innovation, grow and strengthen its position as a snacking giant, according to the statement.

Plant closures not tied to the pandemic have been few and far between in recent months. But in the past, many companies have taken this approach to increase efficiencies and boost their bottom line. Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, TreeHouse Foods and General Mills are among the companies that have announced plant closures in the past. Once the pandemic abates and shopper consumption habits normalize, more companies may chose to reassess the future of some of the plants they use.



Ivory Coast, Ghana cancel cocoa sustainability schemes run by Hershey

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Ivory Coast and Ghana are cancelling all cocoa sustainability schemes that U.S.-based Hershey runs in their countries, accusing the chocolatemaker of trying to avoid paying a cocoa premium aimed at combating farmer poverty.

In a letter addressed to Hershey and seen by Reuters, the Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators accuse Hershey of sourcing unusually large volumes of physical cocoa on the ICE futures exchange in order to avoid the premium, known as a living income differential (LID).

The letter, which also accuses Fuji Oil Holdings’ Blommer subsidiary of aiding Hershey, was verified as authentic by spokespeople for the regulators.

Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, said they are also barring third party companies from running sustainability schemes in the West African nations on behalf of Hershey.

The schemes certify cocoa as sustainably sourced – meaning its production is free of environmental and human rights abuses,

such as using child labour or being grown in a protected forest.

This allows companies to market their chocolate as ethical and charge a premium for it.

Hershey, makers of such popular candy items as Hershey chocolate bars, Hershey’s Kisses and Kit Kat, said it is fully participating in the LID and will continue to do so. It sources substantial volumes of supply from West Africa, it added.

“Our concern is that by cutting off industry sustainability programs, cocoa farmers will no longer receive the benefits provided by our programs… (like) the price premium for certified cocoa,” the company said in a statement.

Blommer had no immediate comment.

Several market sources said Hershey had recently struck a deal with the ICE exchange to take physical delivery of a large amount of cocoa, allowing it to buy less from Ivory Coast and Ghana and so avoid the premium.

The West African nations last year introduced a $400 a tonne LID on cocoa sales for the 2020/21 season, but have since struggled to sell their beans as chocolate demand has been hit by the coronavirus-induced recession.

In a separate document seen by Reuters, the world’s top cocoa producers said they had withdrawn from membership of a U.S. cocoa industry association, accusing the body of helping companies including Hershey avoid paying the LID.

The Cocoa Merchants Association of America (CMAA) is “condoning and conniving with American companies against poor West African cocoa farmers”, the document, also verified as authentic by the Ivorian and Ghanaian regulators, read.

The CMAA did not respond to Reuters requests via email and phone for comment.

Ivory Coast and Ghana also said they are reviewing their membership of the Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC), a UK-based international organisation that aims to promote, protect and regulate the cocoa trade.

Source: Reuters


FAO Food Price Index registered a sharp rise in November to its highest level in nearly six years

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 105.0 points in November 2020, up 4.0 points (3.9 percent) from October and 6.4 points (6.5 percent) higher than its value a year ago. The November increase did not only mark the biggest month-on-month rise since July 2012, but it also resulted in the index reaching its highest level since December 2014. All sub-indices of the FFPI registered gains in November, with the vegetable oil sub-index rising the most, followed by those of sugar, cereals, dairy and meat.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 114.4 points in November, up 2.7 points (2.5 percent) from October and as much as 19.0 points (19.9 percent) higher than its November 2019 value. The latest increase marked the fifth consecutive monthly rise in the value of the index. Wheat export prices continued to edge upwards in November, largely on a tightening outlook for export supplies and reduced harvest prospects in Argentina. Maize prices also rose further in November, supported by continued large maize purchases by China, amidst further cuts to this year’s production estimates in the United States of America and Ukraine, both major exporters. Among other coarse grains, firm demand continued to push up feed barley and sorghum prices. By contrast, international rice prices held steady in November, as support provided by tight availabilities and currency movements in selected South East Asian exporters was offset by limited demand and harvest pressure in other major origins.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 121.9 points in November, gaining a stunning 15.4 points (or 14.5 percent) month-on-month and reaching its highest level since March 2014. The rally mainly reflects additional spikes in palm oil prices, combined with further increases in soy, rapeseed and sunflowerseed oil values. International palm oil price quotations rose for a sixth consecutive month, underpinned by sharp contractions in world inventory levels, as smaller than customary output in major producing countries coincided with firm global import demand. As for soyoil, prices firmed amid subdued export availabilities in South America and upbeat import demand, notably from India. Likewise, rapeseed and sunflowerseed oil values strengthened further on limited supplies. Meanwhile, firming petroleum prices also lent support to vegetable oil prices.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 105.3 points in November, up 0.9 points (0.9 percent) month-on-month, continuing the upward trend registered in recent months and nearing an 18-month record high. The latest rise was largely driven by firmer butter and cheese prices, reflecting steady increases in global import demand and a surge in retail sales in Europe coinciding with the region’s milk production reaching seasonal lows. By contrast, following six months of consecutive increases, skim milk powder prices dropped due to a slower pace of purchases in Asia, especially China, coupled with increased global export availabilities, including India’s powder surpluses. Despite a rise in demand for spot supplies from the Middle East and North Africa, especially Algeria, smaller purchases by China weighed on whole milk powder price quotations.

» The FAO Meat Price Index** averaged 91.9 points in November, up 0.8 points (0.9 percent) month-on-month, marking the first increase since January, but still 14.6 points (13.7 percent) below its value in the corresponding month last year. International bovine meat prices increased, after four months of consecutive declines, due to robust demand from China and tight supplies from Oceania. Pig meat prices recovered slightly, underpinned by a fast pace of purchases by China amidst low availability of slaughter-ready animals in Brazil, while Germany and Poland remained banned from exporting to the Asian markets over African swine fever outbreaks.  Ovine meat prices also rose, mainly because of firm import demand from China and low supplies from Oceania. By contrast, poultry meat quotations fell, reflecting increased shipments from leading producers amidst subdued international import demand.

» The FAO Sugar price index averaged 87.5 points in November, up 2.8 points (3.3 percent) from October, representing the second consecutive monthly increase. The increase in international sugar quotations in November was mainly underpinned by firmer new data supporting earlier expectations of a global production shortfall in the 2020/21 marketing season. These expectations result from weaker crop prospects in the EU, Thailand and the Russian Federation, as unfavorable weather conditions had negatively impacted yields. Sugar prices also received further support in the aftermath of hurricane-damaged sugarcane crops and infrastructure in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

*Effective July 2020, the price coverage of the FFPI has been expanded and its base period revised to 2014-2016. For more details on this revision, please see the feature article of the June 2020 issue of the Food Outlook.

** Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

Download full dataset: Excel, CSV

Download full dataset: Excel


Enzyme enrichment could make bread a superfood

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Via the addition of an enzyme during baking, a study has demonstrated that bread can improve blood flow and aid the vascular system.

Could bread be the next superfood?

A small addition during bread making unlocks the potential of wholegrain bread, putting it on a par with other ‘superfoods’, according to researchers.

During a clinical trial published in Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate an improved bread saw the same short-term boost to their vascular function as gained from eating blueberries – which have long been hailed as a superfood.

The team from the University of Reading and agricultural research institute Rothamsted Research, added an enzyme commonly used by the drinks industry to the bread, raising levels of micronutrient ferulic acid by more than five times.

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Similar circulatory-improving compounds are found in foods such as cocoa, green tea and red wine, but the authors hope improving an everyday food, like bread, will benefit public health more widely.

Jeremy Spencer, Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Reading who led the study said: “While there is a growing recognition that foods like berries or green tea have a positive benefit for human health due to the presence of polyphenols, we recognise that there are barriers for much of the population to consume amounts of these that may have a significant impact on their health.

“Our study shows that there are ways that we can subtly change the characteristics of staple foods such as bread to increase the positive micronutrients found in them.”

Significant short-term boost

Nineteen healthy, young men were selected to take part in the clinical trial and were randomly placed in groups, with one group receiving the enriched bread. These participants showed higher levels of ferulic acid and a significant short-term boost in blood flow associated with cardiovascular health.1

In order to account for differences between higher and lower fibre breads, two control groups were tested as well, with one group receiving white bread low in fibre, and one group receiving a higher fibre bread which had a non-active version of the enzyme.1

Researchers say the results demonstrate that the free ferulic acid that was in the treated bread is most likely to have accounted for an increase in blood flow.

Dr Alison Lovegrove from the Rothamsted Research Institute, said: “All wholegrain and high fibre breads contain similar contents of phenolic compounds to those present in blueberries and other superfoods, but the chemicals are tightly bound to fibre in the bread – meaning we don’t typically get the health benefits from consuming them unless eaten regularly over the long term.

“This may be one of the reasons why we see greater benefits from regular wholegrain consumption, as these compounds are slowly released in the gut.

“Processing with an enzyme to release the ferulic acid prior to bread making has changed that, effectively unlocking the goodness of the wholegrain and making it immediately available. The effect on blood flow seen in the study are really clear and show that, with a small addition, bread can be as good as blueberries for your health.”

The enzyme used is already accepted for food use and used by commercial brewers as part of a mixture of enzymes that break down the fibre during malting – so researchers hope bakers could adopt the additional ingredient soon too.

Although this research is focused on delivering benefits in bread, the researchers say the technology could also be applied to various snack foods and energy bars, which often contain wheat bran or wholemeal.







Cocoa Flavanols Can Improve Cognition and Brain Oxygenation

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In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers have demonstrated that consumption of cocoa flavanols can improve efficiency in blood oxygenation in the frontal cortex — a brain region that plays a key role in planning, regulating behavior and decision-making — of young healthy people and that it is likely to contribute to improvements in cognitive function, but only when cognitive demands are high.

Gratton et al. show that flavanol intake leads to faster and greater brain oxygenation responses to hypercapnia, as well as higher performance only when cognitive demand is high. Image credit: Ally J.
Flavanols, a sub-group of plant flavonoids, are present in cocoa, grapes, apples, tea, berries and other foods.

They are known to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, but their effects on brain health are not well understood.

Flavanols are small molecules found in many fruits and vegetables, and cocoa, too,” said senior author Dr. Catarina Rendeiro, a scientist in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

“They give fruits and vegetables their bright colors, and they are known to benefit vascular function.”

“We wanted to know whether flavanols also benefit the brain vasculature, and whether that could have a positive impact on cognitive function.”

The researchers tested 18 participants before their intake of cocoa flavanols and in two separate trials, one in which the subjects received flavanol-rich cocoa and another during which they consumed processed cocoa with very low levels of flavanols.

About two hours after consuming the cocoa, participants breathed air with 5% carbon dioxide — about 100 times the normal concentration in air.

“This is a standard method for challenging brain vasculature to determine how well it responds,” said first author Professor Gabriele Gratton, a researcher in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“The body typically reacts by increasing blood flow to the brain. This brings in more oxygen and also allows the brain to eliminate more carbon dioxide.”

With functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a technique that uses light to capture changes in blood flow to the brain, the authors measured oxygenation in the frontal cortex.

“This allows you to measure how well the brain defends itself from the excess carbon dioxide,” said co-author Professor Monica Fabiani, also from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The team also challenged participants with complex tasks that required them to manage sometimes contradictory or competing demands.

Most of the participants had a stronger and faster brain oxygenation response after exposure to cocoa flavanols than they did at baseline or after consuming cocoa lacking flavanols.

“The levels of maximal oxygenation were more than three times higher in the high-flavanol cocoa versus the low-flavanol cocoa, and the oxygenation response was about one minute faster,” Dr. Rendeiro said.

After ingesting the cocoa flavanols, participants also performed better on the most challenging cognitive tests, correctly solving problems 11% faster than they did at baseline or when they consumed cocoa with reduced flavanols.

There was no measurable difference in performance on the easier tasks, however.

“This suggests that flavanols might only be beneficial during cognitive tasks that are more challenging,” Dr. Rendeiro said.

Within the study cohort, there was a small group who did not benefit at all from the flavanol-enriched drink in terms of blood oxygenation levels, and who also did not derive any cognitive benefit.

This group was shown to have existing high levels of brain oxygenation responses to start with that were not increased further by drinking the enriched cocoa.

“Although most people benefited from flavanol intake, there was a small group that did not,” Dr. Rendeiro said.

“Four of the 18 study subjects had no meaningful differences in brain oxygenation response after consuming flavanols, nor did their performance on the tests improve.”

“Because these four participants already had the highest oxygenation responses at baseline, this may indicate that those who are already quite fit have little room for improvement.”

“Overall, the findings suggest that the improvements in vascular activity after exposure to flavanols are connected to the improvement in cognitive function.”